Disclaimer: This is more for those who rant against Planned Parenthood (for what I have to hope are uneducated reasons) since most of you I know are already up in arms about this.
In case you missed it, the Susan G. Komen Foundation has decided to stop giving funds to Planned Parenthood out of pressure from pro-life groups. Now first, as far as the Komen foundation goes (these are the race for the cure people), they are one of the worst possible places ya’ll could give money too. Less than a third of every dollar donated goes to charity & research. In fact, last year, the foundation gave a little over 600,000 to Planned Parenthood. While Susan G. Komen’s salary was nearly 500,000 dollars. Also, they spend over a million dollars every year taking legal action against any group that uses the phrase “for the cure”. And we’re not talking about going against groups who are using it to try and make money through merchandise. They sue the little grassroots groups who try and raise money for lung cancer cures, or diabetes cures or other breast cancer research. The Foundation is complete bullshit and I’m very glad this is cluing people in.
As to Planned Parenthood. These guys get a bad rap from certain groups because they provide abortions. If you read my blog or pay attention to anything I say, you know that I have what I guess would be called a nuanced pro-life/choice viewpoint. You can ask me to explain more on twitter or in the comments or via email if that helps. But whenever a pro-lifer brings up the subject to me, I always point out that yelling at people won’t change their minds. Education and knowledge change people’s minds.
So here’s the first thing to understand. Planned Parenthood helps provide basic health care to women around the country at a very low cost. I’ve taken advantage of this. I have numerous friends who have taken advantage. There simply are not enough or not large enough other groups that offer this service to provide a counter option to Planned Parenthood. I actually feel pretty proud that in my town, a young woman has started her own clinic to help young moms, from any walk of life, get health care, counseling and cover medical bills from giving birth because she doesn’t agree with PP. She has an issue with them so she came up with a solution. That’s great. But solutions like this aren’t everywhere and even as much as her clinic does, it can’t help me since I am not a mom. That’s where Planned Parenthood is so helpful.
My good friend Erin wrote about the current issue on her blog and has some great suggestions on ways to take action and help out so please take a look. If you’ve been helped by Planned Parenthood or know someone who has, you could really make a difference.
And so here’s my final thought. If you disagree with Planned Parenthood’s offering of abortion services, try being smart about how you fight. Don’t try to get funding dropped. The organization does a lot of good. Instead, consider offering an alternative. Taking away affordable healthcare because you don’t like one aspect of the healthcare is stupid and dangerous to many individuals. Offering an alternative of affordable health care is a much better solution. If a 26 year old can start a clinic on her own, I’m sure you can figure out how. Or fight against the service you have an issue with, rather than fighting a worthwhile organization as a whole. This doesn’t just go for PP either. You should do this in many other cases as well. And if you are interested in supporting Planned Parenthood, but don’t want your money going to a specific part of the charity, SAY SO. You can earmark funds for a specific need when donating. It doesn’t have to go into a giant pool of funds where you never know what your money is supporting. Hell, you could go in and write a check to cover 5 health screenings a month and that’s what your money will go to.
In essence, the point I’m hopefully trying to make is that you should always do your research and think before blindly demanding funding be revoked or calling “off with their heads”. Education before destruction. Now go tell the Komen Foundation to give that funding back!