My personal life is so overwhelming right now that I can’t even write anything personal. Maybe that’ll resume in a day or two, but for now, there’s always politics.
If you’ve paid any attention to the news recently, or to health-related Twitter feeds, you must know about the big Susan G. Komen for the Cure debacle. In a nutshell, it’s pulled funding from Planned Parenthood. A Komen board member said that this was due to concern over a Republican congressperson’s investigation of Planned Parenthood. We all know that the Republican party has said that public funds to Planned Parenthood should be pulled because Planned Parenthood provides abortions. The abortions are a tiny tiny part of what Planned Parenthood does. They are not paid for with public funds. They are legal. They in no way hinder the breast cancer screenings that the organization provides. I assume those screenings are the reason Komen gave them money to begin with. So what’s going on?
Having worked in nonprofits for many years, I believe that most people do not do sufficient research before donating to an organization. There are many sites that can help you research a nonprofit (http://www2.guidestar.org/ and http://www.irs.gov/charities/article/0,,id=249767,00.html are two of them) and they are generally underused. Still, where should someone go to find out if funds will be withheld because of “moral” views or “political pressure”? I wish I knew.
I want cures for the illnesses I suffer from. I want cures for the diseases my loved ones suffer from. I do not want political games to slow down or stop research on or prevention of those illnesses.
Planned Parenthood helps women detect breast cancer (and other forms of cancer, as well as other problems) early, so that they can receive immediate treatment. I happen to have very strong views on abortion, but those are irrelevant here. If the funds that Komen provides are used only for breast cancer screenings (and Komen can mostly likely make that a requirement of the funding) then why on earth should the funds be withdrawn?
Interestingly, this has made people (including non-media people) more interested in Komen’s practices, and they are noticing where their money goes (what percentage to fundraising, what percentage to research, etc.) Like I said, I believe that everyone should do this kind of research before contributing to nonprofits. So maybe something good has come of all of this.
Still, I simply do not understand why an organization that does so much good must constantly defend itself, simply because a small part of what it does is provide legal, safe procedures for women who need them. For everyone looking to stop funding to Planned Parenthood I must ask: are you planning to fund checkups, cancer screenings, counseling, and everything else they do yourself? No? Then back off.
Let’s focus on what really matters. Let’s focus on prevention and cures.
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An update: Komen has reversed it’s position: http://bo.st/xYG9h8
Oh, and if you’re curious to know what Planned Parenthood does, check out this chart: http://wapo.st/fG52AX