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No one chooses to get breast cancer. It is something that descends upon people, mostly women, without their say so. And if they had the say so, they’d say ‘NO, I don’t want that.’ But it would be their choice. Breast cancer doesn’t give people choices. 

Right now it seems the Susan G Komen foundation is acting just like breast cancer and taking away choices for women. The Komen has made a bold move and decided to stop funding Planned Parenthood where many women will get education about breast cancer and initial screenings for it. They say it’s not political, but with all the recent attacks on Planned Parenthood and reproductive choices for women, how could it not be? Not to mention the foundation’s now (since April 2011) vice- president Karen Handel was previously  very vocal about her anti-choice stance when she ran in 2010 to be Georgia’s governor.

Planned Parenthood doctors and nurses teach patients about breast care, connect patients to resources to help them get vital biopsies, ultrasounds, and mammograms, and follow up to make sure patients are cared for with the attention they need and deserve. They have just been told that they will no longer get the funding they were previously given by the Komen Foundation to provide manual breast exams.

So, go somewhere else for an exam. What’s the big deal with Planned Parenthood? The deal is this: It serves all women, many of them are poor and many who don’t have insurance. Women who don’t have other options for their healthcare. So, the Komen Foundation defunding Planned Parenthood hurts poor women without other healthcare options the most.

Planned Parenthood provides unbiased education that makes women aware of their bodies, health and options. With their breast cancer screenings, Planned Parenthood saves lives.

Planned Parenthood provides quality low cost health care to women. This includes education about health concerns, health exams including breast exams, pap smears, testing for STDS, education about birth control, education about sex, and information about options for unwanted pregnancies including adoption and abortion. They provide abortions if a woman makes the choice to get one, but they also provide so many other services that have nothing to do with abortion. To get an abortion is a very serious choice a woman has to make and women don’t make it flippantly. Planned Parenthood provides information about a woman’s options so she can make her choice for herself. The key is choice.

Right now when women have a baby, they make a choice not to get an abortion. It is their choice to have the baby. Susan G. Komen has fallen to the political push to defund Planned Parenthood because of  abortion- even though abortion is only one of the many services Planned Parenthood provides and even though it provides necessary services for women and women’s health. The Komen Foundation is working against women’s health and our ability to make choices for ourselves. How sad!

The Susan G. Komen Foundation says: “As the world’s largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists, we’re working together to save lives, empower people, ensure quality care for all and energize science to find the cures.” Unfortunately they are not just cutting their support from Planned Parenthood, they are cutting their support for women being able to make choices for their bodies in the face of a disease that does not allow them any choice. 

What we have is one “woman’s issue” against another. (note: “women’s issue” is in quotes because it should be everyone’s issue). Taking away healthcare for women makes women more at risk of disease and death. This is half the population being put at risk by an organization that is supposedly trying to save women. One “women’s issue” against another will keep us busy for a while as the patriarchal system slowly takes away our rights one at a time until we have none and must rely on men to be our guardians and make our choices for us.

Grrl Code: Women need to support women. Breast cancer affects women and doesn’t let us make choices about whether we want it or not or about how it affects our bodies. We need to be able to make our own choices. Support women making our own choices. Support women’s health and healthcare. Susan G. Komen and Planned Parenthood should be on the same side, not one working against the other.

These are some serious infractions by the Komen Foundation against the Grrl Code and yes, they are politically motivated.

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