ta ta, easy answers
There’s nothing like losing one pal to breast cancer and watching other friends fight it to turn a relatively mild-mannered girl into a militant. Which is precisely what occurred a few days ago when the Komen organization announced its decision to deny grant monies to Planned Parenthood.
Personally, I didn’t buy any of the three official reasons given early on: (1) that it was a strategy of efficiencies; (2) that it was a matter of stewardship; (3) that it was no way political.
Yesterday, however, Komen corrected course, saying: “We have been distressed at the presumption that the changes made to our funding criteria were done for political reasons or to specifically penalize Planned Parenthood.” Yes, how dare millions of your benefactors “presume” that. Silly us. (And, I’d rather be me than Ari Fleischer, today.)
Okay, now, all snarkiness aside, some really good things did come out of this kerfuffle.
• Most of us will look more closely at how much the charitable organizations we support spend on direct services in contrast to operational costs. And what criteria truly guide their actions.
• Many of us will fight harder to see that people in financial difficulty have better access to primary health care. And, yes, I did rely on Planned Parenthood as my health safety net several years ago, when my world turned upside down for a bit. Exceptional care. With some of the best-written self-care information I’ve ever read.
• Some of us will take a stronger stand to stop the politicization of women’s health. I never imagined my granddaughter’s generation might not have the right to control their own bodies. And I’ve seen ultrasounds of my own uterus: much too small for Congress to convene.
There’s another benefit from all this, as well–and that’s the facts on mammograms. There are no easy answers, but it’s good that we ask the questions about if, when and why they matter to our own good health. Yes, it is true that radiation-based imaging is not without risks. But neither is life. And when these scans are performed by certified imaging technologists on today’s much-improved systems, it seems a pretty good bargain in my brain.
Now, regarding the photo above. My friend Doris–whose sister has dealt with breast cancer– posted it on her FaceBook page a couple years ago with the following caption: “Beth and my Lady Falcon Softball bra for the Corydon Old Settlers’ decorating contest. Notice the batting gloves holding up the goods!! We got 2nd place!!”
Actually, they raised a bunch-o-bucks to provide mammograms for women who couldn’t afford them.
I’d say that’s a first-place win.