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File that one under jackass moves, Komen.

February 3, 2012

You guys know me well enough to know that I don’t do politics. I will inform myself well enough to vote confidently and that is it. I really don’t care to argue religion because it almost never is a fair fight and who can really argue right or wrong on a faith-based belief system anyway? 

But there is one thing that I have been proud to stand up and argue about, most passionately for 20 years, and that is a woman’s right to choose.

It all started in 8th grade when we were each assigned controversial topics to debate in class. We had to research the subject, form our position and debate it properly. I got assigned abortion. As the pro-life advocate.

At 13, I was struggling with my own faith as it was, but I had never really formed an opinion on the abortion issue. Maybe because it wasn’t but a year before that I learned where babies actually came from, or maybe it was because we didn’t really talk about it at home. Either way, I went into the research portion of my assignment and the more I learned, the less I felt comfortable in arguing for an overturn of Roe v. Wade. In fact, I went to the teacher and told her, “I can’t debate this, I don’t agree with it.” And she told me that a good debater could form a convincing argument regardless of their personal beliefs.

Turns out, I’m not a good debater.

I was challenged to find solid evidence that this is a wrong and murderous act. I simply do not believe that it is within our human comprehension to give a specific definition of when life begins, nor is there biblical evidence to support it. With that, I concluded, if you cannot solidly define life, you cannot also define death. Quality of life and economics aside, I just can’t fathom attempting to say something we don’t even understand is blackandwhitenoexceptionsandnodoubtaboutit wrong. On that very merit, I’ve been pro-choice ever since.

I find myself tangled in pro-choice/pro-life debates at least once a year, and it always goes the same way: we start off stating our positions, we rebut each other, and then I get called a plethora of names, get told that I shouldn’t dare consider myself a Christian and someone always tells me they’ll pray for my soul. That’s usually when I gracefully bow out because my blood starts boiling at the lunacy of it all.

I got entangled in one of these debates starting yesterday and it bled into today, after a guy who, oddly enough, I go to church with, posted his bravos about the Susan G. Komen foundation pulling their funding from Planned Parenthood. I’ve spent the better part of my day with my blood boiling at the fallible arguments, the ignorance and the name-calling that inevitably ensued, but I stood my ground and knew, when I got a note from an old friend that she was proud of me for standing up for what I believe in, that I did the right thing by speaking up. I don’t get passionate about much, but when Planned Parenthood gets attacked, I get pissed.

I’ve written letters to Congressmen, I’ve pledged my funds, I’ve shared the news that while Planned Parenthood provides abortions to 12% (another source shows it as low as 3%) of its clients, their mission remains what it has always been: to educate women (and men) in being sexually healthy in an effort to prevent unwanted pregnancies and save lives.

Personally, Planned Parenthood has been there for me in times when I needed them the most – to get tested for HIV when I became sexually active at 19, to provide me with affordable birth control options and cancer screenings when I didn’t have insurance, and they were there when I found myself pregnant and alone, not knowing what I should do. So yeah, I’m sick and tired of the attacks because this organization has done so much for me.

It saddens me that Komen pulled their funding, although I am proud to see that the Denver affiliate did not. I get why they did it – if Planned Parenthood isn’t providing the mammogram services, they wanted to cut out the middle man, but how about going back to Planned Parenthood and saying, “you’ve got to provide these services directly if you expect to receive this money.”  It leads me to believe that the pulling of funding was a political move. I understand if you are avidly pro-life, how it would bother you to support an organization that provides a service that you do not agree with, but it irks me that women’s health has been reduced to nothing more than a political game.

These are our mothers, our sisters, our daughters, our friends, and with this move, they have become nothing but pawns in a political power play and that just isn’t right.

I’m honestly not sure what news upset me more, the fact that Komen pulled their funding from Planned Parenthood, or the fact that so little of the money they raise goes toward finding a cure. After learning that, I encourage you, if you support the cause of finding a cure, to send your money directly here, where leading researchers use 100% of the funds for cancer research.

  1. February 7, 2012 12:51 pm

    I walked in two 60-mile 3-days for SGK and they nickel & dime the walkers to raise the money. It’s an astronomical amount to raise in the first place, and if you don’t make the minimum you have to put a personal credit card on the line to make up the difference. SGK’s founder came to talk about her book at work here and my friend tried to ask them if we could have a bake sale at the lecture to raise money for our regular 3-day team…her charity. Their response was they would have to “talk to their people.” Why? It’s our facility! Then we found out that (documented fact) SGK uses donor funds to litigate and sue other charities to prevent them from using the words “For a Cure” and heaven help them if they also use the color pink. That was the tip of the iceberg for me. I’m all for raising money to end breast cancer, but not the way that SGK does it.

    • February 19, 2012 8:54 pm

      WOW. I never knew about that…makes me rethink the whole thing all together.

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