February 2nd, 2012

Susan G. Komen for the Cure Decision Hurts Us All

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breast cancer awareness women joining hands

Susan G. Komen for the Cure are you listening yet?

As a green lifestyle blogger there are many issues that fall well within my purview.  The topics I tend to cover are widespread and can run the gamut from toys and food to anything related to health. Women’s health is a topic near and dear to my heart for a number of reasons: I care about my own health, the health of the many women in my life and the health of women in general.

Bad decision

It’s been hard to miss the collective outrage over the past few days directed at Susan G. Komen for the Cure for cutting their funding to Planned Parenthood (they  received 680,000 from Komen last year).  Planned Parenthood used the funding to pay for breast-screening exams for poor people.

breast cancer pink ribbonAbout 12 years ago I ran a race in honor of and alongside a very special friend.  It was the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. We were all decked out in our pink ribbons listening to the inspirational stories and looking around in awe at the sea of pink. Susan G. Komen was the creator of those pink ribbons, which have taken breast cancer awareness to another level. I’ll have you know I kicked some butt in that race and my friend kicked breast cancer.

I can safely assume that most of us know at least one person afflicted by this disease. Many of those with breast cancer were fortunate to catch it early, thanks to a simple (albeit uncomfortable) mammogram. And now those women are part of a strong and amazing group of survivors. Cutting the Planned Parenthood funding is effectively stripping the option of early detection away from those who have no means.

Truth be told, I really don’t care what the head of Susan G. Komen believes. She has a right to believe that abortion is wrong. What I find appalling is that she is willing to take those beliefs and directly make others suffer and/or possibly die. Victims of cancer don’t really care about politics and cancer sure as heck doesn’t care what you believe.

Lisa Stone of BlogHer said it perfectly:

Just as women are about more than our breasts, so is health care for women about more than abortions. Especially the kind of primary health care that Planned Parenthood has been providing for years to women and children who otherwise couldn’t afford it.

Now the good news is many people, because of the Komen decision, have pulled Komen funding and are donating directly to Planned Parenthood. The hope is Planned Parenthood will ultimately recoup most, if not all of the funding lost.

Komen’s made bad decisions before

The Planned Parenthood funding cut comes after other not so brilliant moves by Komen.  Komen’s attorneys have been known to send out letters to groups who were using the language “for a cure” in their fundraisers.  Really? Don’t they have anything better to do with their time then to go after piddly little fundraisers? Komen also came under fire for animal testing and experiments, which many times led to the animal’s death.

And what was Komen thinking when it released “Promise Me” perfume to raise money for cancer research?  The perfume was tested and it was found to contain several ingredients linked to cancer. Say what? Yep cancer causing perfume from an organization working “for a cure”.

If you are looking for ways to help here are a few:

What’s your two cents on the Komen decision?

[Pink ribbon photo used under Creative Commons from SCA Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget/Flickr]

 

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20 Responses to “Susan G. Komen for the Cure Decision Hurts Us All”

  1. Great post Lori. This whole thing has made me extremely angry. Planned Parenthood is better of in my opinion.

  2. That was so well put! Thank you.

  3. They don’t have to fund anyone they don’t want to. If they want to start their own screening then let them. That would be wonderful. As for animal testing….are you kidding me? If that’s what needed to be done to save my aunt’s life then that’s what should be done. If you can come up with a better solution then go for it. I value the safety of my family over the life of an animal. I’m not cruel, just a realist. If you disagree, then don’t use medicine that has been tested on an animal. Good luck to you.

  4. Hi Lori, thanks very much for your comment. My understanding is that there are other methods of testing and doing research that don’t involve harming animals. If they can get the same results then why not?

  5. You’re very welcome Sarah. I felt the need to “speak” :)

  6. Thanks Cathy. I was extremely angry too and that’s why I felt the need to vent! Thanks for listening.

  7. It’s really quite ridiculous, but it’s their policy to disassociate themselves with any organization that is under investigation. As for Planned Parenthood’s investigation, it’s purely political. I’ve been pissed at Komen for a while now anyway – too much pink washing.

    Peace. ;)

  8. Hi Michelle, it’s my understanding that Komen adopted this rule as a way to weasel out of the Planned Parenthood arrangement. I agree, whatever the case Michelle-way too much pink washing happening at Komen.

  9. Where do I stand? Next to you!

  10. Bank of America, which has contributed millions of dollars to Komen in exchange for letting them stick their pink ribbon on credit cards, is currently under investigation in New York, Arizona, California and Nevada for foreclosure and mortgage fraud. Hmmmm.

  11. This makes me sick. I will never support the Susan G. Komen foundation. I can’t believe that her foundation cut resources to planned parenthood. I am a huge advocate for what planned parenthood stands for. In California if you make under 35k a year than you get free planned parenthood services. Basically anyone can apply and they do not make you prove your income. This allows women to go and not pay a dime. Its incredible.

  12. You explained it so well. The whole thing is so aggravating. I didn’t know about the perfume or lawsuits. The komen name has been synonymous with trying to abolish breast cancer and now it will be for hypocracy. It’s a shame.

  13. I’m honored to have you next to me Mary!

  14. Very interesting Zelduh. Big hmmmmmmm……

  15. Thanks Lisa. It really is a shame that this organization, which was a leader in creating breast cancer awareness, has taken a turn towards hypocrisy. What a mess they’ve gotten themselves into.

  16. Hi Meg, It certainly makes it hard to support the Komen foundation. Planned Parenthood provides a much needed service to many. Hopefully they will continue to get the funding from other sources.

  17. Thanks so much for this, Lori. I have to admit… I’ve spent a lot of time under my rock this week (BUSY) and I haven’t taken the time to really read the headlines I saw about this.

    Maybe instead of raising so much money “for a cure” they should start with prevention… which would mean they don’t have to go to the trouble of putting their name on cans of BPA soup and boxes of junk food.

  18. [...] at Groovy Green Living talks about the Susan G. Komen, Planned Parenthood thing. I love her take on [...]

  19. This is a great post! Thank you for your passion and speaking out.
    Sadly I’m not surprised, as I’ve just seen the documentary (fantastic doc may I say) ‘Pink Ribbons Inc’ and there was a lot of focus on the Susan Komen foundation (and how pinkwashed it really is).
    I highly recommend this doc: http://www.nfb.ca/film/pink_ribbons_inc_trailer/

  20. I haven’t see the documentary-thanks for the link. I’ll add to my list of must see movies. Thanks again!

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About Lori

I’m Lori Popkewitz Alper, a recovering attorney and the Founder of Groovy Green Livin. I like to make noise and stir the pot especially when an issue hits home and effects the health of our families. Join me as I make some noise and share along the way tips for living a green and healthy life. Read more.

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