As the Planned Parenthood/Komen debacle continues to unfold, I still believe that Planned Parenthood has been badly wounded going into the future. What metaphor should we use? The bloom is off the rose? No, PP is nothing like a flower. The wolf has thrown off the sheep’s clothes? Better. The vampire has shown her fangs? Well, you get the point.
The shrieking and gnashing of teeth about cutting off a small fund (by PP standards) shows just how rabidly pro abortion the so-called pro choice lobby really is. According to this view, once Komen began funding PP, it became obligated to continue so doing indefinitely–otherwise the abortion license will be endangered. We see this view in a column by Katha Politt in The Nation. First, she notes that Komen has not promised to fund PP in the future, just complete current funding. From “Komen’s Ambiguous Apology:”
The original banning always referred to the future, and as to that, Komen says only that PP can apply for funding, not that Komen will continue to make grants to it as it has for many years. Nothing prevents Komen from altering its criteria in ways designed to exclude PP—for example, as Brinker suggested to Mitchell, deciding against funding breast care outside of mammogram centers.
Can you imagine? Komen actually reserved the right to reject the grant application? I guess it should instead be forced to immediately divert a proper percentage of its raised funds, and as soon as it is received, bring it in a chest with a full prostration to the Planned Parenthood treasurer.
But here’s the revealing section:
Komen miscalculated by thinking its base cares only about breast cancer: in fact, those women in pink t-shirts and sneakers, raising their thousands upon thousands of dollars a year for breast cancer research, understand quite well that women’s health means more than tumor-free breasts. If Komen understood that but thought—and maybe still thinks—it can deceive those activists, or gradually shed them and acquire a whole other, equally dedicated, base of anti-choicers, it will dwindle and die.
Clearly, the rabid furor of PP defenders–to the point of being willing to substantially harm the fight against breast cancer–was not about the disease. It wasn’t even about pro choice. It was adamantly and fervently pro abortion.
I used to buy the pro choice idea and accepted at face value the continual assurances from that lobby that “nobody likes abortion.” Then, in the late 80s, when I was a fill-in talk show host on KGIL in LA, I was asked to come in and decided to do a show about adoption. I brought in an adoption attorney. I think I had a woman who had given up her child–a true act of selfless love–and perhaps, as I recall all these years later, an adopting couple.
Silly me: I thought it would be utterly non controversial and helpful. Well, you would have thought I had done a show advocating the drowning of puppies, “pro choicers” who called into to the show (and the station demanding that I be fired) were so mad. The phones were so hot, we barely got to talk adoption at all. Some said that by highlighting “a different choice,” which was what I called the show, I was making an unwarranted moral claim against abortion. (That had not been my intent.) I came away from that interview deeply shocked and sobered. I ended the program by stating I had always believed that pro choice was just that. Now I knew it is actually often pro abortion.
This Planned Parenthood debacle vividly revealed for all to see that its base of support is rabidly pro abortion too. That won’t go over well in a country like the USA where (mostly) pro life is probably the majority view, pro choice is often the justification for supporting the current regime, and pro abortion is seen widely as disgusting and immoral. In the long run, PP will be hurt far more by that spectacle than it would have been losing the relatively small annual contribution from Komen.