Politics should not come before our health

Politics should not come before our health

The Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation is one of the largest and most well-known breast cancer organizations in the United States. Widely celebrated for its generous funding for breast cancer prevention and treatment programs, the foundation is dedicated to women’s health.

Or at least, it was.

The foundation recently cut its financial ties with Planned Parenthood affiliates, which means less money for breast cancer screening and education programs through Planned Parenthood. The foundation has since reneged its funding cuts.

According to The New York Times,  these initial cuts meant “$700,000 less for Planned Parenthood, which performed 750,000 such screenings last year, many thousands of them with money from the Komen foundation.”

The organization is supposed to be committed to saving lives, not playing political games.

According to The New York Times, the foundation justified its move by citing “a new policy against making grants to groups under federal or state investigation — in Planned Parenthood’s case, an inquiry into how it spends its taxpayer money by Representative Cliff Stearns, a Republican of Florida.”

Stearns, along with many other small-minded people in this country, hear “Planned Parenthood” and immediately think “abortion.” These people are stigmatizing a beneficial organization and need to get their facts straight.

The New York Times reports that abortions actually only make up about three percent of Planned Parenthood’s work.

Stearns and those like him are ignoring all of the positive contributions of the organization, such as the affordable cancer screenings, treatment for sexually transmitted diseases and sex education programs.

The New York Times reports that the Susan G. Komen foundation tried to “quietly distance” themselves from “a politically controversial organization that they feared was costing them support and donations,” according to a board member.

What a sad world we live in where people act on behalf of other people’s opinions, and not based on that which is right.

If skirting a little bit of controversy is the reason to cut funding for an extremely beneficial organization, then the Susan G. Komen foundation miscalculated. It has caused more of a controversy than ever now that they have cut ties with Planned Parenthood.

You cannot just “quietly” walk away from an organization that has been saving lives for years. People get angry. And they should be.

Once the foundation heard all of the people’s cries of outrage, it once again changed its course of action.

According to the New York Times, Nancy Brinker, founder and CEO of the foundation, has now “reversed course and restored Komen’s relationship with Planned Parenthood.”

Brinker released a statement apologizing to the “American public for recent decisions that cast doubt upon our commitment to our mission of saving women’s lives.”

Although this apology and decision to support Planned Parenthood again are both positive outcomes, the fact still remains that the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation prioritized politics and popular opinion before its devotion to women’s health.

The game of politics is already a corrupt and malignant leech that attaches itself onto too many aspects of our daily lives. But now, with its interference in saving lives, it has gone too far.

It’s simple: politics should play no role in women’s health or cancer research. Period.