Update 2/3/12: Susan G Komen has reversed their decision and will continue to fund Planned Parenthood. Thus, any statements I made in support of Susan G Komen have now also been reversed.
It's everywhere: on coffee mugs, on yogurt containers, on t-shirts, and even on appliances. What is it? It's that cute little pink ribbon, telling you that if you buy this or that, a portion of your purchase price will be donated to Susan G Komen, the largest Breast Cancer Research organization in the country (the world?) And for years, that little pink ribbon has been a way for me to identify exactly what I shouldn't buy. What's wrong with supporting Breast Cancer Research? Absolutely nothing.
However, for years, Susan G Komen has been a major financial supporter (to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars per year) of Planned Parenthood. The majority of Planned Parenthood's income is generated from abortion services, and they provide the majority of abortions in this country. Because abortion ends an innocent human life, I cannot offer my support to any organization that directly or indirectly enables abortions. So, the support SGK gave to Planned Parenthood always made me steer clear of the little pink ribbon.
A common response is to point out that in many states, the money was specifically earmarked for breast exams and other breast-cancer related prevention and detection services, and couldn't be used for abortions. While this is true, the problem is that by giving them that money, it just freed up Planned Parenthood to use more of its OWN money to offer abortion services. If I gave you $100 and told you that you HAD to use it to pay bills, and couldn't use it to buy cigarettes, you'd probably honor my request and use that $100 to pay your water bill. However, then you'd suddenly have an extra $100 in your bank account that you were planning to spend on the water bill, but now have freed up. You could be in complete compliance with my request for how you spend MY money, and I still would have inadvertently enabled you to buy cigarettes. So whether directly or not, Susan G Komen's support enabled further abortion services.
I was thrilled to read today that Susan G Komen has announced that it will stop its grants to Planned Parenthood. This is a huge financial loss for Planned Parenthood, which is always good news in my book. I realize that Planned Parenthood provides other services which are beneficial to women and not harmful to the unborn, but their primary business is abortion, and I'm thrilled to see that suffer a hit. It will be interesting to see what both organizations do in light of this breakup. SGK claims that the halt is due to a congressional investigation of Planned Parenthood. Does that mean they will resume funding if PP is cleared? Where will PP make its cuts to accommodate this change in their budget? Time will tell.
But for the first time ever, there might actually be a little pink ribbon in my house. I am inclined to send SGK a donation to voice my support of this decision. (I won't, because there are a lot of other, completely unrelated reasons I don't support SGK, but this is still awesome news!)