Pink’s not really my color, not when it becomes more apparent that it’s simply a lighter shade of red, the ubiquitous color of the conservative class.
Any chance that I would ever don a pink tie for the folks at Susan G. Komen for the Cure is as nonexistent today as the puce purse not in my wardrobe closet.
breast cancer fundraising organizations in the country, made it public this week that it will no longer fund breast health programs at Planned Parenthood.
State Sen. Alex Padilla said he was giving up his status as one of Komen’s “Pink Tie Guys,” public figures who wear the neckerchiefs to draw awareness to breast cancer. His pink tie statement is ceremonial, of course, a symbol of defiance for those who see the blatant politicization of Komen’s move despite the organization’s insistence to the contrary.
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Padilla, a high-ranking Democrat in the Legislature, is simply doing what is expected of him as a good liberal protesting what is clearly a conservative issue. The Religious Right and much of the Republican Party have been waging a cultural war on Planned Parenthood and its use of abortion for a while. In recent years they’ve had the organization on the ropes, punching at its pocketbook, and Komen’s defunding of Planned Parenthood is a crushing right hook.
This is further proof that just about anything in this country can be politicized. It’s a difficult situation to put Americans in, because many get disgusted by the bipartisan divisiveness and work hard to either ignore it or stay out of it. But for those who find reproductive rights sacred, that they should be free from religious extremism and the shifting sands of the party in power, this re-ignites the fight.
Komen’s actions are the worst kind of kowtow to party pressures, and possibly even a long-held plan now made justifiable. There is a body of circumstantial evidence to prove that point. And frankly, it’s a point worth proving when something as apolitical as breast cancer and breast cancer health is co-opted by the morality police.
Komen’s defense is a trumped-up argument and self-serving excuse to deflect years of cringe-worthy allegiances to the GOP, whose Religious Right membership has been critical of Planned Parenthood’s access to Komen dollars for years.
As we speak, Bible Belt Congressman Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., is leading a House inquiry into whether Planned Parenthood used federal funding to perform abortions, which is a violation of federal law. The hearings are just official enough to serve as justification by which Komen is defending the defunding.
Komen officials have said they are “dismayed and extremely disappointed” by the reactions, adding that continuing to fund Planned Parenthood while it is the subject of Congressional inquiry goes against a recently enacted policy to not fund organizations under investigation by authorities.
Hmmm. Sterns’ inquiry started in September and the new policy was adopted sometime in the early part of last winter. To further the conspiracy, conservative former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel, who has called herself a “pro-life Christian,” came on board at Komen last April as senior vice president of public policy.
Some could say all of this was inevitable considering Susan G. Komen’s own sister and CEO of the organization, Nancy Brinker, is a longtime Republican appointee, having served as ambassador of Hungary and chief of protocol under George W. Bush.
If there was pressure put on Komen by Brinker’s friends in the party, enough factors came together in this highly charged political climate to give the organization the out it needed, to take that cheap shot after the bell.
Planned Parenthood has a mighty chin, though. It will take those punches, and those who hold reproductive rights in higher regard than religious persecution and bowing to partisan pressure, will come to its defense and aid. Women’s rights, individual freedoms and choice say so.