Thursday, February 2, 2012

No More Pink For Me: Cancer Shouldn't Be Political

Now that I'm done joking with friends that men who vote Liberal should no longer get screened for prostate or testicular cancer, I have to say that I'm still not over the cutting of funding to Planned Parenthood.

I have more than a few friends whose lives have been touched by breast cancer, including one of my closest friends, who lost her mother at age 8 to the disease. My maternal great-grandmother lost both her breasts (not at the same time, either) to breast cancer. She had radiation burns and peeling skin and terrible scars that haunted her until her death in her late 90's. I have heard so many stories about the horror, the sorrow, the loss, of breast cancer. And so I gave every year, and generously, to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Remembering my grandmother Gracie, and my many friends affected by the disease. I bought pink, in more ways than one. I bought into an idea of women sticking up for other women. Of women insisting upon better healthcare for women. 

But no more. 

Planned Parenthood and Susan G. Komen were both organizations that appeared, for a time, to want to support ALL women's healthcare, irrespective of their race, religion, creed or political stance. However, paraphrasing eloquent Mollie Williams (truly, what a class act this woman is!), the now-resigned top public healthcare official at SGK, put it to The Atlantic, "the divide between the two organization is quite sad". Ms. Williams resigned as soon as the funding cuts were announced. She had administered SGK grant funds. She clearly did not agree with their decision. But as Ms Williams, and Deb Anthony, the head of SGK in Los Angeles who has also resigned, have seen, SGK is putting politics in front of helping ALL women. SGK and the conservatives pressuring it have made a decision not to help women who do not buy their party line prevent cancer easily. 

I can see no less immoral, or less petty (but costly of lives) stance here, no matter what the spin doctors for SGK now say.

Putting my money where my mouth is:

I think all women deserve access to cancer prevention information. Don't you?

I've taken the first part of my yearly SGK donation and applied it to Planned Parenthood, which I already supported.  I am not alone. According to a report on CNN, they raised more than $400,000 in less than 24 hours after the SGK decision to cut funding was announced. (See video below, with an interview with Planned Parenthood's Cecile Richards). I'm sending the rest later in the year, when all the hoopla has died down.

I want to help poor and uninsured women, or really any women who go to Planned Parenthood, know if their breasts might kill them. I don't care if they want an abortion. I don't care if they're poor but Pro-Life. I just want them to know they need to seek care and get guidance on how to get it, and support on how to deal with it.

It might surprise you that some Pro-Lifers are as appalled as Pro-Choicers. As but one example:

I've seen other Pro-Life women, and men, say much the same on the Susan G. Komen page. Thankfully, the folks at SGK appear to have given up on deleting these posts, which I guess are the most frightening of all to them. What can you say about a Pro-Lifer that is appalled if you are at SGK? Miscalculation? The Pro-Lifers that get the fact that this decision potentially affected women who had no other source of ob/gyn health care. Who don't have the luxury of other services. 

These balanced, moral, Pro-Lifers understand what the Conservatives pressuring the Board of Komen seemingly did not. 

This is a universal issue. 

Even people who think differently from you or me deserve early detection and cancer screenings.

Even people who are diametrically opposed politically deserve this piece of healthcare.

If you want to sign petitions, you can go to:

PP Action

And don't forget to support Planned Parenthood on Facebook. Like them on Facebook here after you have Un-Liked Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

And if you can afford to, donate to Planned Parenthood, so they can make up for the funds lost from SGK. Not just now, but later.

Don't let the Christian Conservative Political Machine throw poor and uninsured women under the bus.

Don't let them think that throwing anyone under the bus of Cancer is acceptable.

© Bright Nepenthe, 2012

No comments:

Post a Comment