Thursday, February 2, 2012

369 days to go.

But that's not the focus right now. I'm not here to talk about my absence (computer issues, crap flu), or to talk about how the January detox went (until Sunday), or to talk about my job search (still going on, but hopefully over soon!).

On January 31 it was announced that Susan G. Komen for the Cure would be defunding Planned Parenthood. I've been asked several times in the last couple days what my opinion is on the matter.

What does this mean?

It means that the $680,000 per year that Komen had previously given to Planned Parenthood for breast health screenings will no longer go to Planned Parenthood. It will be directed to another part of this many-headed beast. That $680,000 works out to $13,600 per state per year. $1133.33 per state per month. If you divide that by 20 business days per month it is $56.67 per state per day.

I am not trying to devalue what Komen is taking away from Planned Parenthood. I feel like I've been ripped in two over this. My involvement with Susan G. Komen shaped my life in a way that no other experience ever has. I was indifferent to their funding Planned Parenthood. It isn't what inspired me. To me, Komen and Planned Parenthood have always been two separate things.

I've been donating to Planned Parenthood longer than I've been involved with Komen. Three times over. Full disclosure - the first time I donated to Planned Parenthood I was a junior in high school and I had a pregnancy scare. I was so grateful I wasn't knocked up that I took half my paycheck from Old Navy and wrote an $86.44 check to Planned Parenthood. I've donated every year since then, whatever I could afford at the time. A couple years ago the local Planned Parenthood moved from a small, out of the way building to a much larger building on a major street. I drive by it about 4 times a week. Whenever I see people outside protesting (usually old men who have never possessed female reproductive organs) I pull over, walk in and donate something.

I believe in Planned Parenthood's mission. Hell, I AM Planned Parenthood's mission. I've used their services several times. I believe in Susan G. Komen for the Cure. I will walk in the 3-Day this year. I will walk in the 3-Day next year. I will walk until there is a cure for breast cancer. I can't walk away from it. I can't turn my back on the one thing that's been a constant source of inspiration. I am sure that in the coming days Komen will announce a plan to continue funding the women who would have benefited from the $680,000. I firmly believe the decision to defund Planned Parenthood was a poor one that wasn't thought out and that they spent about zero time with their PR department.

I will continue to support both organizations and hope that a resolution is arrived at sooner rather than later. When the sun rose on January 31st there wasn't a cure for breast cancer. When it set that night there still wasn't a cure. My mission may have changed, but it hasn't ended.