Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Race for the Outrage

I’ve read dozens of Facebook posts of outrage today about the Susan. G. Komen Foundation’s decision to end their affiliation and contributions to Planned Parenthood, because according to their own standards, they will not support nor continue to support an organization undergoing federal investigation.

The outrage doesn’t surprise me because many people often take whatever opportunity possible to denigrate a political party or group for whom they feel nothing but contempt. In this case, the outrage has been directed toward a conservative politician who requested the records and reports from Planned Parenthood regarding their practices to determine if public funds were improperly spent on abortions, not cancer screenings.

His investigation has been called “politically motivated.” Well…yeah. He’s a politician. The investigation was apparently encouraged by an anti-abortion group. Well, yeah. Why wouldn’t it have been? Regardless, he is an idiot – what else could he be? He is, after all, a Republican. What does surprise me is this…well, several things to be honest:

First: Last time I checked, organizations like Planned Parenthood accept donations from private citizens. So by all means, support the non-profit groups of your choice, including Planned Parenthood. I know that’s not quite as easy as buying yogurt with a pink top but writing a check isn’t that hard, either.

Second: This isn’t a difficult a concept to understand: people who don’t support abortion on demand also don’t support organizations that do, and they really don’t want to see their own tax dollars supporting them, either. I know, I know, I know, I know - they’re all morons who hate women and they need to stay out of my body and they don’t care about any child once it’s out of the womb. And now they want women – especially women who are on the outside of the insured health care model - to be stricken with breast cancer.

Dear God. Isn’t that all just a little ridiculous??? Regardless of your personal beliefs, isn’t it reasonable to expect we have different points of view and understand that we’ll hold to them dearly?

Third: No one wants to watch more women suffer from breast cancer. It’s idiotic to twist this Komen decision into that conclusion.

Fourth: According to NPR, Planned Parenthood conducted something like 4 million breast exams over the past 5 years, and almost 170,000 of them were funded by the Komen Foundation. That’s about 4.25%. It’s not 0% - I’ll grant you – but can we stop with the hyperbole about how all women who are served by Planned Parenthood are going to be refused screening? If the NPR numbers are correct, 95.75% of them will get breast exams.

I know. That’s not 100% and women and their families will suffer as a result. But now that we have a hard-fought health care plan, maybe we can have our country’s health care providers cover that other 4.25%.

Fifth: The accounts I read indicated that the Komen Foundation donated $680,000 to Planned Parenthood last year. (Planned Parenthood lists net assets of $900.3 million and liabilities of $184 million in their 2009-2010 Annual Report.) That means the Foundation contributed .08% to the operating capital of Planned Parenthood.

As I write this, the signature count on the petition posted by numbers stands at 19,852. So basically, if everyone who signed it would send Planned Parenthood $34 instead, they’d be covered. And that doesn’t count every other petition out there and the people who signed those as well. In fact, this may turn out to be the biggest fundraiser Planned Parenthood ever had. Now wouldn’t THAT show those right-wing nutjobs!!!!

My point here isn’t to try to convert anyone from one side of the aisle to another. God knows there is no more pointless task on the planet. But what I’d love to see is an end to this mindless, relentless shrieking about why everyone who doesn’t agree with this set of standards or that type of political persuasion is nothing short of an abomination to mankind, deserving of scorn, ridicule and yes, hatred.

Enough. Rodney King posed the right question, although I haven’t heard anyone answer him yet.


Michael Treyder said...

it really seems like civil discourse has become extinct. im going to try and make it a point this year to seek out minds who look to come together towards a solution instead of grandstanding their own positions. i admit, i'm guilty of it but i sure know it's something i gotta fix on the quick!

renee said...

Thanks for your comment, Michael. I wish you the best in your journey toward civil discourse and solutions. I fear that will be a long, lonely difficult road.

But I'm in - could be interesting to see who wants to address the greater good, not an ego.