Under The Bus

I think it’s time to revive this two-year-old-post:

If the Pink Ribbon people cared, at this point, about anything but perpetuating a proven money-maker (race organizers anyone? event planners? Grant ho’s? Party favors?) they would be screeching Foul, you should pardon the expression, at the very idea of the Kentucky Fried Chicken people selling disease-causing, ecosystem-demolishing food in pink buckets.

I think I liked it better when people exploited boobs just by displaying them.

How about that: this week, the Susan G. Komen [“Race for the Cure”] Foundation, citing a rapidly slapped-up operating rule prohibiting the funding of organizations “under investigation,” withdrew funding from Planned Parenthood, which provides women with basic medical care, cancer screening of all types, STD testing and prevention, contraception and contraceptive counseling, and… oh, yeah, some abortions. (The stated estimate is that abortions involve about three per cent of PPFA services, though it’s not clear if that’s “three dollars in a hundred” or “three patients in a hundred” — either way, not exactly their flagship menu item.)

There is a lot of ranting and shaming of the Komen foundation going on around the Net. What people are not grasping, so far as I can see across the media, is that Komen has been shameless for dog-years. They partner with any corporation willing to slap a pink ribbon on something and say they are funding women’s health, no matter how many carcinogenic products or emissions emanate from those industries. They tootle and drum about mammograms as if this questionable, possibly injurious screening method — responsible for any number of nightmare false positives that other methods avoid — were in itself the cure for breast cancer.

Now the Komen foundation has quietly let a known anti-choice political aspirant into its VP slot, and in no time at all we hear that the so-called pro-life movement has hijacked the goodwill questionably garnered by Komen and its relentless parade of hyped-up media events to stage a high-profile withdrawal of funding from Planned Parenthood. Look! they will cry. This wonderful woman-helping good-doing foundation has cut off the awful Planned Parenthood witches! Who will follow suit?

Planned Parenthood doesn’t stage breast cancer walks, or get some tacky ribbon logo printed on everything from windbreakers to water bottles. (They do hand out some cute-as-hell condoms in pink packages at public events, but you rarely wear these to the gym. I hope.) They have too many other things that need doing with the money they get.

I was seventeen when Planned Parenthood clinics helped me obtain exams, birth control pills, and later an IUD that, whatever my subsequent vexed relationship with it, helped me have a sex life without getting pregnant, something every woman has got a right to do to the extent that science makes it possible. Let us be very clear. If I had ever in my life become pregnant and been unable to obtain an abortion, I would have blown my brains out, preferably on the steps of the Capitol (it’s a short walk). For some of us, the mere idea is right up there with the chest-burster scene in Alien, okay?

Let that sink in: because a group called Planned Parenthood was around, I could have relationships, even if I was in college and had no money and couldn’t imagine going to my parents’ doctor or affording my own, without the fear of death sitting on my shoulder. I don’t mean death in childbirth, I mean the death I would have preferred to that degree of annexation and violation of my body from the inside.

The people who just threw Planned Parenthood under the bus — along with the millions of women it serves — clearly have no place in their mental universe for poor women, or emotionally molten seventeen-year-olds. They are just crowing and congratulating themselves about the clever end run they have performed, and I’m betting that the Komen organization is way too confident of the smug goodwill it has coined over the years to care about what happens to actual women and real live young girls.

So, for today, two suggestions to anyone who can relate to my position:

1. Send a small donation to Planned Parenthood. Anything helps.

2. Take and send to the Komen Foundation a recognizable photo of your bare ass.

OK, just kidding about that last. But they need to know they aren’t fooling anybody. I’ll say something ironic, funny or arcane next post. But just for the moment, I’m pissed.


8 thoughts on “Under The Bus

  1. Some more good links. It looks like a second wave of more astute coverage is in progress.
    A film about Komen and how far they’ve strayed from real advocacy and into corporate hype:
    A bracing article about Komen’s apparent comfort with taking donations from the fraud-riddled Bank Of America:
    And Komen’s casual sabotage of an attempt to fund treatment for uninsured breast cancer sufferers:
    Oh, and look who’s taking credit! Remember Sen. David Vitter, the guy who hired sex workers through the “DC Madam” and dressed in diapers with them, enjoying exactly the sex life he wanted as long as no one got caught? Of course, the DC Madam was judicially put through hell and found dead at her home, while Vitter’s still in the Senate doing this kind of thing.

    • It looks like the wallets have been opening up all over. I can’t think of a better way to make the point to the wingnuts that people actually trust women of all ages, and think they deserve to have help there when they need it.

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