Oh, the outrage being directed at Pink! I’m not going to attack the Komen Foundation for pulling Planned Parenthood’s funding – it was a poor choice that they’ve since corrected. It would be dishonest for me not to admit that I’ve kept my distance from Planned Parenthood and have at times been concerned about potential backlash from being in the vicinity of the group – not that I don’t support their work.
Many women’s organizations believe in the work of Planned Parenthood because we know and understand the myriad of services offered. Pro-lifers tend to overlook all the good Planned Parenthood does and focus on abortion, which only represents three percent of their overall services to women. Regardless of where you stand on the abortion issue, it’s hard to argue the fact that Planned Parenthood has helped nearly 1.6 million men and women with cancer screenings. And believe it or not, STD testing and treatment makes up the largest portion of the services performed at 38 percent.
I do understand the pressure the Komen Foundation must have been under when they made their decision, Planned Parenthood is a controversial organization. I have to admit that I was surprised to see so many women and men rally around Planned Parenthood and fight for women’s health. Women especially went on the defense for the organization and demanded Planned Parenthood not be defunded based on pressures from pro-life camps. Abortion rights were established shortly after I was born, so I haven’t seen this sort of outcry before around women’s reproductive rights.
The PR and relationship offices of the Komen Foundation have their work cut out for them for the near future. When they’re done with this media storm and relationship repairing, I wonder if they can explain a few things…like how in the name of “pink” does this newest partnership with Discount Gun Sales promoting a “pink” handgun relate to breast cancer awareness, besides being pink-washed? Or, the partnership Komen formed with KFC promoting ”pink” buckets of fried chicken. Now, I like fried chicken just as much as the next person and I could live on the mashed potatoes and gravy at KFC, but this isn’t exactly healthy fare – isn’t that what the pink promotion is supposed to be about, promoting health and awareness?
The upside to this fiasco is that it sparked a conversation about women’s health that hasn’t happened in years and put breast cancer screening and awareness on the front page. Perhaps it educated and has provided low income women who didn’t think they could afford a mammogram with a resource. Also a plus, the record fundraising, including a $250,000 matching pledge from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, will assist Planned Parenthood in providing even more cancer screenings – which is good for all women.