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Cleaned out the fridge: No more Komen pink ribbon yogurt

By Linda Grist Cunningham, editor and proprietor

Linda Grist Cunningham is editor and proprietor of Key West Island News and KeyWestWatch Media LLC. She and her husband, a park ranger at Fort Zach, live in Key West with their Cat 5s.

02/03/2012

Update at 11 a.m.: Reuters reports Komen has reversed its decision to pull Planned Parenthood funding.

The Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation can give its money to whomever it wants. No problem with that. I can, too. No more pink ribbons for me. And, while I’m at it, I think I’ll avoid purchasing anything with the Komen pink labels. Money talks. Money walks. The American way.

This week, the Associated Press reporter David Crary broke the story that the Komen foundation had stopped funding Planned Parenthood. Komen said it did so because Planned Parenthood was under investigation, which it is. Under investigation by several  anti-abortion U.S. Congressmen who are determined to do in Planned Parenthood.

Not surprisingly, the decision called out the abortion hardliners. On one side, the so-called pro-lifers; on the other, the so-called pro-choicers. But, there were other responses, more measured and more on-point. Like that of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg who offered up $250,000 in matching money for those contributing to Planned Parenthood. For the Big Apple mayor, this is about equity in access to women’s health care.

I’m with the mayor. So, no more Yoplait with its cute pink and silver tops in my refrigerator. I’ll defend Komen’s right to give its money — political or otherwise — as its board sees fit. I don’t however, have to give mine to Komen.

So, I’ll write a check to Planned Parenthood. And, I’ll write another to the American Cancer Society. I won’t sign up for Komen breast cancer events, golf outings, bike rides or group walks.

I can, however, sign up for Rockford Woman Magazine’s Victory Lap Brunch and the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk. Those two Rock River Valley events aren’t associated with the Komen foundation.

Komen says this was neither a pro-life or political call. That it was all about its policy on not funding organizations being investigated. There are investigations and there are investigations. Surely the Komen folks are smart enough to know that Congressional probe is political theater.

I’ve paid scant attention to Planned Parenthood since the days back in the 1970s when, as a novice reporter, I used to cover them. Komen did Planned Parenthood a huge favor. By pulling its funding, Komen tapped a lot of folks like me on the shoulder and said: Hey, if you don’t pay attention, there’s not going to be a Planned Parenthood.

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Linda Grist Cunningham

Linda Grist Cunningham is editor and proprietor of Key West Island News and KeyWestWatch Media LLC. She and her husband, a park ranger at Fort Zach, live in Key West with their Cat 5s.

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