Saturday, February 04, 2012

For the cure?

Yesterday, Susan G. Komen for the Cure reversed it's decision to stop grants for Planned Parenthood. Many people were fiercely opposed to supporting Komen because of their grants to Planned Parenthood. Komen noted a 100% increase in the three days after they announced the halt to future grants. It used to be that the Planned Parenthood grants were a "dirty little secret" about Komen, but now that their renewed support for Planned Parenthood has been advertised far and wide, I would expect that to hurt their fundraising.

Komen said that neither the halting of grants nor the renewal of grants was politically motivated, but that could only be spin. Of course it is. Abortion is a political football and Komen just kicked it for both teams, as it were.

But not only were the twin announcements political, surely the original support must be political too. Let's think about this for a moment. Komen says the grants are for cancer screenings, and Planned Parenthood has acknowledged that no mammograms are performed at any of their clinics. The grants are for screenings and education, which as far as I can figure is having brochures and questionnaires available, along with a "if you feel a lump, you'd better get that checked out."

Would not the money be better spent for such screenings at health clinics for the indigent or subsidies for actual mammograms? This fact, however, is the most critical: the grants go toward an organization (Planned Parenthood) whose two main services (oral contraception and abortion) strongly increase the risk for breast cancer. And that's not political?

However, Tom Peters (The American Papist) has a more nuanced view, and he's certainly more educated about the subject than I am. It seems from his take that the "reversal" more of an apology for hurt feelings, and the policy remains the same. They clarified that that the Congressional investigation of Planned Parenthood does not rise to the the level of disqualification (only a criminal investigation would). Starting next year, grant recipients will need to demonstrate that the money is used for mammograms. Unless things change before then, Planned Parenthood would not qualify.Link

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