Feminist Friday: The Moral Bankruptcy of the “Moral Majority”
Posted February 3, 2012on:
We live in dangerous times, Widdershins. If you aren’t a woman of childbearing age, then you know one well – you may even be related to one or several. And if you aren’t a woman “of an uncertain age” (i.e., over forty), then you know more than one. And both groups of women face increasingly serious threats to their health care every day.
The latest attack comes from a disgraceful source: well-known anti-breast cancer group The Susan G. Komen Foundation, creator of the pink ribbon. I had heard that this group was not all it should be, from a feminist perspective; but what it did this week went beyond unsatisfactory and into truly heinous territory.
John D. Raffaelli, a Komen board member and Washington lobbyist, said Wednesday that the decision to cut off money to 17 of the 19 Planned Parenthood affiliates it had supported was made because of the fear that an investigation of Planned Parenthood by Representative Cliff Stearns, Republican of Florida, would damage Komen’s credibility with donors.
…[T]he Komen board voted that all of its vendors and grantees must certify that they are not under investigation by federal, state or local authorities. But for Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, being the target of partisan investigations is part of doing business. So Komen’s new rule effectively ended their long partnership and seemed to the health services provider an unacceptable betrayal of their common mission to save women’s lives.
Dawn Laguens, an executive vice president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said that Komen’s money had over the years underwritten breast cancer screenings for 170,000 women, some of whose lives were saved as a result. She said she had no sympathy for Komen’s attempt to mollify donors by ending its relationship with a controversial provider of women’s health services. Only a small percentage of Planned Parenthood’s expenditures go toward abortion services.
It seems that SGK may have mixed up the order of the events just a tad bit. You see, it wasn’t the rules that gave rise to the decision to cut off Planned Parenthood – it was the decision to cut off Planned Parenthood that gave rise to the rules.
…[N]ew reporting from the Atlantic reveals that Komen adopted the new guidelines to cut off Planned Parenthood. That effort was led by Komen President Elizabeth Thompson, who knew that Planned Parenthood was the only group that would be affected by the rule, and Karen Handel, Komen’s new senior vice president for public policy.
Handel, who came on board in April, is a former secretary of state in Georgia and a Republican activist who describes herself as a “pro-life Christian.” Handel ran for governor of Georgia on an anti-abortion platform, and was endorsed by Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin. She wrote during her failed gubernatorial campaign that “since I am pro-life, I do not support the mission of Planned Parenthood.”
Disgusting, ain’t it? Why the f*ck are women like this allowed to run women’s health services organizations?!
While you ponder that question, I am going to do something I have possibly never done before now – I am going to favorably quote Michael Bloomberg, whiny elitist Republican Mayor of Noo Yawk City, on this subject. (Hat tip to DYB in yesterday’s comments for this link.)
“Politics have no place in health care,” he said in a statement. “Breast cancer screening saves lives and hundreds of thousands of women rely on Planned Parenthood for access to care. We should be helping women access that care, not placing barriers in their way.”
Mr. Bloomberg then highlighted his contribution on Twitter, posting a series of messages asking his followers to contribute to Planned Parenthood.
In addition, Bloomberg has pledged to match up to $250,000 in donations to Planned Parenthood. Well-done, sir, well-done. As of this writing, a mere 24 hours of donations have almost equaled the $700,000 that the Komen Foundation shamefully withdrew. And the reactions on social media have been overwhelmingly pro-Planned Parenthood – about 75% pro and 25% against. Thankfully, it seems that most Americans don’t take kindly to groups like “Americans United for Life” (the main group that has been pressuring the Foundation to withdraw its funding from Planned Parenthood) constantly attempting to actively hurt and kill women by denying them access to health care. In fact, most Americans seem to view the “moral majority” as morally bankrupt for doing so.
UPDATE! The Foundation has caved to the mass pressure – including political pressure from 22 Democratic politicians – and reversed its decision. Thanks for everything you’ve done to help!!!
But what can you do, you may ask? Well, I’ll tell you. I’ve got some activism for you!
- First, you can add your name to this online letter supporting reproductive rights and Planned Parenthood. It’s really great.
- Second, if you’ve ever donated to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, you can remove your name from their donor list here – or, you can give them a piece of your mind. (Thanks, Chatblu!)
- Third, if you’ve got a buck or two to spare, please send it Planned Parenthood’s way. Don’t worry about that $35 minimum – there’s another “Any Amount” choice at the bottom.
Meanwhile, the Susan G. Komen Foundation is reeling over the kickback. (Rubs hands gleefully.)
Dr. Kathy Plesser, a Manhattan radiologist on the medical advisory board of Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s New York chapter, said she plans to resign from her position unless Komen reverses its decision to pull grant money from Planned Parenthood.
“I’m a physician and my interest is women’s health, and I am disturbed by Komen’s decision because I am a very strong advocate for serving under-served women,” Plesser told The Huffington Post. “Eliminating this funding will mean there’s no place for these women to go. Where are these women to go to have a mammography? Do they not deserve to have mammography?”
With her decision, Plesser joins Komen’s top public health official, Mollie Williams, and the executive director of Komen’s Los Angeles County chapter, Deb Anthony, both of whom also resigned in protest.
My prediction? The pro-death movement will lose this one, big-time. It’s not quite the karma these hateful ignoramuses deserve – I would prefer that they all get put on an island together and have to live with the lack of health care they want to inflict on all women everywhere – but it’s a start, Widdershins, it’s a start.
This is an open thread. (I couldn’t resist this song from “Funny Face…” please excuse my snarky sense of humor. ;-) )
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