The Susan G. Komen foundation reversed its decision to stop funding breast exams through Planned Parenthood. For this I would like to personally thank each and every reader, blogger, poster and comment-er who took the time to put their outrage into bits and bytes on the Internet. Pat yourself on the back, pat your friend on the back, because it was thanks to the collective expression of outrage that Komen flip-flopped their position.
NEW YORK (AP) — After three days of controversy, the Susan G. Komen for the Cure breast-cancer charity says it is reversing its decision to cut breast-screening grants to Planned Parenthood.
All in all it's been a very big win for Planned Parenthood and a setback for sneaky backdoor politics. Originally Komen never planned to announce the cut in funding, but the word got out when affiliates and a few individuals within the organization refused to keep quiet. The result was a firestorm of ill will. The internet is a scary place when a simple act of policy is perceived as 'inhumane' by the majority. Even an organization like the Pink-ribbon Megalith has to know it's in dangerous waters when their website gets hacked.
Well, well, well. Well. Want to know who's behind this all? Cue the Star Wars music because here she is, Darth Komen herself... Karen Handel VP of Public Policy.
According to the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of repercussions, a driving force behind the move was Karen Handel, who was hired by Komen last year as vice president for public policy after losing a campaign for governor in Georgia in which she stressed her anti-abortion views and frequently denounced Planned Parenthood. (AP)
Of course there's no insights yet as to who within the Komen Empire hired her. There's obviously an Emperor Palpatine hiding somewhere in the wings. Is it half-million-a-year, founder Nancy Brinker? Or president Elizabeth "Liz" Thompson? Maybe it's even the "chief scientific adviser" (seems like a metaphor for 'Supreme Chancellor' to me), but regardless it's a workable metaphor, there's an evil mastermind at work. Too bad they fucked this one up so badly.
There are clear winners and losers in this battle. Standing on the podium we have women who can't afford pricey healthcare, the outraged public and internet community, and naturally Planned Parenthood itself. The spotlight has done a tremendous amount of good for them, bringing in far more financial support that they stood to lose from Komen, as well as getting some attention for the good services they provide.
- Most of its services - 71 percent - are for birth control and testing and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases. Abortions made up 3 percent of its services in 2010. Cancer screening accounted for about 15 percent.
- Most of Planned Parenthood's clients are too young for breast cancer screening under most guidelines, although they are prime age for cervical cancer screening. About 80 percent are under 35.
- The government has long paid Planned Parenthood for services related to cancer and sexually transmitted diseases. The group gets federal and state money for breast cancer screening service through a program for poor and uninsured women. (AP)
Planned Parenthood has and continues to be a safety net for women who can't afford any other medical care. Often the annual trip to the clinic is their only opportunity to speak to a medical professional. For these women the annual screening has worked, raising awareness and giving them a place to turn to when they do find a lump.
This is what saves lives. Not wearing a pink ribbon-shaped lapel button.
So thank you, everyone, for putting the pressure on Komen to reconsider. That's another 170,000 screenings, potentially life saving visits that you've made possible. You've also sent a message to Darth Komen, your bullshit won't go unnoticed, and the Dark Side never wins in the end.