Several loyal readers have recently written missives to the Palace regarding the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation debacle, and inquiring whether I intended to write about it. In a nutshell: the board at the iconic breast cancer charity was infiltrated by panty-sniffing wingnuts who decided to cut its massive funding grant to Planned Parenthood. The reason it gives for denying thousands of women the *ahem* breast cancer screening services that Planned Parenthood provides at low cost to thousands of women is that its (brand new) rules prohibit it from funding organizations that are under investigation for criminal activity. Not coincidentally, Planned Parenthood is presently the target of a witch hunt by panty sniffing wingnuts in Congress. Amanda Marcotte writes:
They claim that it’s because Planned Parenthood is under investigation, but it seems that excuse was ginned up because it was easy cover for caving into anti-choice nuts. The investigation has been launched as a nuisance investigation by an anti-choice congressman, and is not compelled by any sincere concern that Planned Parenthood is violating the law with its funds.
The Komen story exploded around the ol’ blogosphere, with progressives outraged and panty sniffing wingnuts predictably rejoicing at the thought of women missing out on the early detection of their breast cancer. How many women? According to Planned Parenthood, about 4.3 percent of the 4 million breast exams it performed in the past five years were funded by Komen grants. According to my Ladymath™ that makes 172,000 breast cancer screenings, for a grand total of 344,000 breasts.
As I told my loyal correspondent yesterday, I was not sure I was going write about this because it had already been done to death. (Not that that’s ever stopped me before…) But then, lo and behold, the Palace awoke to a promising new chapter in this sorry tale:
Planned Parenthood Federation of America may have already replaced the $680,000 in funding it lost from the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation for its breast-cancer prevention programs, the group said today.
Riding a wave of Internet appeals, Planned Parenthood received pledges of $400,000 from 6,000 donors as of 2 p.m. yesterday, said Tait Sye, a spokesman. Three large donors also surfaced: The Amy and Lee Fikes’ Foundation, run by the head of closely-held Bonanza Oil Co. in Dallas, pledged $250,000; New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he’ll match the next $250,000 given and Credo, a mobile-phone company, promised $200,000.
To which I can only reply: Hahaha! Good. (And also: Hey, Mayor Bloomberg? Stop trying to make me like you. You’re a fucking Republican, fer chrissakes.)
“Politics has no place in health care,” Bloomberg, the New York mayor, said in the statement about his donation. “Breast cancer screening saves lives and hundreds of thousands of women rely on Planned Parenthood for access to care. We should be helping women access that care, not placing barriers in their way.”
(WTF? I said knock it off, Mike! Well, at least we know for sure that you’re not planning on running for president any time soon. So that’s good.)
To get an idea what the voices of reason and sanity and Mayors of New York are up against, Tony Perkins, Asshat-in-Chief of the Washington-based
Family Patriarchy Research Council generously obliges us by providing a snapshot into the wild derangement characteristic of minds afflicted with Conservative Personality Disorder:
“Susan G. Komen’s decision to stop funding the abortion industry is good news for women seeking help dealing with breast cancer,” said Tony Perkins, the council president, in a statement. “This is also good news for the lives of many unborn babies.”
The fractal wrongness on display in just these two sentences is so dense I’m afraid it could become a black hole at any moment. See, in REALITY, Susan G. Komen’s decision is actually TERRIBLE news for women seeking help dealing with breast cancer, not “good news.” Also, there is no “abortion industry” being defunded here, since Planned Parenthood is a NOT-FOR-PROFIT organization, which cannot BY LAW distribute surplus revenue as profit OR dividends. (And unlike, say, the
Family Patriarchy Research Council, there is no cabal of depraved and greedy white men sitting around a boardroom table at Planned Parenthood scheming about how they can personally get RICH at the expense of women’s lives, health, and well-being.) And Komen’s grants, of course, have NEVER had ANYTHING whatsoever to do with funding Planned Parenthood’s ABORTION services, which comprise only 3% (that’s THREE PERCENT) of Planned Parenthood’s work. Etc., etc., etc., etc., etc.
(After READING so many CRAZY comments about the Komen STORY, I was inspired to experiment here with the WINGNUT-preferred “RANDOM all CAPS” idiom. I just THOUGHT I’d TRY it to see IF I like it. It turns OUT that I DO not, AND therefore I shall now CEASE.)
If you have not done so already and are inclined to sign a petition or two, Credo’s is here, and MoveOn’s is here. If you’ve got a few dollars to give to Planned Parenthood’s Breast Health Fund, please go here. There, you will learn that the Mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, will match whatever amount you care to give, up to $250,000.00.
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On a related note, Amanda Marcotte has a good post about why the 3% number is such an outsized issue for wingnuts that they will stop at nothing to shut down Planned Parenthood for good. After all, Planned Parenthood is the largest provider of reproductive health services in the United States, and prevents more abortions in a single day than all the screeching wingnuts in the world — combined — ever have. She writes:
I realized that anti-choicers do this so well because the war on reproductive health care is basically a witchhunt, and the religious fundamentalists behind it are the modern day version of medieval paranoids of old who believed that women who didn’t conform to their exacting standards were consorting with Satan. In fact, considering the span of time and cultural change, the fact that the argument hasn’t changed at all—they really do believe pro-choice health care providers are consorting with Satan—is almost startling. It’s like they lifted it directly from their medieval ancestors. Except, instead of condemning witches to the stake, they simply want to keep them from doing their jobs, and allowing the other witches, i.e. women whose sexual choices they disapprove of, suffer from various afflications ranging from forced childbirth to death from cervical cancer as a warning to others to stay away from the devil’s playground of sexual pleasure. And like traditional witch hunters, they have lurid imaginations, and project all their strange fantasies onto their targets, which is why abortion providers or even just pro-choice clinics have been accused of everything from running sex trafficking rings to instigating genocide to putting fetuses in food. [WTF? -Ed.] And that’s on top of the lurid accusations flung at the kinds of women who might visit a Planned Parenthood, especially unmarried young women. Those women are accused of creating sex cults around Plan B, organizing orgies for the strange purpose of getting really colorful penises in the room, and of using abortion as “birth control”, i.e. preferring the no-doubt unequalled pleasures of a good uterus scraping to boring old pill use.
You can point out repeatedly that 97% of its services are not abortion, but in their mind, that’s like saying that the accused witch spent some of her time not doing witchcraft. In their minds, while she slept she was consorting with Satan, and time spent with her pet cat now is her consorting with a familiar.
It is well worth remembering that witchcraft did not and does not exist in reality, and of course neither does Satan. But the belief that witchcraft was real resulted in centuries of hell on earth, and a lot of dead bodies piled up. Mostly women’s.
Oh, and cats, too. (What the fuck is it with these people and the cats?) As the bubonic plague raged through medieval Europe like wildfire, people held fast to the belief that the Black Death was the Christian God’s wrath against sin. (I know. That god is such an asshole.) Obviously cats are all in league with the Devil, so they were killed in massive numbers in order to help stop the spread of the plague. Unfortunately for the kitty-killers, the major disease vector of the plague was the rodent population, which those cats could have kept in check.
False beliefs are dangerous. This is why I am not a quiet atheist: I am unapologetically, stridently anti-religion.
And now if you will excuse me, I must go consort with my cat to summon Satan. I’m throwing a big abortion party at the Palace tonight, and I think he’ll make a really fun surprise guest. As usual, stirrups and vacuums will be provided, but B.Y.O.S. (Bring Your Own Speculum).