Much of the American media have been overtaken by a cancerous rhetoric in recent days: It has been suggested that the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the breast-cancer charity, should be no more. In the eyes of many, such as National Organization for Women president, Terry O’Neill, Komen has gone from being a women’s health charity to becoming “anti-woman.” O’Neill predicted to MSNBC host Ed Schulz that, within five years or so, Komen will cease to exist. And good riddance!
Komen — which had literally turned the White House pink for breast-cancer awareness, and had pink products all over the Macy’s makeup counter this Christmas — has been an overwhelming presence in American culture. It is the force behind the walks for breast-cancer education, fundraising, and memorializing. Its campaigns are everywhere. And just yesterday, it seems, it was regarded a good sister to the liberal-feminist sisterhood, endorsed by the likes of O’Neill and the political activists who keep the Democratic party singing the abortion industry’s tune. That, however, was until Komen crossed Planned Parenthood.
Komen announced that it would halt grants to Planned Parenthood, and was immediately accused of having surrendered to misogynistic pro-lifers. It is true that Komen has long been subject to pro-life boycott efforts as a result of its relationship with Planned Parenthood. My sense was that this was, for a long time, a disorganized, scattered campaign (it not quite being the Planned Parenthood machine). But in the last year, the shield that had long protected Planned Parenthood cracked a bit, precipitating a House vote last year to cut off federal funds for the first time.
Recently, it’s become harder to ignore the fact that Planned Parenthood is not a benign friend to women, but an institution with a poisonous, eugenic past and a distressing present. When young Lila Rose’s undercover videos flooded the web in February 2011, it raised questions about what was, at best, a failure to report criminal activity, and at worst a conspiracy to provide a “safe haven sex traffickers.” And long before her, Phill Kline, a prosecutor in Kansas, brought charges against the organization that should have set off all kinds of child-endangerment alarms. Instead, he unleashed on himself an unmistakable campaign of personal-destruction that continues to this day. (Perhaps Komen can relate a little to Kline right now?)
Even Slate — hardly a conservative or pro-life ally — admits that critics of Planned Parenthood have raised “some legitimate concerns”:
Planned Parenthood offices in California, New Jersey, New York, and Washington state have at various times been audited by state and federal authorizes and discovered to have been overbilling state agencies and committing other improper billing practices. Further, Planned Parenthood has a record of not reporting instances of sexual abuse — and I’m not talking about 16-year-old girls who come in with their 19-year-old boyfriends. The AUL report documents a case in which a 13-year-old girl was raped by an older foster brother and was impregnated — twice. Planned Parenthood is required, if it wants to receive federal funds, to comply with mandatory reporting laws.