A Reuters article now provides proof of what I have suspected for some time: The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops was involved in the whole Komen fiasco, on one hand forcing boycotts of Komen until it dropped Planned Parenthood and on the other taking millions of dollars in money from Komen.
I am a recent member of Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s Young Women’s National Advisory Council, a previous director of Stony Brook University School of Medicine’s chapter of Medical Students for Choice, and a future family medicine physician. I was incredibly disappointed by Susan G. Komen’s recent decision to end its funding of breast health programs at Planned Parenthood affiliates across the United States.
The Komen Foundation’s statement says that it “will continue to fund existing grants, including those of Planned Parenthood, and preserve their eligibility to apply for future grants, while maintaining the ability of our affiliates to make funding decisions that meet the needs of their communities.” But this is NOT a reversal of any kind.
While a reversal of the decision is welcome, it also raises further questions. Komen denied yesterday that the de-funding had anything to do with investigations, even though their original memo said just that. Instead they claimed that the decision was based on “new metrics” and the desire to do “direct service” grants. Now, however, they are back to the “investigations” reason. And, Planned Parenthood can “apply” for future grants but who knows what that means now?
It seems that the Susan G. Komen Foundation did not think very carefully when making the decision to cut off breast cancer prevention grants to Planned Parenthood clinics. And Komen is becoming increasingly isolated as outrage grows.
We must stand with Planned Parenthood. But let’s not do so in a way that denies the extreme importance of all the services they provide. As advocates for reproductive justice, the last thing we can afford to do is allow ourselves to become complicit in the stigmatization of abortion.
Can you trust a breast cancer organization whose staff and board lie about medical science, including breast cancer?
Now in its “spin-cycle,” Komen for the Cure is trying to justify its actions defunding critical breast cancer screening for the poor with a serious case of “pink-washing.” Their rationale? They care about women. So they lie to them and deny them services.
How would you react if you learned that a prominent women’s health organization commissioned a perfume that contains chemicals with demonstrated negative health effects?