Wednesday marked the start of Black History Month. This is the one month that is set aside to uplift Americans who are part of the African Diaspora. Americans that disproportionately lack comprehensive health care and as a result are more likely to die from lack of screening for diseases. This is why I was more than shocked to find out that Susan G Komen Foundation picked yesterday to announce they they will cut funds to Planned Parenthood an organization that gave almost 170,000 free breast exams to women in lower income areas of the US, women who would otherwise have never been screened.
Despite the foundations reneging on pulling their support , I feel greatly betrayed. I feel angry that an organization that I donated hundreds of dollar to over the years can basically tell me that I could just go die. For many years Planned Parenthood was the only health center I had available to me and I benefited greatly from their affordable tests and educational seminars. It was Planned Parenthood not the Susan G Komen Foundation that gave free seminars at Black churches on mammograms and self breast exams. Yet, I and many other people across the country donate faithfully and don our pink ribbons in hopes of making sure those who need treatment and preventive care for breast cancer receive it.On Wednesday the Susan G Komen Foundation put politics before women’s lives and defunded mamagram screening programs at Planned Parenthood. They claim that it was not about politics, but when the VP of the org ran for an elected office with the campaign promise to destroy Planned Parenthood its insulting to ask donators to look the other way. How can I support a organization that cares more about staying in the favor of conservative groups than saving women’s lives?
I live in Newark , NJ. I just recently received health care because I’m not longer a full time freelancer. While I was in college in Newark most of my reproductive health came from Planned Parenthood because the was no other affordable choice. For many women who live in Newark Planned Parenthood is the only choice because there are no other doctor’s offices to choose from. While conservative groups target Planned Parenthood they ignore the reality that these medical centers are needed.
I never understood the backlash against Planned Parenthood, even if you are anti-choice 97% of what they offer is not abortion related. They screen more women for cervical cancer than they preform abortions. In 2012 have we not risen far enough as a society to will someone else to die because of personal feelings on a subject that is only tangentially related to the main goal? I was a die hard supporter of Susan G Komen Foundation, I have an kitchen full of pink appliances to prove it. Now every time I look at all those item they’ll just remind me that poor women of color in Newark – like me – are nothing but political fodder. Our health gets to hang in the balance as others make choices that make themselves feel a little bit better. Well, this woman isn’t going to stand for it. Cancer doesn’t care what color, social/economic class, or political affiliation a woman has, I’m going to make sure to donate to a foundation that doesn’t care either.For those that will bitch and moan about me mentioning race and class – A) Be realistic they are part of this issue and B) look at some of the facts, provided by Colorlines.com