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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Komen Kerfuffle

Feb 7th, 2012

Of all the blow-ups in the GOP's ongoing war against women, nothing has been as spectacular as the reaction to the Susan B. Komen foundation pulling their grants to Planned Parenthood. Before cheering their apparent reversal, it's worth noting how small a victory this is.

Michael B Keegan wrote this weekend:

"I too am angry at Komen's decision to put right-wing ideology ahead of its purported public health mission. But our deeper anger should be directed at someone else: the Republicans in Congress and GOP leaders who consistently make the same choices involving many times more money, and many times more women's lives. The shock of the revelation of Komen's new policies only highlighted how numb many of us have become to the larger, unrelenting attacks on women's health by right-wing elected officials.

The grants to Planned Parenthood that Komen would have severed totaled $680,000 over the last year - a total that the organization thankfully made up in two days from contributions that have poured in in response to the Komen betrayal. Let's put that in perspective. Last year, the House GOP voted to zero out the entire $317,000,000 Title X family planning budget - including about $75 million that would have gone to Planned Parenthood's preventative care and treatment programs for low-income women. Deciding that this plan wasn't disastrous enough, the House alsopassed an amendment to eliminate all federal funding to Planned Parenthood, an estimated total of$363 million, much of which goes to care for the Medicaid patients who make up almost half of Planned Parenthood's clientele. The amount that Komen would have cut from Planned Parenthood's women's healthcare was significant-- but the amount that House Republicans were prepared to cut was 500 times larger."

We should be glad that so many citizens spoke out and effected some change. But, the mission to destroy Planned Parenthood and other supports for millions of women is otherwise proceeding according to plan.

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