We’re at war. Not our whole nation, just our abortion nation. This week the lines were drawn from sea to shining sea when the Susan G. Komen Foundation’s decision to pull funding from Planned Parenthood was announced. This web has been spun in so many directions, it will take us months, if not longer, to untangle, but I’ve been navigating some of it for a few months, having heard unsubstantiated comments that this was coming as far back as November. I wasn’t taken off guard because of the information I had, but I wondered if it would actually happen and what that would look like. I offer this column to point out a few of the things I see inside the web.
1) Planned Parenthood is the one who told the world what happened, and they did it an a nasty and angry way. Imagine yourself getting fired. You’d be upset. You might get short with the boss, but if you went home and started a Twitter/Facebook campaign against your company, not only would you be a candidate for being sued for libel, but no one would want to hire you because you were a jerk. Planned Parenthood started throwing it’s temper tantrum all over the webs, begged for “emergency funding” and—and here’s a very important fact—in less than 24 hours raised over $400,000. The latest totals that Komen has given Planned Parenthood for a year were just under $700,000. You tell me, do they really need the money?
2) Planned Parenthood is a marketing genius. Seriously. We’ve gotten letters and comments from people who honestly are confused about where to go to get screenings for breast cancer. Even the ones who know that Planned Parenthood doesn’t do mammograms still know they can go to Planned Parenthood and get a voucher for a free mammogram. What now? Planned parenthood’s genius marketing has led woman to a culture of co-dependence on this organization that provides no unique services. Nothing done at PP (outside abortion) is a service not offered for free to uninsured women everywhere. Planned Parenthood depends on government funding and other grants to be given contracts to serve these communities, not because they care, but because they get lots of money for it. They have marketed themselves as the women’s healthcare provider. They bring in women, may who are clueless (remember the story of Addison who went to get a pregnancy test and was kicked out when she wanted to keep her baby?) and use that as a springboard to get them dependent on the organization like a sugar daddy who makes a woman believe he is her only source. Planned Parenthood is a co-dependent relationship and women don’t even know they are being manipulated by this powerhouse. It’s sick but it’s genius.
3) Komen’s grant removal for Planned Parenthood in no way affects poor women’s availability to free mammograms or breast screenings. This is probably the section you need to copy and paste to all the angry people who accuse you of hating poor women (insert sigh). Here’s how this works. You go to Planned Parenthood and get your annual exam. Part of that includes a breast screening. It’s a Level 1, same as you do at home. A doctor does this as part of a routine annual exam Side note—any doctor who needs a grant from Komen to do a Level 1 exam should have his or her license removed. They aren’t going to suddenly say “I did your whole exam but I can’t check your breasts because Komen sends us money to check your breasts.” All that government funding they get, which is more in one day than Komen gave them in a year, covers a GYN doing the annual exam, which includes the breast exam.
If there is a suspicion that something could be wrong, PP then gives you a voucher to go to a local facility that does mammograms, since they don’t do them. So you have to make another appointment and go to the next facility. Yes, it may be free if they deem you qualify, but it takes longer.
Under new funding rules, now the money will be given directly to the actually mammogram facilities, eliminating the middle man and even, possibly, crucial time which could help save a life. There is not less money being given to breast cancer screenings. It’s redirected money to places that still serve poor women and help them, but without the middle man.
The angry mobs that have called Komen names and made all sorts of veiled threats, and even hacked the Komen website, prove that the priority isn’t women’s health. If we really care about the poor women we don’t start screaming, name calling and taking sides, but we love and help them. I have not seen a single post from anyone on Twitter, Facebook or comments on our blog that has offered help—just used emotionally charged rhetoric and name calling to draw battle lines. They've used this opportunity not to help women but to start their own political war. What Komen did was good business: eliminating the middle man.
Planned Parenthood which has been implicated in sex trafficking and all sorts of deceit, such as implying it did mammograms until Live Action caught them in the lie, gets close to a million dollars a day from the federal government too. In the middle of a broken economy, when jobs are being lost, when people are truly suffering, the leaders of PP from its corporate office to its local large city offices make, in some cases well over a quarter of a million dollars a year.
You’re feeling sorry for that?