Why I Stand with Planned Parenthood




On Tuesday, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, one of the most trusted and effective charitable organizations in the United States, abruptly announced it would no longer be awarding grants to Planned Parenthood, perhaps the most trusted charitable organization in women’s and reproductive health.

The backlash against Komen has been swift. Millions of pro-choice activists are calling the move an entirely political one, putting religious dogma ahead of women’s health.

And I believe they’re right. The head of Komen is Nancy Brinker, the former Ambassador to Hungary under President George W. Bush and an activist in her own right with strong ties to the GOP. The Senior Vice President for Public Policy, Karen Handel, is a former GOP gubernatorial candidate for Georgia and stated during her campaign that she doesn’t support Planned Parenthood and promised to eliminate funding for cancer examinations provided by Planned Parenthood.

This is, in short, a game of politics that is putting the lives of millions of impoverished women (and men, who also have been known to receive services from Planned Parenthood) at risk.

I’ve participated in two Susan G. Komen Races for the Cure, and I had a great time volunteering. Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancerous death among women, comprising a whopping 22.9% of all cancer-related deaths.

So, it should follow that an organization that touts itself as the preeminent organization in the fight against breast cancer would wholly support, without reservation, partner organizations whose time and energy is invested in saving the lives of women with this terrible health condition.

And yet, Komen has made the decision to eliminate hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants to an organization that saves lives.

Planned Parenthood, make no mistake about it, is a life-saving organization. Annually, it conducts more than a million screenings for cervical cancer and 830,000 breast exams, among many other health services.

The result? Hundreds of thousands of women have either a new lease on life when cancer is detected and swiftly eliminated or they, at least, have a head start in the fight.

Of the more than 11,000,000 medical procedures conducted by Planned Parenthood, do you know what percentage are linked to abortion?

3 percent. That’s it.

Komen is putting hundreds of thousands of lives at danger because an organization they’re funding provides safe and legal abortions for impoverished women.

Oh, the horror.

By the way, I count myself as pro-life, but that’s exactly why I stand with Planned Parenthood: Because their fight against disease and cancer has saved millions of lives over the past century at little or no cost to those who can’t afford treatment, elsewhere.

So, Komen, as much as I support the fight against breast cancer, I will not support an organization that puts politics ahead of women’s health.

Shame on you.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/cmclymer

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/charlesmclymer


9 thoughts on “Why I Stand with Planned Parenthood

  1. Peggy Archer says:

    Well said. Before I had heath insurance, I relied on PP for cancer screenings, pap smears and pelvic exams.

    Because of PP, what might have been cervical cancer was detected early and treated. They certainly saved my life.

  2. Landon B says:

    I don’t know if I buy the decision by Komen as purely political. If you were the president of an organization like Komen which draws its program’s support from individual donations, some of them major donors, which vehemently opposes PP and gives you the ultimatum of “stop supporting PP or I can’t support you” – what do you do? Regardless of your political proclivities, your job is to support and further the Komen mission – which, I believe, is to end breast cancer. To that end, your books may show a requirement for you to disassociate from PP in order to not fail in your program’s mission. What would you do?

    The money that is divested from PP isn’t burned, it goes back into Komen’s budget which will continue to meet its program’s goals of ending breast cancer.

    If, by conjecture, you accuse someone of politics, you must equally consider this scenario to be fair.

  3. JD says:

    I know THIS article isn’t about abortion (well… maybe 3% of it is), but I just wanted to mention a fact that troubles me every time that topic comes up.

    Fact 1: There are currently ~500,000 kids in foster care in the US.
    Fact 2: There are ~1,300,000 abortions PER YEAR in the US.

    Any politician that argues to outlaw abortion should be forced to immediately answer the question of what solution he/she has to the AMAZING number of unwanted children that action would cause.

    I’m a foster parent. We take care of as many kids we can in our community, so it angers me to see ‘Christian’ churches putting up little white crosses all over their lawns (representing the number of abortions happening the US). That’s an easy promotional gesture, I would love to see how many of those little white crosses they would get to put up if they only placed them for the number of homeless kids their congregation has adopted… I would guess it won’t be nearly as impressive.

    Before you start trying to ban abortion, how about the churches of this country stand up and offer to take care of every single homeless/unwanted kid ALREADY here! …at that point, I’d be willing to listen to your rant against abortion.

  4. Anna says:

    To piggyback on Landon’s comment, many donors probably questioned Komen’s reasoning in choosing Planned Parenthood. PP doesn’t provide mammograms. While manual breast exams are useful, isn’t it better to allocate funds to a medical facility that offers manual breast exams *and* mammograms? Plenty of federally qualified health care centers do both.

    JD, your point is well taken, but keep in mind that a LOT of churches DO minister to children in need. Besides that, do you really think that the solution to a problem like poverty or homelessness is just to kill people? I support homeless ministries, but homelessness is a large and persistent problem. Is the solution for us to just kill all the homeless people? Just because an individual church can’t totally heal a community doesn’t mean it’s not also obligated to take a stand against evil.

    • JD says:


      While I do think some churches are providing help to the poor, but I can honestly say that time wasted hammering little white crosses into their yard hasn’t helped a single child already here and in need.

      Just the largest 5 denomination of Christianity in the US compose over 104,000,000 members. With ALL those followers of Jesus here in the States why is there a SINGLE homeless child without a place to stay and a family to love them?!?!

      IF the Church can’t take care of the 500,000 kids now, what makes you think the same members will take care of the over 10,000,000 unwanted kids there will be in the states after just ten years without a single abortion.

      I’m not pro-abortion, mind you. I just think it’s easier for churches/Christians to rage against abortion rather than adopt a special needs kids and take care of them for life — and that’s a very sad.

      Do you really want to be ‘pro-life’… visit adoptuskids.org and agree to provide a loving Christian home to any of those kids currently waiting for a forever family.

  5. Thom says:

    There’s one glaring omission in your post that needs to be pointed out. You’re assuming that every dollar not going to PP won’t be used elsewhere to save just as many lives, if not more, at other organizations. I’m sure they’re not cutting PP’s funding to have more office parties. So how is Komen responsible for any lives lost in this situation?

  6. Jina Penn-tracy says:

    Planned Parenthood saved my life by finding my fast-moving cervical cancer when I was 19 and very poor. My mother took a drug when she was pregnant with me which brought on this cancer in its most aggressive form. I would likely be dead if not for Planned Parenthood’s free cancer screening.

  7. […] post (mostly because this one wasnʼt complete and I simply dogged it for seven days, tracking the Komen for the Cure/Planned Parenthood fiasco, spending a day with The Lovely One at her annual eye exam — all good news — and […]

  8. Nancy Runyon says:

    So… of 11,000,000 medical procedures conducted to “save lives” 3% are linked to abortion. Do the math. That’s 330,000 lives intentionally ended, often simply because it would be inconvenient to someone else to let them live. Is this organization about saving lives or ending lives?

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