Komen Foundation’s Move Would Hurt Women
As a breast cancer survivor, I have learned with deep dismay that the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation has decided to cease its funding of breast cancer screening, by Planned Parenthood, for poor and low income women. The Komen Foundation is withdrawing $600,000.- in annual funding to Planned Parenthood affiliates, with the excuse that an investigation of this organization is being conducted by Republican Rep. Cliff Stearns, one of the most militant anti-choice members of Congress. The so called investigation was launched after failed legislative attempts by Congress to withhold public funding for reproductive health services to women.
When I was first diagnosed with breast cancer, and had to undergo grueling treatments, the Komen foundation provided me with incredible support by connecting me with other women suffering the same fate and similar treatments. The support of these other breast cancer victims, many of whom received their health care through Planned Parenthood, was invaluable to me, and kept my spirits and my health going during some of the darkest moments of my life. Right wing groups now have pressured the Komen foundation to withdraw its support to women like myself. In their zeal to deny women basic medical care, conservative groups deny poor women some of the basic health care access enjoyed by other members of our society. How can they justify this action? Do they not have mothers? Wives? Daughters? Or Granddaughters? Would they deny breast cancer screening to female members of their own families, or only to poor women with no health care alternatives? I am outraged and deeply offended by the fact that a wonderful organization like Komen would have to succumb to such an abhorrent position.
The writer is a member of the Board of Directors of Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic.
Jane E. Yahil, Ph.D.
January 08, 2012