Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Great Debate...

I started this post last night, but as of this morning Susan G. Komen Foundation has decided to reverse their decision on pulling grants and funds given to Planned Parenthood and Affilites.

Is this a victory? Not for those who do not support Planned Parenthood. But it is a victory in the sense that regardless of the organization that is receiving funds, it is a win for those who care about putting the health care of women first and foremost.

Written previously: The Great Debate of Susan G. Komen withdrawing funds and grants associated with Planned Parenthood is a hot subject this week. I've definitely had a lot of good discussions about this, but I am curious as to what you have to say.

First, I will stick with my argument before I go into some of the supporting arguments I've gotten from this. This is a very hard subject to stick to the point of. There are so many other topics that get pulled into this debate just because of the two names that are associated.

With Susan G. Komen Foundation pulling their funding from Planned Parenthood, I can only be devastated at the thought of how many women, primarily the lower income women who will no longer be getting low cost breast screening let alone the information to ensure healthy breast care. Whether this facility, dubbed "Planned Murderhood" is known for their "support" of abortion or not, it's still taking care away from hundreds of thousands of women each year. Is it due to politics? Or is it just a coincidence that the new VP of SGK Foundation, Karen Handel who in her run for governor over the state of Georgia, made it very clear on where she stands with Pro-Life? This is where all the other topics come into play in this scenario.

According to the Handel, this decision has nothing to do with politics, that it all has to do with contributors withdrawing funding from organizations like Planned Parenthood, being investigated by the GOVERNMENT for using government funding for acts such as abortion. So, if I am not mistaken, wouldn't that classify this is a government stint? Also, if that is their "excuse" to pull their funding to an organization under State or Federal investigation, then where is their withdraw to Penn State, which is funded nearly 7.5 million by SGK Foundation?

Regardless of the point above, there is obviously quite a lot of pressure for charitable dollars being granted to organizations notorious for, abortions. Maybe it has everything to do with pressure to pull funding from this organization lead by supporters of anti-abortion groups, and that the excuse is due to the government investigation.

But still, what about these women who will not be getting this care?

Here is where I will bring in the subtopics of this debate. 1). PPH doesn't even perform mammograms. This is what several supporters of the withdraw are stating. Fact: Of the four million women who got breast exams through Planned Parenthood clinics in the last five years, 70,000 were provided through the Foundation. So maybe SGK wasn't responsible for each and every exam, and PPH will surely rise above this and continue to screen women, but they certainly screen women for breast cancer by performing mammograms. Now in the offset of this "scheme" as I'll call it, over $650,000 has been raised by other charities to be certain PPH can continue their yearly check-ups. Note: Many of these new supporting charities are ALSO anti-abortion, however they see the importance of providing women with proper screenings and breast health.

When you even mention Planned Parenthood, a bitter taste is formed in your mouth based on the fact that this organization performs abortions. Even as abortion rates continue to decline, PPH and affiliates are still responsible for roughly 23% of all abortions performed in the US each year. This is only one aspect to their clinics. What about contraceptives? If you ask certain religious groups, contraceptives are just as "evil" as an abortion. It's to contracept life. Which provokes the argument of "what about the women and girls who use contraceptives, birth control, etc, for other health reasons such as heavy periods, or hormonal imbalances?" Oh.... yeah. Yes, this is generally ok, but not if it is administered through the hands of a PPH provider.

What about going to PPH for other health care? Routine visits, yearly exams, fertility, etc? Well from personal experience, I used to have all my exams done through a PPH facility. Was I going for an abortion? No? Did I ever talk to anyone about an abortion? Nope. I strictly went for a quarterly contraceptive and yearly exams. What's so bad about that? Well simply going to these facilities generates business. Business keeps the lights on. Keeping the lights on keeps the abortion procedures a reality. But what if you are a low income women, who just so happens to be of a different race and considered a minority? Planned Parenthood is generally in lower income neighborhoods, and typically have less strict health coverage requirements, thus advertising themselves to these women. So what if Planned Parenthood is your only option?

Do I believe in abortion? NO. I do strongly believe in the health care and well being for women though, and those specifically of lower class and minority who are being cared for, when others turn them away. In a perfect scenario, these facilities would be shut down, and the government would make more stringent laws mandating that other health care facilities, NOT performing abortions, would provide the same care for women at the same cost that PPH does. Of course that is another subject all together, and yes, there are other facilities out there who accommodate no health insurance, and low income families to their clinics, but they aren't as convenient as a Planned Parenthood placed in their neighborhood.

All in all, the controversy that this decision has sparked is going to be a never ending battle, but what people need to keep in mind, is that regardless of where the funding is given, it is going to help protect and keep millions of women informed and healthy, which hopefully one day will put an end to the devastating disease called Breast Cancer. Will this spark future withdraws? I personally believe it will. But also based on the outpour of support of those in favor of Planned Parenthood over SGK, I think it definitely goes to show where people's concerns lie. It's not about the "abortion mill", it's about preventing care. It's about an organization so adamant that their goal is to find a "cure" and save lives, withdrawing donations from an organization notorious for ending lives. There are so many other factors in the middle, that clearly have made their own marks of those who are both pro-life and pro-choice.

It will be interesting to see where this all goes. But for the time being, the importance needs to stay on providing care for women.