Saturday, February 4, 2012

A Rational Perspective on the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Controversy...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny

Because the public spoke out loudly against Susan G. Komen for the Cure decision to cut funding grants for Planed Parenthood the company has reconsidered its position and will honor all grants through 2012. Beyond however remains in question. Depending upon ones interpretation of wording contained in the companies retraction.

As usual the stench of religious/political ideology is evident. More specifically the stench of social conservatism at its worst. As a fiscal conservative, and social libertarian I find the whole sad affair most disturbing.

The efforts to find an ultimate cure for breast cancer is without question a proper and noble pursuit. The funding provided to Planned Parenthood, even given PPH is referring women out to another entity that provides breast scans (mammography) is still a valuable service. For some women it is the only means they have to secure the screening that may save their lives.

I've heard all the arguments about PPH and that they are the biggest provider of abortions. So what? They are certainly not doing anything illegal. More to the point, just what in the hell does one have to do wish the other anyway?

The obvious answer to the above question is nothing. However, because PPH is involved in providing abortions, a volatile religious as well as political issue, Susan G. Komen for the Cure was obviously attempting to remove itself from what could have a potentially damaging impact on the company .

A recent article in The Wall Street Journal presents as balanced a view as I've seen.

The smear campaign against the breast cancer charity Susan G. Komen for the Cure appears to have had its desired effect, although this may turn out to be a case in which appearances are deceiving., an antiabortion site, quotes the statement by Komen founder Nancy Brinker:

We will continue to fund existing grants, including those of Planned Parenthood, and preserve their eligibility to apply for future grants, while maintaining the ability of our affiliates to make funding decisions that meet the needs of their communities.

But Austin Ruse, president of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, parses the statement for LifeNews and finds it actually reflects no change in policy: "We have known and have reported that they are continuing five grants [to Planned Parenthood] through 2012. This is a reference to that. The second clause about eligibility is certainly true. Any group can apply for anything. It does not mean they are going to get anything."

Of course, it also doesn't mean they're not going to get anything. The Daily Caller reports that Komen's donations doubled in the two days after the Planned Parenthood assault began, presumably because lots of people wanted to support its apolitical work against breast cancer but did not want to give money to a group that was subsidizing a group that both performs and advocates for abortion.

If that describes you, you might consider following the advice of our friend Susan Carusi: Give to a local breast cancer support group, "which provides counseling and assistance to women diagnosed with breast cancer. At least this way you know exactly what the money is being spent on."

While our sympathies are with Komen in this whole kerfuffle, we must say that the group has displayed an appalling naiveté in its approach to the matter. It's reminiscent of the last big controversy the group was involved in, which we wrote about in 2009. In that instance, Komen hosted a conference in Alexandria, Egypt, for "international advocates." Komen was sandbagged when Israeli doctors who'd been invited to the event received disinvitations from the Egyptian health minister. The Egyptians backpedaled, but by then it was too late for the Israelis to attend.

In breaking ties with Planned Parenthood, Komen made the same mistake: It failed to understand it was dealing with intolerant fanatics. Planned Parenthood's attitude toward abortion opponents is not unlike that of Egyptian officials in the old regime toward Israelis.

Further, Komen offered a rationale for its decision--a new policy denying grants to groups under governmental investigation--that seemed disingenuous and provided a point of attack for Planned Parenthood and its allies. "I'm reminded of the McCarthy era, where somebody said: 'Oh,' a congressman stands up, a senator, 'I'm investigating this organization and therefore people should stop funding them,' " Politico quotes Sen. Barbara Boxer as saying on MSNBC.

George Orwell - AP

In truth, Komen was under no obligation to fund Planned Parenthood. Its decision not to do so was not punitive and did not even appear to be. The episode is reminiscent of George Orwell far more than Joe McCarthy. Komen's actual aim was to extricate itself from the divisive national battle over abortion by severing its connection with a leading combatant.

The conservative Media Research Center notes that CNN "aired a pretty one-sided piece including statements from Planned Parenthood's president Cecile Richards, evidence supporting her claims of right-wing 'bullying,' and even vitriolic Facebook posts decrying the de-funding." No supporter of Komen's position or critic of Planned Parenthood was included. Even more appalling than that lack of balance, though, was CNN's echoing the charge of "right-wing 'bullying,' " while the network was participating in Planned Parenthood's effort to bully Komen. {Read More}

And so, who I ask is on the side of truth and true liberty, and just who is on the side of fascism? Is there such a thing as political/religious fascism? Or is it just the mind of a overworked rational libertarian/conservative/humanist at work?

Via: Memeorandum


  1. "And so, who I ask is on the side of truth and true liberty, and just who is on the side of fascism? Is there such a thing as political/religious fascism?"

    Fascism is not at question here, since as you are well aware, this is the involvement of two private, voluntary organizations of citizens. Entirely outside the government.

    The only angle on this that can connect to fascism is the fact that PP is funded with massive forced contributions from taxpayers, by the government.

  2. I disagree. The fascism is that of religious fascistic influence that is in reality is exerted on politicians for the expressed purpose of determining in favor of a particular religious ideology. Think outside the box that the religious right and "fundies" (evangelical Christians) want you the faithful to remain boxed in.

    Look around and you will see the influence of the religious right, or social conservative influence all around you. I simply reject its validity in governance. Sorry not.

  3. "I disagree. The fascism is that of religious fascistic influence that is in reality a exerted on politicians"

    Which is a separate issue, since the dispute between Komen and PP does not involve politicians.

    Where in your parent post is anything that is involved with your comments on fascism? Komen and PP are not parts of the government, and this controversy, unlike others, does not involve politicians.

    My objection to the claims that this involves "fascism" is similar to my objections to someone calling it "Censorship" if a newspaper chooses not to print something. These terms require government involvement.

    Rejecting social conservatisms "validity in government" is entirely outside this dispute.


As this site encourages free speech and expression any and all honest political commentary is acceptable. Comments with cursing or vulgar language will not be posted.

Effective 3/4/18 Anonymous commenting has been disabled and this site has reverted to comment moderation. This unfortunate action is necessary due to the volume of Anonymous comments that are either off topic or irrelevant to the post subject.

While we appreciate and encourage all political viewpoints we feel no obligation to post comments that fail to rise to the standards of decency and decorum we have set for Rational Nation USA.

Thank you for your understanding... The management.