Life, Love, and Dirty Diapers

Why I Support Finding a Cure for Breast Cancer, but Not Susan G. Komen

on September 23, 2011

Susan G. Komen. When most people hear this name, they instantly conjure up images in their head of pink ribbons and breast cancer awareness. And while I think that breast cancer is a huge problem among women, I will not support Susan G. Komen until they clear up their ties with Planned Parenthood. Not only that, but one of their other problems is pink washing, which I’ll talk about a little farther down. And they go after other charities.

Planned Parenthood

Susan G. Komen gives money to Planned Parenthood to provide mammograms.

Why am I so against this? Well, for one, Planned Parenthood performs abortions. And they don’t, on a whole, provide that much for women in the way of breast cancer. First of all, most Planned Parenthoods are only licensed for Level 1 screenings, nothing more advanced than that. Additionally, in 2008 the number of breast cancer related visits to Planned Parenthood went down while the number of abortions went up. And yet they still received $731,000 from Susan G. Komen for breast cancer screenings, even though they did less that year than in previous years. In fact in total for the 5 year period from 2004-2009, Planned Parenthood received $3.3 million from Susan G. Komen.

Looking at what they provide for breast cancer, I will take a look at Milwaukee and what they offer here, since it is my city. The way Planned Parenthood structures their website, breast health falls under Women’s Health Services. Some clinics do not offer women’s health services at all (Capitol Drive Health Center and Milwaukee- Jackson Center). Still others only are able to provide breast exams (which I was always taught and have several booklets that show me how to do my own at home) and mammogram referrals (which couldn’t any doctor, like your regular doctor, give you? Though I might be mistaken). Those ones are Milwaukee-NorthwestMilwaukee- Wisconsin Avenue, Mitchell Street Health Center, and Milwaukee- Lincoln Plaza Health Center. Technically, the last one is in West Allis, but I included it because it has Milwaukee in it’s name. But not a single one of these six Milwaukee clinics actually does mammograms. You will find Komen’s response to this below.

And, you would think, that Susan G Komen would be aware of the fact that breast cancer has been linked to abortion. I will do my best to explain why this is, but I am not a doctor and I’ll link to all my sources, so you can read where I’m getting my info from. Additionally, I’ve linked to videos directly below this paragraph that are some of the researchers who have researched this talking about it if you want to skip to those and watch them explain it directly in their own words. There are two ways it raises the risk – one has been widely accepted, while the other one is more disputed. The accepted one is an indirect risk – in the fact that when you have a full term pregnancy you develop a majority of Type 4 breast tissue, which is the most cancer resistant. Until you have children, you have Types I and II where most breast cancers are found. Putting off having kids allows you to have cancerous tissue for longer. This is argued as an indirect link to breast cancer, since when you have an abortion, you are putting off having kids. The second risk, the disputed one, is more directly connected. Some researchers have found that you actually have more cancerous breast tissue after an abortion. The argument goes like this. When you get pregnant, your breast tissues grow because of estrogen (this is a fact). When you are pregnant and carry the pregnancy to term, the other hormones balance it out and change it to that cancer resistant type noted above. Of 72 studies conducted, 80 percent found this second risk separate from the first risk. One of these studies found that looking at a group of women who had been pregnant at least one time, that those who had been pregnant and had abortions had a rate of breast cancer that was 50% higher. Experts also estimate that 1 out of 100 women will die of breast cancer connected to a previous abortion. These risks are increased in girls under 18 and women over 29 at the time of the abortion and those women with breast cancer in their family’s background. There are some studies that refute these facts, but as Janet Orient, MD of the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons has said, “If you look at the number of studies that show a connection, they vastly outnumber the ones that don’t, and the ones that don’t have been criticized for serious methodological flaws.” In fact, a major scientist from National Cancer Institute who had first tried to deny the link, later published that there was a link, which of course the National Cancer Institute tried to cover up. (National Cancer Institute has also been approached by one scientist and five different doctors at different occasions about the fact that they deny this, but they have never done anything about it.) Some research by pro-choice people has even found the connection, though they try and dispute their own studies. It always makes me wonder, if you are going to tear down your own study, why not do it better? Most of the major cancer bodies deny this connection sadly, I think because of the backlash it would cause them if they said abortion was linked to breast cancer. Indeed, people have refused to speak on it, even though they recognize the connection, because it is considered too political. There are many doctors who feel that women who want to have abortions should be told for this, but yet very few women actually are. I think that they should be told – informed consent is important to me. Even if it is disputed, wouldn’t it be better to know and say there is some evidence, give the woman the full facts so that they’re making an informed decision. I would feel that people for and against abortion should be for this. I’m against abortion, I will be straight in my bias. But even if I was for abortion, I would want women to know because it is a serious thing that should not be taken lightly.

This video might explain it better – this doctor has done research on it. He holds a PhD and taught for over 20 years. He had published well respected research.

There is a drawn nude breast in this for your information.

“I have three sisters with breast cancer, and I resent people messing with scientific data to further their own agenda, be they pro-choice or pro-life. I would have loved to have found no association between breast cancer and abortion, but our resealch is rock solid, and our data is accurate. It’s not a matter of believing; it’s a matter of what is.” — Dr. Janet Daling of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (a pro-choice researcher)

In fact, there are even people who have worked for Susan G. Komen who left after learning of their connections to Planned Parenthood. One was Eve Sanchez-Silver (Susan G. Komen Foundation National Hispanic/Latina Advisory Council member). At that time, she stated, “As a Christian and life affirming citizen I can not reconcile the Foundation’s decision to affirm life with one hand and support its destruction with the other.”

This is Komen’s response:

In addition to education, women served at Planned Parenthood may receive a clinical breast exam, and when further screening is needed, a referral to either a state program or a private mammogram provider. In the latter case, the mammogram may be paid for by the Komen-Planned Parenthood grant. It is important to note that Komen only gives grants to nonprofit organizations, and many mammography providers are for-profit.

Affiliate funding to Planned Parenthood is reviewed twice-yearly to ensure that it is being used only for breast health services. If reviews showed the funds being used for any other purpose, the funds would be withdrawn.

I just have a couple of questions. First of all, why give it to a middle man? I understand that many mammography providers are for-profit so they don’t give to them, but does it really make sense to give it to someone else in the event that it “may be” paid for by the Komen-Planned Parenthood grant? Are you telling me there are no other organizations out there that do this? There must be, since Planned Parenthood is not the only organization receiving their funding. Second of all, what do these reviews look like? How do they show it is only being used for breast health services? I would like to see these reviews and the breakdown of the funding. I would like some transparency here. Additionally, Susan G. Komen lists the birth control pill as increasing the risk of breast cancer on their own website and still gives money to Planned Parenthood. Even if they deny the abortion connection, they admit this connection and yet still give money to an organization that supplies the birth control pill. Additionally the point has been made, what about all of the women who purposefully and specifically will not go into Planned Parenthood’s because of their bad reputation and abortion business. Why not give them to a place where all women feel comfortable going? This is an argument that I completely agree with.

Pinkwashing

Second, they are involved in pink washing. I will point to their campaign “Buckets for the Cure” with KFC. It made a lot of money for Komen, but many say promoting fatty foods it’s unethical. Does Fried Chicken directly cause breast cancer? No but the argument is “There is definitely a link between being overweight and breast cancer and eating fast food typically contributes to being overweight so I would say it’s a mixed message.” – Walter Willett, professor at Harvard School of Public Health They also claim that it helped reach hundreds of thousands of people with breast cancer information. I don’t know what buying a pink bucket teaches you about breast cancer OR how many people in this day and age are honestly not aware of breast cancer. I feel it’s one of the cancers that is most talked about. Certainly more than Pancreatic Cancer and Ovarian Cancer and Oral Cancer are, to name a few others. And the stats are a little less than one in eight, so chances are pretty good that most people even know someone or of someone. I highly doubt this American population is that unaware of breast cancer. I even read a cancer survivor outraged at this. Also, a representative from Komen claimed that people reading the lids would be more aware and motivated to get a mammogram, even though she also said that the lids say nothing about breast cancer and only direct them to a website. It begs the question, a) how many people do you think actually went to the website? and b) what about the people who don’t have internet? Supposedly, the website was also directed more towards fundraising and making money than prevention, though I was not able to verify this as the link no longer works.

In terms of other pink washing things, they also sold a perfume to raise money for their foundation that contained known carcinogens.

“For the Cure” Attacks

Third, they often go after other charities for using the phrase “for the cure” and “for a cure” since they have trademarked these. To be honest, it is such a generic phrase and I’m sure there are many groups working towards a cure for many things. Uniting Against Lung Cancer, for example, got a letter because of their events “Kites for the Cure.” Other events that have come under fire from other charities are things like “Surfing for a Cure,” “Cupcakes for a Cure,” “Par for the Cure,” and “Mush for the Cure.” They have gone after over a hundred charities for this phrase. And it came out that they spend almost a million dollars every year going after groups that use these phrases. I could think of a million things better to do with that million dollars than attacking other charities. Their reasoning behind this is that people will be confused. To me honest, if somebody says “for the cure” do you instantly think Susan G. Komen? I don’t. And I’m sure that people who donate to Susan G. Komen don’t think they are using these funds to go after other charities.

Conclusion

Given all this, I think it’s totally unethical that Susan G. Komen donates to Planned Parenthood, pink washes, and is out to get other charities. And I didn’t even touch on their support of embryonic stem cell research or the fact that they don’t market/promote breastfeeding, something that lowers your breast cancer risk. I would encourage you as well not to support Susan G. Komen.

I know that posting this will not make me popular and may lose me readers and followers, but I am trying to uphold what’s best for women and they deserve better.

More information:

Sources:


3 responses to “Why I Support Finding a Cure for Breast Cancer, but Not Susan G. Komen

  1. Anonymous says:

    I was quite encouraged to locate this web site. I wanted to thank you for this particular go through. I definitely savored every single tiny little bit of it and I’ve you bookmarked to have a look at new things you post.

  2. This is fabulous. I just read a book called “The Atonement Child,” by Francine Rivers. The author is a christian, mind you, which I also happen to be.The book speaks to me because it mixes faith with the fictional story line and granted I do understand that not everyone is a believer. But it mentioned so many things in the book about the abortion industry, one of which was the correlation between breast cancer and abortions. I hadn’t ever heard of that until the book, so it is interesting to read this entry not long after finishing that book. But thank you for speaking out about Planned Parenthood, and the correlation between abortions and breast cancer. And for being honest and saying that you are pro-life. I am as well, not only because I believe that life begins as conception and should be protected but also because of what abortion does to a woman’s body, mind and soul. No matter how much you want to make an abortion appear glossy and safe, I don’t feel as though it completely is. Anything that doesn’t legally require doctors to inform you of the risks of potential side effects (suicide and cancer among them) is ridiculous to me. How can we lambast people for smoking and want everything printed on the side of a carton of cigarettes when the after effects of an abortion can be absolutely devastating to women? How can we not make an abortion clinic inform their patients of the increased risks instead of side stepping these questions? Some may say I’m wrong. Just please note that I am not attacking anyone who has had an abortion and not insinuating that everyone who has had one has been victim of the side affects but I just feel like PP should be held more accountable as other industries are measured by such high standards.

    Sorry for the rant. Again, thank you for posting this.

    • Melissa says:

      I feel very similar to you. I’m a Christian too and I am pro-life for so many reasons, for the baby, for the mother, for the father because I believe the abortion effects men too. I often wonder why the pro-choice side fights laws that seek to inform women. If it really is a choice, shouldn’t women be informed about the choice they are making? I don’t say you’re wrong and like you I don’t seek to attack those who have had an abortions but you’re right they should be held accountable. Thank you for commenting :)

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