Every day this week has brought a different story, a different excuse and a different justification from CEO Nancy Brinker for the “Board of Director’s” decision to cut funding for breast cancer screenings to Planned Parenthood. As of this moment, Ms. Brinker has just announced the Susan G. Komen Foundation has reversed their decision and will again be funding breast exams for poor and minority women who use Planned Parenthood as their sole source for health services. If Nancy Brinker and the Susan Komen Foundation are expecting a pat on the back from me… well, like my daddy used to say, “they can shit in one and wish in the other and see which one gets filled up first.” Right on, Daddy. Because I don’t trust these people one bit.
Their move to defund Planned Parenthood moved me to read their publicly available IRS tax returns and you deserve to know what’s in them. The top person makes over $500,000 a year salary. The #2 executive makes over $400,000 and several executives there are at the $200,000 level. In 2007, 23.5% of their donations actually went to “the race for the cure”. In 2008, that number spiked to a whopping 26.7% and in 2009, it plunged to 20.2%. So, for every $1 I donated to them in 2009, less than 21 cents of that dollar went to actual people and the rest paid for their bloated overhead. What, exactly, does the CEO of a non-profit actually do to earn a half a million donated dollars? Why, lie to the public, of course. This woman has future Congresswoman written all over her resume.
So, when they question the honesty of Planned Parenthood, the most highly scrutinized non-profit organization in America today, take it with a grain of salt.
Like every other American, I have been touched by breast cancer. A dear friend, LaDonna “Sue” Hurst was my soul sister and one of the finest teachers of the mentally handicapped who ever walked this earth was taken from us by this terrible disease. My best friend Julie’s mom, Martha, went to a doctor with a lump in her breast and pain and was told to go home, put a hot pack on it and call the doctor in 6 months. 6 months later, her mother was dead. My friend Pat who owns a local Indie bookstore was diagnosed with breast cancer. I watched her bravely struggle through chemo and come out on the other side with damaged heart valves from the treatment, though the doctors failed to share that salient detail with her prior to the treatments. I don’t believe I know anyone who isn’t somehow connected to someone stricken by this disease – which tells you how pervasive and insidious it truly is – and how important early detection is for the survival of the women who get it. I thought long and hard about those three wonderful women in my life when I heard this news and thought to myself, “How many more women have to die before they see how harmful this is and why, would SGK, of all people, cut funding to poor and low income women who are the most vulnerable?” It made no sense at all… until I began to follow the brown-stained political trail.
The first story by CEO Nancy Brinker: “A review of the grant guidelines indicated the money would be better spent elsewhere.” The second story: “SGK felt the money would be better directed to facilities that provide more direct services, like mammograms.” The third story: “SGK does not fund grant applications to organizations under investigation.” Certain more socially Conservative politicians have made sure PP is and remains under investigation, hoping beyond hope they can “catch” them using federal funding to provide abortions as a means of defunding them and shutting them down permanently. You see, these people don’t care that less than 3% of all the services provided by Planned Parenthood is abortion. They don’t care that 75% of all women who come there have incomes more than 150% BELOW the poverty line. Why, someone right here on this network promoted the very idea that Planned Parenthood is participating in eugenics as a means of carrying out some sort of “black genocide”, completely ignoring the fact that white women, by far, are the recipients of more abortions through Planned Parenthood than any other racial demographic. So these “Social Conservatives” can say anything they like, this is an attack on women, especially poor and minority women and what you’re telling America is that poor and minority women can die of breast cancer and you’re okay with that, so long as everyone forgets that abortion is still LEGAL in this country. As long as we terrorize abortion doctors, bomb clinics, murder providers and defund the one place a women can obtain a SAFE and LEGAL and CONSTITUTIONAL abortion, it’s okay to let women die of breast cancer to stop that 3% of their activities. All one has to do is to take a look at the President of SGK and then look at her failed gubernatorial run, her platform, her relationships and the rest of her political connections to understand the disingenuousness of Nancy Brinker’s comments that SGK’s decision wasn’t political. Yes, it was. One need only Google the words “Susan G. Koman” and “scandal” to witness 4 years of relentless attacks by the Right, pressuring SGK to defund Planned Parenthood. And if you think it’s not about abortion, all you have to do is look at the banner atop every one of those websites touting the number of Planned Parenthood abortions vs the number of mammograms provided. Clearly, they failed to attend high school health class the day breast exams were discussed. Clearly, they don’t understand that when one goes to Planned Parenthood and the manual palpation of the breast occurs, the doctors aren’t doing it for their health, they’re doing it for the woman’s health. So many of the doctors and nurses at Planned Parenthood educate their patients on the importance of self-examination – since that is the #1 way most breast cancers are initially found – NOT by mammograms – that aren’t even recommended for women under the age of 40. Did you know that nearly 10 percent of all breast cancers occur in women under 40? Did you realize that manual breast exams (both self-exams and those performed by a health professional) are almost always the way those are detected? The Pro-Life movement is only pro-life regarding your uterus. When it comes to your breasts… eh, not so much.
I, for one, have been a strong supporter of the Susan G. Komen Foundation for many years. I’ve participated in their events, purchased their products and donated a tidy sum of money. That ended this week. Even with their decision to restore funding to Planned Parenthood, they didn’t do it because they’d suddenly come to the realization they were condemning some women to death, they did it based solely on public pressure because they’re too blind to understand the hypocrisy of their own actions and the deplorable public relations job done by their CEO, Nancy Brinker. If you’re like me, you’ve already made your check out to Planned Parenthood. That’s one check I’d send because you can trust they’ll use it for the purposes intended – not making any judgments about their clientele or the reasons they’ve come… but truly saving lives.
Carol Baker is a political writer, satirist, and co-host with Vicki Childs of our Here Women Talk weekly internet talk radio show called BROADSIDED. You can hear their show every Thursday at 11 am Eastern/10 Central/8 Pacific.