What women's rights look like when the two sides come together as one.
What women's rights are when women are no longer manipulated by party rhetoric.


Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Planned Parenthood Mess

Cynthia Ruccia



What a mess-------------and the press is loving it!!! What could be better than watching two prominent women's groups have at it. A fantastic cat fight!!!!

First off, let me say that this week is a red banner week for me. I just finished on Tuesday my 32nd and FINAL chemotherapy treatment in this my second bout with breast cancer. I have had chemo continually for the past 15 months. My hair is starting to come back, my nails have stopped crumbling, and although I don't have the luxurious lashes I was always known for, I have eyelashes and eyebrows again. My energy level is at about 90% of what is was before I started. I have a surgery date scheduled to remove the port that has been threaded into my heart for the past 16 months, and after that, all that will be left is taking a daily estrogen blocker for the next 5--10 years or more. That estrogen blocker makes me feel like an old lady when I get up in the morning. However, once I get going, that feeling subsides, a small price to pay if I am to have any hope of actually growing old.

I'm saying all of this because breast cancer isn't something other people get. I have had it------twice. It is real to me, not something I can theorize about. And watching this media event of Planned Parenthood v Susan Komen for the Cure stirs up a whole hornet's nest of thoughts and feelings for me.



More than anything else, I feel more strongly than ever that by putting all of their eggs in the abortion basket, feminists have sown the seeds of their destruction. There are so many vital issues that really matter to the future of females in this country. So many!!! We have a female president to elect, lots more women to promote to CEO's. We have salaries to equalize, more women to elect at all levels of government and from both parties (lots and lots of them since we're a long way from 50%). We have more research and cures to find for women's diseases. All of that and more. We just have alot of work to do.

I am not minimizing the importance of women being able to control their reproductive destiny. I am actually pro-choice and make no excuses for my stance one way or another. However, we just cannot put all of our feminist eggs into that basket anymore. It is just so very destructive!!!! I have developed respect for the principled views of people who are opposed to abortion. I really get it. I used to buy all of that garbage that the people who are opposed to abortion are people who want to take away women's rights, make us slaves to men, and negate all of the progress that women have made in the past 50 years. I have come to believe that that point of view is naive, stupid even, and a point of view that has made me and many like me easy to manipulate. The reality is that the anti-abortion community is made up of a very very diverse and nuanced collection of people and views. And the view I used to hold of these people was, gulp, (I hate to use this word but I must) hysterical. The abortion wars can and will go on. And for those who are really involved with this cause, put your hearts and souls into and go with it. But it must be uncoupled with where the future of women is headed.

The next thing in my hornet's nest of emotions is my feelings toward Planned Parenthood, an organization that in its day was an almost radical group devoted to bringing to women services that no one was providing, especially in the realm of birth control. Many can remember that back in the late 60's and early 70's birth control was a brand spanking new idea, and Planned Parenthood was the first group devoted to bringing the new birth control methods to the public at large. It was a freeing and liberating time, and Planned Parenthood was the big new thing, the place to go to exercise our new freedoms. we LOVED Planned Parenthood!!  Planned Parenthood was absolutely pro-women and pro where we were heading.

Which is why when Planned Parenthood, along with NARAL, in 2008 came out in support of Barack Obama during the Democratic Primary while Hillary Clinton was in contention it was such a stunning moment for me and many others. I have spoken with a number of people today, and we all have had the same reaction-----this controversy between Planned Parenthood and Komen just dredged up all of those feelings of disbelief from 2008. For me and many others, it was this singular act of Planned Parenthood turning its back on the female candidate who was in contention that made most of us decide to leave our political home and become Independents. Not that their endorsement was the reason why we left however. It was just the straw that broke the camel's back. What kind of group devoted to women doesn't support the woman candidate, especially one who has had a stellar record on their issues? It was and is still mind-boggling!!!! What had the women's movement become?

Which brings me to today's brouhaha. OK-----Komen isn't giving PP money. In the scheme of things, it wasn't really so much money. It could be seen as a heinous act of the right wing flexing its muscles. But it is just as plausible, if not more, that Planned Parenthood has become something of a dinosaur. The once radical organization has become so much a part of the establishment that it has had to sell its soul to continue to exist. That includes going against its pristine principles for money. What is more delicious than stirring up its base of supporters to raise more money? And in a presidential election year, an organization that sold its soul out to the Obama campaign for access and money needs to gin things up to get more of the same. What-----you say? It's the Komen group that did the ginning? Well that would be right except for one thing-------------why is Planned Parenthood going so public with this right now? Lots of nonprofits lose funding these days, and the $700,000 that Planned Parenthood is losing is a small part of their budget. They could have handled this loss completely differently instead of how they have handled it, publicly, pulling the chains of those left who are so easily manipulated by the specter of the scare tactics of the left.

Finally, it has been brought to my attention that the breast services offered by Planned Parenthood are handled in abundance in many many other places and are paid for by Medicare and Medicaid. My own local Komen affiliate says that Planned Parenthood of central Ohio hasn't taken any money from Komen in over 8 years. Planned Parenthood, in spite of its good work, has become somewhat redundant. What was once a breath of fresh air and represented the banner of freedom for women, has become a bit obsolete. The people who cling to this vision of feminism like to call themselves progressive. But what they have really become are people who are regressive, addicted to the past and who find change abhorrent. Now isn't that ironic.......

37 comments:

  1. AnklebiterangrypeasantmoronrubehickbitterclingerFebruary 2, 2012 at 8:08 PM

    First. I am the FIRST to be able to give you a giant cyber hug smooch smooch smooch and congratulations on the end of the long chemo slog. Just so happy for you.

    Second. I have gotten a couple of incredibly nasty emails today merely for sending various opinions on the SBK vs PP brouhahahahahaha. And they were personal, when my only intent was to send various opinions on this for discussion on my email list. These came from a woman who declared SBK a plot of Republican men, and got personal about an opinion (a lawyer who had done extensive research on PP and their massive administrative overload with luxe offices, their work OUTSIDE of the U.S., what they really do deliver). Again, the word "abortion" is the noodger to rally all the femmes to the lefty amen position.

    Third: Regarding the individual, for whom I have been a loyal friend for 16 years or so, enough already. I am now inured to these sorts of attack. It's quite a testimony to the past 4 years for me.

    Again, hurray for you, Cynthia. You have weathered all of this with incredible aplomb, dignity, and humor. Regards to your dear husband, too.

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  2. PP provided minimal breast exam services, as a fig leaf for their abortion services so they could get government funding. SBK is very focused on breast cancer, and its association with PP muddied its mission. Kudos to Komen for doing the right thing.

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    1. abortion services represent 3% of Planned Parenthood services. Clearly NOT their main service.

      Cancer screening (of all kinds, including breast cancer) and prevention are 17%, and contraception(excluding abortion, in case you consider abortion contraception) are 35%, with STD testing and treatment another 34%.

      Yes, you are right, breast exam services are a small part of what Planned Parenthood does, which is entirely appropriate, since breast exams are only one of many services women need. Planned Parenthood provides robust comprehensive health care for women, particularly poor women. Hardly something to be embarrassed about.

      SGK has 57% of budget toward bloated administrative salaries.

      SGK contributes a very small 17% of it's budget to research, and provides NO services itself.

      That doesn't sound very focused to me, at all.

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    2. Please site your sources.

      Admin Costs (Charity Navigator)
      PP Fed of America 9.6% And gets a 3 star rating with other issues factored in
      Susan G Komen: 11.3% And gets a 4 star rating with other issues factored in

      www.charitynavigator.org/

      Delete
  3. Congratulations on finishing chemo, Cynthia. Thank heavens!
    Your strength in dealing with this disease and its treatment is inspiring.

    I think your post is excellent, though I don't know enough about these issues myself. But one question comes to mind. What is still radical today is not birth control but abortion. People who perform this operation for women still risk their lives and are heroes in their courage. Abortion seems almost as radical today as it was decades ago. And letting each woman follow her conscience and own needs seems as critical as ever. I don't think one can dismiss this issue as 'just one of many'. True - its just one of many issues, but like many of those many issues it is essential that women 'win' this one. Essential for women's dignity and equality. I don't think one can stop fighting this battle any more than one can stop fighting all the other battles that women face. In this case, to stop fighting is to lose. Someone else's religion can not own this issue, women have to own it. I still see no way around that, even if it means women will not agree on each and every point. They simply have to agree to disagree -no? Progress for women has never come with full agreement of all women and it never will I suspect. I think women have to work together even when they disagree, particularly in this case.

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  4. AnklebiterbitterclingerpeasantmoronrubeandmanyotherepithetsFebruary 2, 2012 at 8:27 PM

    Stiletto and all: Kudos to SBK for not only doing the "right" thing, but for being fiscally responsible and looking at their true mission. All charities are having a hard time. PP is highly bloated administratively, not to mention their being a quasi arm of the Dem. Party. I am totally pro choice, but I understand how offensive the abortion issue is to a good portion of the population, who see this as a terrible use of their charity or tax money.

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    1. I'd like to hear more about the 'bloated' PP staff.

      SGK is 57% overhead. How does that compare to the PP staff ?

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    2. Please site where you got your figures, Anonymous.

      Admini Costs (Charity Navigator, see below)
      PP Fed of America 9.6%
      Susan G Komen: 11.3%

      However, SGK gets a much higher overall rating when factoring in financial and accountability and transparency.
      According to http://www.charitynavigator.org, the scores for Komen vs PP Federation of America on Financial and Accountability and Transparency are as follows:
      Komen 66.20 witha 4 STAR rating
      PP Fed of America: 54.11 with a 3 STAR rating.

      "As of March 2011, Komen is listed on Charity Navigator with the site's highest rating of four stars.[8] According to the Harris Interactive 2010 EquiTrend annual brand equity poll, Komen is one of the most trusted nonprofit organizations in America.[9][10] " http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Susan_G._Komen_for_the_Cure

      Susan G. Komen for the Cure (Komen) meets the 20 Standards for Charity Accountability. http://www.bbb.org/charity-reviews/national/cancer/susan-g-komen-for-the-cure-in-dallas-tx-3432

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    3. What's your source for that? It just isn't true. And either way why can't SGK do what they want with their money. Why are they obligated to support PP at all?

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  5. What a thoughtful and reasonable response. I hope it influences many others to pause, breathe and think. thanks.

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  6. Cynthia----What wonderful news about your treatments and your hair returning! You are such an inspiration to me. I'm most grateful for what you've done, and continue doing, for women.
    My opinion about this latest controversy is that the Komen Foundation is absolutely right to do what they're doing. Hooray for them! I'm sick about what PP has become.
    Thank you for the post and continue to have a wonderful week!

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  7. "More than anything else, I feel more strongly than ever that by putting all of their eggs in the abortion basket, feminists have sown the seeds of their destruction."

    I couldn't have said it better myself - you nailed it with that one sentence, Cynthia.

    And, yes, you are correct that "the breast services offered by Planned Parenthood are handled in abundance in many many other places and are paid for by Medicare and Medicaid."

    I think that Planned Parenthood is using their same, old tactics of claiming that women will not get the services they need, when in fact, even insurance companies are now required to pay for mammograms, etc., and have been for years. When they use these tactics, however, they place women in general in the role of a victim, one who needs to be taken care of, etc. and this has a negative impact on women as well. While the Komen Foundation EMPOWERS women, Planned Parenthood presents us as victims. That time is over. We are not victims.

    On this one, I say kudos to the Komen Foundation.

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    1. The problem with your logic is that "even insurance companies are now required...".

      Poor women don't have insurance. Your point is entirely moot.

      Likewise, "the breast services offered by Planned Parenthood are handled in abundance..". Yes they are. For middle class and upper class women, that is. NOT for poor women.

      Your point about women as "victims" is a good one, but misguided. I think poor people in general, of which women are HALF, are not empowered, they are . The POOR part of "poor women" is more important than the "women" part of "poor women".

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  8. One more comment - remember, Planned Parenthood needs women to be in need or they wouldn't exist - translation, they need women to be victims so they can be the saviour. As women gain more access to care, Planned Parethood's very existence is threatened and they don't want to go away. If their true mission is achieving full access to care for women, they should be jumping for joy and putting out press releases extolling the Komen Foundation for all the gains they have made for women. Instead, they view them as competition and pick a public fight with them that only harms women in the end.

    They should be ashamed of themselves, but they are too backward and selfish to even realize the harm they are doing.

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    1. >>As women gain more access to care, Planned Parenthood's very existence is threatened and they don't want to go away.

      You are right. It would be great if ALL women had access to care. But they don't. More middle class women have access to birth control and reproductive services, more middle class women have access to the mandatory coverage of breast screening and mammograms.

      But not the uninsured.

      You have very good points. As long as everyone is insured.

      Are they ?

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  9. Congratulations, Cynthia! That's wonderful news.

    I am a past president of a state NOW chapter and worked very closely with our Planned Parenthood and NARAL as the "minions of darkness" tried to curtail our right to choose. I spent many, many hours at our state capitol lobbying, in hearing rooms, raised thousands of dollars for choice, blah, blah, blah. I believe wholeheartedly that women should have absolute control of their bodies and the choice whether or not they want to be a "baby factory" should be theirs.

    As the chapter NOW president I worked with the local NARAL chair to organize a speak out for abortion rights. The letters we received of women who had had "back alley" abortions or used the coat hanger and Drano solution were heart-rending. I had not expected such a large volume of letters. We could not read them all. I can go on and on to speak to my pro-choice stand but I won't.

    Suffice it to say 2008 was a pivotal year for me. I AM STILL BITTER! YES I AM! And I will continue to be a bitter clinger and all the other names my "friends" at NOW called me for continuing to support Hillary.

    Frankly I don't blame the Komen Foundation a bit, their priorities are different. I think the government needs to stop funding Planned Parenthood at any level, ditto for government funding of faith-based charities.

    And finally, I'm done with all the pseudo women's groups who only support a certain segment of women. Just like I'm done with the Democratic Party.

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  10. Seriously. You talk about dividing women and you write a column dividing women, with the rational of being Hillary supporters. NARAL and women's groups were and are of little help for women. Even before the election, they ceased to be players for supporting women's issues and relevant player in politics.

    I too was a Hillary supporter, both financially and physically working for her election. I also support her policy on abortion: Rare, available and affordable. However, I have never supported Komen due to Nancy Brinker's manipulative marketing operation and her need to be placed in some kind of pseudo position with a title. Honestly, I think the pink is fading both as product and organization.

    I do understand that this is written in the context of Still Mourning Hillary and support of pro life. Perhaps you all should go back and read more about Hillary Clinton, even ask her about your panic allegiance four years later.

    Hillary Clinton will be a great study in history for women as the most competent and valued Secretary of State of the United States. If she wanted to be President, she would run again. But she won't.

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  11. Congratulations on your last round of chemo !

    I wanted to comment on your essay. Among many good points, you make a number of mistakes that need to be discussed.

    a)"Many can remember that back in the late 60's and early 70's birth control was a brand spanking new idea, ".

    The modern birth control pill was widely available in 1960. It fueled the rise in the popular culture of the "sexually available woman", paralleling and fueling the growth of men's magazines, Playboy among others, porno films, etc. By the late 60's, at the very high point of Playboy's empire, and in fact, at the beginning of the decline of it, reliable birth control could NOT possibly have been a brand spanking new idea.

    Secondly, Planned Parenthood was founded in 1921 by Margaret Sanger. It was not founded in the late 60's or early 70's.

    The idea of women controlling their reproduction has been around since before 1921, at least.

    b) the women in what we think of as "the feminist movement" of the 1960's were just the latest feminists that stretched back till at least the Suffragette's of the late 19th century.

    It was a "freeing and liberating time". Yes, because that's when you came of age, and things like that were new to you. The older women had already been doing "feminism" for a long time by the time of the 70's.

    c)"What kind of group devoted to women doesn't support the woman candidate..."

    This is just out and out tribalism.

    By comparison, do you mean to say you believe all Blacks should support Clarence Thomas, simply because he is Black, even though he may not be the best justice for most blacks ?

    I'm sorry, this is just nonsense.

    Your story about Planned Parenthood and NARAL endorsing Barack Obama over Hilary is just more of the same.

    I believe that although Hilary would have been a fine President, she was not necessarily electable. She could not possibly have, and in fact, did not, put together the overpowering campaign of Barack Obama.

    And he has been very very good for women's issues.

    c) your notion of de-coupling reproductive rights from feminism is interesting, and to a degree even freeing, but unfortunately, it is not grounded in reality.

    When women are forced to carry children they don't want, all sorts of terrible things happen.

    Reproductive rights are fundamental to the notion that a woman can control her future. Without this right, women are destined to be a permanent underclass, as many "pro-life" women are.

    I'm sorry, I have to disagree with you completely. Women's freedom and equality simply cannot be accomplished without reproductive choice, including abortion.

    Finally, your conclusions:
    "Planned Parenthood...has become somewhat redundant. ...a bit obsolete. ... find change abhorrent. Now isn't that ironic....... "

    Of course, it is equally plausible that Planned Parenthood served you well when you were young and poor, and in need of reproductive services more than anything, and now that you are older and wealthier, and especially now that you have better insurance, you find that Planned Parenthood is "redundant".

    If you can remember the 60's and 70's, then you are, or are close to, post-reproductive years. So, yes, Planned Parenthood, with it's emphasis on reproductive health services, is very much redundant, especially as many of the cancer screenings for wealthier women are more convenient than Planned Parenthood.

    But, unfortunately, there are still plenty of young poor people who still very very much need the benefits of the services Planned Parenthood serves. 75% of Planned Parenthood's clients make 150% of the poverty level, so unless you are VERY poor, you have many more convenient ways of getting those services. BUT NOT THE POOR.

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    1. ValleyBoy
      Plleassssse!I just so totally disagree with you and I just want to say it. If I begin to pick it apart - I will go nuts - so I will just leave it at that. Your comments left me crazy!

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  12. Valleyboy----Thanks for your kind wishes!!

    I guess you and I are just going to have to disagree completely and that's fine with me. You draw so many conclusions that to me are simply wrong that I don't even know where to start. But I appreciate you taking the time to write your point of view so eloquently.

    I am just interested in seeing other parts of the woman's agenda go forward, the economic parts. I believe that women have very common interests in that regard------equal pay, parity at the top to name a couple important ones. And as important as reproductive rights are, and I acknowledged as such, it is equally important for women to power share in proportions equal to our numbers, and we have been woefully unsuccessful in advancing these ideas. We in the United States rank #70 in the world in female representation in government, women still only make 77 cents on the man's dollar (not much better than 50 years ago or so), of the Fortune 1000 companies women are 2.8% of the CEO's, and the lists go on and on. Even today in Bloomberg one more example of not a single woman on Facebook's board:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-02/no-women-on-facebook-board-shows-white-male-influence.html

    It just never ends. And it is not enough that the CEO is a woman-----there should be women on the board as well as the piece notes.

    I'm not interested in relitigating the 2008 election even though I brought it up. You will never change my mind no matter what you say. I just see it one way and it was a life changing experience for me. If you read other pieces on this blog, I am part of a group of 20% of Hillary supporters who left the party over that----all 3.6 million of us. Many have remained silent, but I'm not one of those. I was a party stalwart for 40 years as a Congressional candidate, executive board member, fundraising consultant, and volunteer. The party was ruined for me and my 3.6 million co-horts. Period.

    96% of African-Americans voted for Barack Obama as a matter of pride-----even ones who consider themselves Republican. What's the matter with women feeling that same sense of historic pride? Anyways, why not vote in women we don't agree with? Do all of the people we disagree with have to be men? Why not have 50% of the people we disagree with be female? The best example of that argument is that the Lily Ledbetter bill would never have passed without the votes of the Republican women who crossed over and voted in tandem with the Democrats. And although you might say that Susan Collins and Olympia Snow are moderates, that can't always be said of Kay Hutchinson who also crossed over.

    Finally, just because you surmise I am of a certain age, it is absolutely discriminatory of you to assume that I now don't care about reproductive rights. That idea is a smear on someone you don't even know. I suggest you hold your fire in that regard with others in the future until you have collected more information. There are many many reasons people have the point of view I hold, and my ability to have children at this point in my life is the least salient reason I hold my views. Since you have identified yourself as male, you can't possibly understand completely the 46 years I spent making sure I managed my reproductive health properly. I mentor young women professionally, and I am a mother as well. The success of future generations to also have their freedoms matters a great deal to me. However, it also matters to me that future generations of females get a much fairer shake professionally. And I am tired of promising girls that they can be anything they want when it is clear that that statement is a lie. They will have to continue to fight the same fights of discrimination in the workplace to break all of the massive glass ceilings that persist to this day.

    Anyways, thanks for your thoughts.

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  13. Congratulations on ending your final chemo treatment! I'm sure that must feel like such a relief and I know your 90% energy is double or triple the rest of ours!

    When PP endorsed a man over a solidly prochoice Hillary in 2008, they made the org irrelevant to me. If they could be that inconsistent, then their stated mission was meaningless. I had no choice but to assume they were in the pocket of the Dem party rather than helping women per their mission statement. I had been a previous supporter verbally and financially. But in 2008, I unsubscribed and ahven't thought much of them since. When I read about the recent brouhaha in headlines, I honestly didn't even read the details. PP is on their own and won't be getting any support or concern from me. No fb posting or even a Like of any of the numerous outraged fb posts over the past few days. When you don't stick to your mission, you can't expect support. Lesson learned or to be learned.

    But you bring up a good point about the timing of it. I also thought, why didn't they call up a stink in advance and try to do something about it? Why wait until after? I think you're right. It is a way to whip people up into a frenzy during an election season and get a little fundraising boost. At the same time, I'm not going to turn a blind eye to the right wing peeps that made this happen simply bc they want to rally their base and get themselves re-elected and fundraising to boot. These types absolutely have no wish to move women forward and don't mind using women to secure their long careers as useless politicians and cash in the campaign bank account. Certainly no respect there.

    I also agree with an above commenter that PP does provide some important services. Abortion is legal and it takes guts for PP to continue providing it. The people who work and volunteer there are risking their lives and deserve respect for it. The fact that providing a legal service is that risky, imho, is pathetic statement about the political influence on the culture of our country. It is really pathetic that it has come to that. Really embarrassing for me as a person living abroad. I respect people's prolife opinion but I have no respect for people who feel entitled to intimidate and threaten those who work to ensure women have safe access to a LEGAL procedure. The turning a blind eye to this has only enabled it to continue. The other critical service PP provides is affordable birth control to teens and college students who might be afraid to get this from their family doctor. If people are going to have sex, they need birth control. Making it easier for this to happen is a valuable service. Anyone who thinks that making birth control harder for teens to access will make them less likely to have sex is simply not in touch with reality. Birth control is the most realistic way of avoiding abortions.

    So, while I'm not worried about PP's latest trauma and feel they don't have the right to get upset since they are inconsistent, I'm not going to deny the value of the services they do provide.

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    1. well put!!! And thanks for your kind words!!

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  14. And we have to wonder what might have been if those two groups had not acted so foolishly. If they had stood up, fought for the women, we might have had our first Madame President. So sad...

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  15. [More than anything else, I feel more strongly than ever that by putting all of their eggs in the abortion basket, feminists have sown the seeds of their destruction.]

    Thank you - I agree that feminists have gotten swept away in the politicization of reproductive rights vis a vis abortion rights. Abortion has become the litmus test for feminism, at the expense of too many other important issues: pay equity, equal representation, violence against women, women's heath, human trafficking, etc. The feminist movement has helped to sustain the "divide and conquer" strategies that serve to keep women in their place.

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  16. Why do women so often shoot themselves--and their cause--in the foot? We need to find ways to support each other in every way we can!

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  17. Congrats!

    Well it looks like bullying works. Komen has caved and agreed to pay PP's extortion money to call off the dogs. Isn't that great? One women's organization publicly bullying another and raking them over the coals for cash. Swell. So Komen is just chucking everything they said about more efficient ways to spend their (our donated) money to help women with cancer related issues? I'm over them too if that's how they plan to run a charity. There are plenty to choose from who care more about women than public opinion of the moment and political pressure from a bunch of MALE Senators and Congressmen etc.

    BTW I checked with my local PP's when the stories came out months ago about them not actually providing mamms and guess what - they don't. If they would just be honest about what they do and what their goals are - and stay out of politics - I would be much more likely to support them. They helped a lot of girls I knew as a teen avoid unwanted pregnancies... But now I think they are just leftist bullies that care much more about politics, money, and power than they do about women. A pox on both!

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    1. You're so right Thia. Everyone came out looking bad on this one. Everyone has been backed into their respective left wing/right wing corners, everyone is spewing venom at one another, and both organizations I dare to say have had a fundraising bonanza.

      One more reason to detach feminists from having abortion as their sole cause. There is so much more consensus about economic issues. Women on the left and on the right both want pay equity and power parity. But that would mean they'd have to join together and scare everyone with their power. It is so much easier and fun to see women's groups get into a scrap.

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    2. I've said it before and I'll say it again... Anyone on either side who insists on reducing me to the sum of my reproductive parts using abortion as THE "women's issue" is a sexist pig. How a breast cancer charity gets sucked into the same old boring abortion debacle is beyond me. I am NOT a voting ovary with legs.

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    3. There is only one wat to end this and that is to back away from these groups and be non partisan. Enough of us are tired of it and have been since 2008.
      When we pull out and stay out and our numbers grow - they will get the message! We need to pull our support and pool our support in the third way!
      The Right has sprung into action grouing groups and that is the antithesis of what is needed. We need a place for the independent women who refuse to be pigeonholed.
      A placeed where the majority can be safely united in the non divisive issues that need to be address!

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  18. First and foremost, Cynthia, you are an inspiration in writing about your personal experiences with breast cancer, and I am thankful to know that you are doing well and winning in what is most important- your life.

    I do agree that Planned Parenthood has changed since the 60's and 70's---but the reality is that most things have changed- nothing stays the same forever. It is extremely unfortunate that politics plays into so much of areas that should be NON political- As for the anti-abortion/right to life individuals, yes, they are very diverse- except for one thing: they want THEIR views to control all women and all women's decisions, and therein lies the problem. Statistics have shown that only 3% of the services that Planned Parenthood provides are abortions- Every area of the country is different, so I can only speak from where I live- but the services provided to women with no insurance or insurance that does not cover annual gynecological checkups is an enormous portion of what our local PP office provides- Our state is one of the worst in the nation for finding affordable health insurance- there just are no real options---so I APPLAUD WITH A STANDING OVATION that Planned Parenthood provides these services. Focusing on abortion while saying you believe in women's reproductive rights, and lambasting Planned Parenthood for not backing Hilary Clinton is really no different than what the Susan G Komen Foundation's head honcho did- The debacle they created will haunt them for a long time- and deservedly so. As I suggested to friends during this past week- the SGKFoundation is so branded and so 'everywhere' that OTHER organizations that don't have the branding and don't have the name recognition are barely noticed. My suggestion is that people go to charity navigator, look at the organizations under 'health' that are not for profit, and find one that will benefit women for breast screenings or whatever an individual believes.

    As for Planned Parenthood, it still provides (in our area, anyway) much needed services- so politics aside, I don't know where the majority of their clientele would go if they were not here. I think that you need to look at the big picture, the true percentage, and the reality of what is happening in our culture---I believe that both the right and the left have become so greedy and corrupt, we can talk about the blatant racism that exists, and we can talk about the need for great women leadership to come forward--- but dissing Planned Parenthood and relaxing the degree of shame and guilt that the Komen Foundation deserves is, in my opinion, inappropriate and inaccurate.

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    1. Anonymous, I understand where you are coming from, but I have to say that where you write "the shame and guilt that the Komen Foundation deserves" is so off base as to be laughable. You CANNOT erase the good work that Komen has done. And even if PP and its supporters might be offended by the incomprehensible act of Komen, does that erase the good work they have done? You have suggested that indeed it does. And there you would be wrong. The protests against Komen are scary to me. Why can't that be acknowledged as well? The left has developed a mafia-like mob mentality, and this mentality has hurt women so badly as evidenced by this kerfuffle that has been blown so out of proportion it is horrendous. The left heterodoxy on abortion has destroyed what feminism could be and it IS because of an out-of-date perspective. I have to agree with Cynthia on this one. And I have to say that the money
      Komen put into research has developed cures that probably have saved her life and many others. Sure PP has done good work, but so has Komen. And however this fight started, it needs to be over. Women beating up on women is great spectator sport-----enough!!!!

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    2. Contrary Mary, I never once stated or claimed that the Komen Foundation did not do anything good- but they became a POLITICAL entity when they allowed political views to change their role and support of Planned Parenthood. I am in agreement with most of what Valleyboy has posted. The latest right wing extremist action requiring women to have ultrasounds and have to wait 24 hours before getting an abortion is nothing more than torturous. I don't believe that abortion should be used for birth control. HOWEVER, I DON'T BELIEVE THAT MY VIEW SHOULD ENTER INTO THE DECISION THAT ANOTHER WOMAN MAKES ABOUT HER BODY AND HER REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS. Look at what Virginia passed this last week- and if any of the current GOP candidates are elected, not only will they overturn Roe v. Wade, but they will do away with the birth control pill. Wake up and pay attention- because whether you agree or disagree with the Komen Foundation or PP's backing of Obama, the reality here is that EXTREMISTS who back the ultra-conservative right positions will usurp women's rights- not sending us back years, but centuries. Women, as someone posted above, need to find commonground- and being barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen is not the ground where I wish to be found. I find it so hypocritical that we have sent troops overseas to supposedly 'fight for freedom' yet, in this country, our freedoms are disappearing- from the Patriot Act (allowing wiretapping, computer tapping, search and seizure without a warrant) to the latest ruling from the current administration. YES, we DESPERATELY NEED WOMEN CANDIDATES- but we DON'T need WOMEN CANDIDATES who are going to cowtow to setting us back. and YES, more often than not, women are women's own worst enemies- Ever hear a conversation between a stay at home mom and a mom who works outside of her home? And for anyone who does not believe in abortion, that's FINE. DON'T GET ONE. But you have NO RIGHT to push YOUR BELIEFS onto OTHER women. and THAT is what I view as 'enough'.

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    3. Exhibit A from Anonymous's post:
      But you have NO RIGHT to push YOUR BELIEFS onto OTHER women.
      Exhibit B from Anonymous's post:
      YES, we DESPERATELY NEED WOMEN CANDIDATES- but we DON'T need WOMEN CANDIDATES who are going to cowtow to setting us back.

      This illustrates our problem exactly. One small group of women has decided what "women's issues" are and what our positions on them should be - to the exclusion of all other issues the rest of us might care about and any opinions other than their own are heresy - and then they bully us just like Planned Parenthood did Komen. It's like "abortion" is some magic word that is supposed to call us all to the parapets with swords and bows drawn - and please leave your brains behind. But heaven forbid we stop just for two seconds and ask who they are having us aim at - you'll find yourself tossed off the wall and stepped on before you even know what happened.

      It's grotesque.

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  19. Congratulations on finishing chemo, Cynthia. I asdmire your strength in dealing with this disease and its treatment, I will keep you in my prayers.

    Your article is spot on.

    My first thought was - so these lunitics are willing to pull money from cancer?

    At this point - Koman has backed off and women are looking more radical than ever.

    How sad that women will be viewed throughout history from here on out as having abortion the be all and end all most important issue truopming all others including finding a cure for breast cancer!

    I can just see the spin now ... " women fight to end life rather than fight to save life".

    As a breast Cancer survivor yourself- this must hurt you in ways others fail to understand! Having lost three members to cancer recently- I certainly can't understand why we are so quick to align ourselves to a single issue to such an extent that we fail to see what it is doing to us as the majority who are in need of so much more. Instead of leaders and presidents we are viewed only as radical cunts!

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  20. Congratulations on your chemo treatment. Prayers and good wishes to you.

    You are brave to share your heart felt belief on such a controversial subject. Honestly, I've grown nonchalant on the abortion issue. Birth control is simply too readily available. If men and women took responsilibity for their behavior this would not be an issue. However, equal pay, women's leadership roles, etc are in dire need of leadership and help.

    A different note: has anyone ever considered: should feminine napkin products be covered through health insurance and healthcare flexible spending plans?

    Millions of women chose not to use birth control because of abstinence or natural planning methods. However, most of these women have no choice but to menstruate.

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    1. I think that most health insurance plans don't cover over-the-counter items such as tampons, etc.

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