Susan G. Komen's Split From Planned Parenthood Hurts ALL Women -- Even You

susan g. komen walkIf you find yourself responding with complacency or even satisfaction to the news that Susan G. Komen for the Cure is halting its partnership with Planned Parenthood affiliates and cutting off hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants for breast exams and other breast health services, then you REALLY AREN'T GETTING IT.

The reason the nation's leading breast-cancer charity gave for why it is ending this years-long partnership? A recently adopted rule that forbids it from funding any organization under government investigation (as we know, PP is currently being investigated by Congress to determine whether it uses public money to fund abortions). Of course, PP in turn is accusing Komen of bowing to pressure from anti-abortion activists.

I know it's difficult, but try to put aside your abortion politics for just one minute and recognize this split for what it is -- a sad and devastating assault on ALL women and their health here in America.


These two huge organizations have long partnered in being advocates for women's health and assisting millions of women in getting the health care that they need. Now, they're being pitted against each other, ugly words are being exchanged on both sides, and women feel forced to choose one organization over the other.

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What's that? You still don't care? Well, go ahead and start reading the comments section at the end of all the news stories. No doubt you'll see some pretty horrible comments from BOTH sides that essentially boil down to one of these: "Planned Parenthood is the devil" and "I'm never donating to Komen ever again." No good can come from such angry divisiveness among women -- especially about something as serious as their health. Let's recognize this division between organizations that previously stood in solidarity for what it is: a tragedy.

Women may be divided across political lines over this, but that isn't the only split this broken partnership is perpetuating: There's also a class divide that's getting even wider because of this severed tie. It's mostly lower income women -- for whom Planned Parenthood is their only source of health care -- who will be affected by the halt in funding. You can say you don't care, but that's a pretty heartless way to respond to the fact that this will only increase the health disparities that these women face every day.

More from The Stir: Susan G. Komen's Defunding of Planned Parenthood: 5 Ways to Protest Responsibly

Previously, it didn't matter whether we were pro- or against abortion rights: We could still be pro-breast cancer research, awareness, and preventative measures regardless of our stance on abortion. But now this split is forcing us to make a choice, dividing us over something that before we all agreed on, and endangering the health of millions of women. And THAT should make you furious.

Does the news that Komen is halting its partnership with PP make you angry? Why?

Image via audreyjm529/Flickr

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