Standing with Planned Parenthood

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright once said that “there’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.”

Someone needs to tell that to Karen Handel, the Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s anti-choice vice president for public policy, who drove the decision to pull funding from Planned Parenthood, effectively throwing hundreds of thousands of uninsured women under the bus.

Komen, facing backlash from the left, apologized and said that its “original desire was to fulfill (its) fiduciary duty to (its) donors by not funding grant applications made by organizations under investigation.”

At first glance, this seems like a reasonable demand. However, Komen forgets that it is still funding cancer research at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center with a $7.5 million grant.

Last time I checked, Penn State was under investigation for a child molestation scandal; yet, Planned Parenthood is the only organization whose funding was removed.

Let’s be honest here, Komen, it’s really about the elephant in the room, isn’t it?

We all know that abortion is the real “A-word.” It is a taboo topic that polarizes this country’s politics. All of us have different moral and legal viewpoints on the issue, but it’s not about abortion this time.

It’s about the thousands of uninsured women who have access to affordable and even free mammograms and clinical breast exams that can detect cancer at an early stage thanks to Planned Parenthood.

Komen’s mission statement is “to save lives and end breast cancer forever by empowering people, ensuring quality of care for all and energizing science to find the cures.” The funding Komen gave Planned Parenthood funded 19 programs that provided low-income women in underserved communities with lifesaving care.

At the end of the day, cancer doesn’t discriminate between pro-choice or anti-choice, pro-life or anti-life. It can affect all of us the same.

It leaves me wondering, why is there a stigma attached to Planned Parenthood? Is it simply because they provide a safe location for a legal procedure?

Let me reiterate that abortion–related services make up only 3 percent of Planned Parenthood’s services.
No federal funding allocated to the organization goes to abortion- anyone desiring an abortion must pay out-of-pocket or rely on the aid of private organizations that put aside funding specifically for abortion related procedures.

Planned Parenthood is more than abortion. There are many individuals whose primary healthcare is Planned Parenthood because they cannot afford insurance.

No one should be denied care because of their socioeconomic status. Both women and men benefit from cancer screenings and preventive care, STI/STD testing, education and contraceptives. That is where most of the funding goes. Don’t take this away from the communities that benefit. Don’t let politics come in the way.

My name is Zainab Javed, and I stand with Planned Parenthood. I can only hope you will do the same.