A Cure for All

This afternoon, Susan B. Komen for the Cure, our nation's most prominent charity in the fight against breast cancer, made the shocking and appalling decision to pull all of its grants for breast cancer screening from Planned Parenthood. The rational is a sham investigation by House Republicans who have made a political agenda out of withholding all financial support from Planned Parenthood's women's health programs because the organization separately provides access to abortion services. This excuse is a barely disguised fraud intending to suggest Komen for the Cure is not taking sides, while they are actually doing exactly what one side wants. It is a craven and heartless deception which has not gone unnoticed by the thousands who have protested on Twitter an inexplicable decision that will put lives at risk.

I stand with these protesters in disgust with an organization that has opted to play politics with cancer prevention. There are many who disagree with some of what Planned Parenthood does, as is their right. There are plenty who disagree with some of the activities of some of the religious organizations that Komen for the Cure also supports. For decades, we have found a way to come together and work towards a common goal of providing better access to cancer screen, care, and research. Today, Komen for the Cure has taken a despicable stand against common cause and have instead opted to endorse divisive politics over people's health.

Most of this country rejects this kind of alienating action. Most of this country believes that there are things we can all work together on. Fighting breast cancer is a noble goal, something that can unite us all in fighting for a better world. We must all stand against those who think we should only fight cancer so long as it is politically convenient. That we must only fight cancer in the way one political agenda approves of. That we all must live under the limitations of a few. We all stand together for a cure and we stand against those who would limit the cure based on political agendas.

Komen for the Cure is acting because of the voices of the few have been weighted above the rest of us. Komen caved because some people promised to withdraw their support if their politics didn't limit Komen. It is time for the few to stop dictating terms to the many.  It is time that corporations and foundations think twice before consenting to the limitations the few wish to impose on them. It is time that the rest of us be heard and for the charade of "not taking sides" while doing the bidding of one side be challenged.

We must call upon the corporate sponsors and partners of Komen for the Cure to redirect their much appreciated support to groups who do not put politics over fighting cancer. Groups who are fighting for a cure for all. Continuing to support Komen for the Cure now means supporting politics over cancer screening. It means supporting some, not all. If an organization will support such divisive politics on such a grave issue, they will not enjoy my support and I will make my voice heard. My voice will not be alone.


Alexie said...

Good for you. Let me say that again, good. for. you.

I could not believe this when I read it today and feel completely disgusted. There have been more and more questions about Komen anyway, in terms of the corporate partnerships they're prepared to link to (like Ford, who are happy to kick back some pink dollars, but who fire their own employees for taking time off for breast cancer treatment).

If they cared anything about women's health, they wouldn't have done this. I survived cancer (not breast), and I can tell you I would rather have medical care over sponsored dragon boat racing any day. I'm sure I'm not the only cancer survivor who feels this way.

I intend to write a letter to the Komen foundation about this, though I doubt they will care. Their actions have shown they're now just another corporation who will protect their own interests first and foremost.

Twistie said...

I signed the petition on Change.org this morning, and I intend to do more. This move has pissed me the hell off, and I'm not taking it sitting down.

Hellianne said...

Echidne points out that the Komen Foundation's senior VP for public policy, Karen Handel, is anti-choice. It might well be that the pressure to cave isn't coming only from outside groups but from within the organization itself. I'm not sure what strategy to suggest that would address that problem.

Brian said...

Personally, I won't be writing letters to Komen, but to their supporters. Komen has clearly made a deliberate decision to side with the right-wing political agenda. This isn't a simple cave like the cowardice of Lowe's over "All-American Muslim". Komen has prioritized the demands of one political agenda. They have announced their intention to do the bidding of one political agenda at the expense of their charitable mission. I think now we want to tell their corporate partners that working with Komen is a politically divisive decision and that's how their consumers will regard it. If Komen wants to be a right-wing-only charity, fine. Let them. Just make sure their big-dollar sponsors and partners knew that this is what they are signing up for.

Amadi Talks has a good response on her Tumblr here:

She lays out a good plan to respond and I whole-heartedly agree with donating directly to Planned Parenthood. They are a vital resource in our communities and one we need to preserve. I'll be making a donation this evening myself and while I'd expect corporations to redirect donations to other breast cancer charities, I'd encourage individuals to give to PP because this assault on their funding is only going to get worse.

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.