Monday, February 13, 2012

THE POLITICAL WORLD : Komen for the Cure?

Can a group proclaiming to speak the truth for all, obstruct the health and rights of so many women?


Here’s the scenario:

Behind The Scene
Americans United for Life (AUL) is a group that refers to its anti-abortion coercion centers as providing “compassionate and nonjudgmental services” and they aim to “undercut the abortion industry’s bottom line” (from AUL’s website). What they are really saying is they don’t want Planned Parenthood (PP) to be able to counsel women on their options.  Calling health options an "industry" implies PP (and other similar organizations) is profiting from the health care directed at poor and low-income woman. PP is clearly making itself available to help poor women; how it could make money from this as readily as an "industry" implies, is beyond me. My daughter, when visiting planned parenthood, has the option of getting needed prescriptions for free because she does not have a job. Imagine the amount of people in her same predicament, and the assistance PP gives them each. How much money is PP really standing to gain? Let's explore AUL's attempted sabotage of PP... 

Scene 1

AUL sways Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla. and staunchly pro-life), head of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, to launch an extensive inquisition into PP. Stearns is hoping to get Congress to revoke PP’s taxpayer funds.
Now there is yet another official investigation into PP  (there already was a similar one just recently and PP was vindicated) with a sneaky goal of revoking all taxpayer funds from PP.

Enter Stage Right
Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation

Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation announces it will quit funding PP because PP is under investigation by Rep. Stearns’ committee. Komen just happens to have a brand new policy of not funding organizations under investigation. Interesting, right?
Also, the new senior vice president for public policy at Komen is Karen Handel  (who has been endorsed by Sarah Palin and is a staunch anti-abortionist, is anti stem-cell research, and has vowed to chip away at PP’s grants). The president of the foundation, Nancy Brinker, is a huge GOP supporter with ties to George W Bush.  The Komen foundation has, in the past, denied funds for stem-cell research as well. Can you feel the building tension?

Next Day
PP, MoveOn and many other organizations immediately send out emails for people to sign petitions to speak out against Komen’s decision.
In a flurry of outrage and the signing of petitions, PP receives financial support from supporters. Michael Bloomberg (NY) pledges a matching grant of $250,000 and the CEO of Bonanza Oil (Tx) pledges another $250,000. Some employees and volunteers of Komen quit in response to Komen’s attack on PP. Can you feel Komen quaking? 

Three Days Later
Nancy Brinker of Komen announces that the foundation will, after all, fund PP this time around.
Side note to the audience: you cannot create any foundation or hold any event with the words for The Cure----Komen has bought the rights to it and they threaten law suits to keep anyone from using it.

Day Four

Karen Handel, vice president of public policy at the Susan G. Komen Foundation for the Cure, has resigned.  She claimed that her strategy had been vetted by the foundation's board and leaders earlier, and that her plans had been discussed before she was even hired. 

Last Scene (But Not The End)
We really need to be on the alert for the groups whose goals are to rule our lives and make decisions for us all. But, thanks to the Komen v. PP battle, all of us are now a little more savvy.

The Woman Behind the Politic World Section:
Lesa Martin, after retiring from a career of professional ballet and graduating from UCLA, has sparked a wonderful career as a multi-media artist. She has shown her work in the SF Momma Rental Gallery, and has many ambitious plans concerning enticing new paintings people are itching to see! Multi-faceted Mrs. Martin is also deeply engaged with politics, nose buried in the New York Times daily. Here, she brings us a real, accessible woman's perspective on politics. Enjoy!

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