Thursday, February 2, 2012

How to Support Planned Parenthood in Light of Susan G Komen Betrayal

Yesterday, cancer survivors, their loved ones, and loved ones of those who succumbed to the disease, reeled to learn that Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the charity synonymous with breast cancer research, halted grants to Planned Parenthood.

The charity caved to pressure from anti-abortion activists who have the nationwide clinics under investigation at the behest of an anti-abortion politician (more about that here). Another factor is surely the hiring of Komen’s senior VP for Public Policy, Karen Handel, an ex-politician who ran unsuccessfully for governor of Georgia in 2010 on an anti-abortion platform and was endorsed by Sarah Palin (more on that here).

Despite the fact Susan G. Komen’s grants to Planned Parenthood mainly were used for breast exams for women who otherwise could not afford them, anti-abortion groups have targeted those charitable donations because some Planned Parenthood clinics also perform abortions.

But enough about ideology trumping ethics. What are we going to do about it?
• Donate to Planned Parenthood. Yup, go right to the source. [Planned Parenthood Action]

• Give your money to another worthy breast cancer organization — Susan G. Komen for the Cure is hardly the only one. Blogger Nona Willis Aronowitz at GOOD magazine recommends sending your donations to charities that don’t let ideology trump their mission, such as Breast Cancer Action, the National Breast Cancer Coalition, and the Women’s Community Center Project. You can check out her other recommendations at the link. [GOOD]

• Contribute your story to a new Tumblr called Planned Parenthood Saved Me, which is collecting images and stories from women whose lives were saved and improved from a Planned Parenthood cancer screening. It could be a breast screening, a cervical screening, an ovarian screening, anything. Putting a face, name or story to an issue really does help. [Planned Parenthood Saved Me]

• Donate to Susan G. Komen affiliates that are still providing funding to Planned Parenthood. This morning, I learned on Facebook that Susan G. Komen for the Cure Connecticut, the affiliate in my home state, is an individual nonprofit that reports to a local board of directors — not the national org. Therefore, my local affiliate is still partnered with Planned Parenthood and is still funding Planned Parenthood of New England.

It is frustrating to see a leading national provider of women’s healthcare being dicked around, especially given how breast cancer screenings are preventative care which save lives in the long run. Yet at the same time it is heartening to see — in my Twitter feed, on Facebook, in emails that have been lining my inbox since yesterday — so many outraged in response and doing something about it.
[The Atlantic Monthly][Jezebel][GOOD]

Contact the author of this post at Follow me on Twitter at @JessicaWakeman.

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