Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Politics of Charity

Susan G. Komen has stopped funding of Planned Parenthood due to political pressure. This is bad.

It is no surprise to anyone that politics drive charity and I wouldn't want someone or some organization to financially support another person or organization she or it does not support fundamentally.

However, in this case, a political witch hunt supported by radical elements of the rightwing have pushed an organization dedicated to the health and well-being of women to strip its funding of an organization that provides health and wellness services to women.

My good friend Adam has never given money to those really-well-meaning-but-always-in-my-way-street-volunteers before. Today he gave. I logged on to Planned Parenthood's website and made my donation. We need more men to do the same in the face of this news, and it has nothing to do with politics.

Going Pink is part of our national lexicon, much to the thanks of Susan G. Komen's work. People run 5ks clad in pink, baseball players swing pink bats and football stars sport pink shoes (which are snazzy), and pink ribbons hang from every house including the White House. But regardless of this life saving awareness, the illness still hits far too many every year.

Cancer destroys the lives of the rich and the poor. Patrick Hurd, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Virginia — a recipient of a 2010 grant from Komen — and whose wife, Betsi, has breast cancer, said in an NPR interview: "It sounds almost trite, going through this with Betsi, but cancer doesn't care if you're pro-choice, anti-choice, progressive, conservative. Victims of cancer could[n't] care less about people's politics."

Politics shouldn't get in the way of stopping cancer. These politics could kill women without access to other means of health services. And let's face some facts here: Planned Parenthood provides women without any other choice low cost health services. Yes, they provide abortions. They also provide prenatal services and cancer screenings and other womanly (and manly) health services.

So the reality is that the rich have better access, and the poor will die from what the rich can stop. That is wrong. Period. We as a society can avoid that outcome but we choose not to because of politics. Fighting an indiscriminate killer shouldn't be political, it is should be human.

But if more men (and women) click the link above and make up for those hundreds of thousands of dollars of lifesaving treatments, this act of political surrender could in fact end up helping more people.

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