The Komen controversy this week has been a lesson in the workings of radical left wing politics in this Country. We have seen clearly how the loudest most militant elements of our society get their way by threat, coercion and tantrum. We have also seen 26 Senators throw their political weight behind a dispute that is in the end, a private funding issue. The Komen foundation has a right to grant their funds to anyone they want, without interference from special interest groups or the Government. Who would imagine that running a women's charitable organization could be like a midnight walk through Central Park?
As a charitable organization, Komen has a fiduciary responsibility to its donors. How many people who have given to Komen for breast cancer detection, treatment and research had any idea that some of their contribution went to Planned Parenthood? I know it is hard to believe, but not everyone supports all the activities conducted by P.P. Additionally, these “pass through grants" as they are called, ended up at third party facilities since P.P. doesn’t actually offer sophisticated on site screening, counseling or treatment for breast cancer. When a donation passes through three entities before it is used, the money trail becomes so murky, it is difficult to determine its effectiveness.
It is hard to understand why Komen was funding P.P. in the first place, since basic breast exams are such a small part of their operation. It seems odd to me that P.P. and its vocal supporters would protest so loudly over a relatively small sum, most of which went to others that actually provide the service. Why wouldn't Komen directly fund the service provider instead? Unless P.P. needs that money for something else, and with their alleged track record of shaky accounting practices, that may be a legitimate concern.
Critics of Komen say that loss of P.P. funding will hinder "women's health services". I believe that is ingenuous at best. There is more at stake here than free or low cost general health services largely available from most county health centers. An article on Slate.com says some interesting things about Planned Parenthood's relationship with abortion and the other services it provides:
...providing abortions is part of the mission of Planned Parenthood, and they do make it a priority. It's a necessary service, after all. I think some times that point gets lost in all the discussion of the 97 percent of their services that aren't abortion. The other reason I suspect these regulations would harm Planned Parenthood's ability to keep as many clinics open to offer non-abortion services as they currently do is that a complete shut-down of abortion services would create a cash flow problem for them. Abortions are 3 percent of the actual services Planned Parenthood provides, but they constitute a larger chunk of their income, around 15 percent nationally. Which makes sense; abortions simply cost more than Pap smears and birth control pills, and Planned Parenthood provides a huge chunk of all the abortions in the country...
I am not a strong pro-lifer. I don't want to make a woman into a criminal because she is forced to make the most horrible, gut-wrenching decision of her life. I want modern, safe facilities available for those who choose that option, as there is no point in turning a lousy situation into a double tragedy. I personally find abortion morally repugnant, but acknowledge occasional necessity. However every time I see my children, now in their 20's, I am reminded how unique and truly precious the life of every child is. Each aborted child is a lifetime of incredible human potential unfulfilled.
Having said that, to me regardless of moral position, this is a matter of private charitable organizations and their right to do as they wish with their contributions, their responsibility to their donors and their response to coercion by political pressure groups. Beyond that, my advice to those who can’t find it in their hearts to shed a tear for the 1.2 million yearly unborn in this Country: If you don’t like how Komen distributes its grants, shut up and send your contributions elsewhere. I'm sure they will do fine without you.
Originally posted on 02/05/2012 at ConservativeCompass.com