Komen's Reversal Signifies a Win for Women's Sexual and Reproductive Freedoms

Today the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation reversed a decision it made earlier this week to remove funding for Planned Parenthood, a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide various health services to women across the country.

“We want to apologize to the American public for recent decisions that cast doubt upon our commitment to our mission of saving women’s lives,” Komen said in a statement signed by its founder, Nancy Brinker, and its board of directors. The reversal signifies that women’s choice and sexual freedoms in America, as well as the organizations fighting to protect these freedoms clearly, win out at the end.

On Tuesday, Komen announced to stop funding Planned Parenthood with the grants it made to the organization for breast cancer screening. Under new eligibility rules, Komen aimed to exclude grants to groups that are under investigation by U.S. authorities. The investigation of Planned Parenthood aroused from efforts by congressmen wanting to shut down the organization because they believe the organization uses federal funds to perform abortions, a point which is yet to be proven. 

In its statement, Komen changed its criteria to “ensure that politics has no place in its grant process,” and disqualification of any group is determined only if the investigation is “criminal and conclusive in nature, and not political.”   

Planned Parenthood tweeted today, “To those who #stand with PP: you tweeted, you blogged, you petitioned, you donated, you spoke, you posted on Facebook – you make a difference.” 

The continued existence of Planned Parenthood seemed to in doubt this past year, specifically because of the vote to strip funds from the organization, and a pledge signed by every GOP presidential nominee to cease all federal funding to Planned Parenthood if any of them are elected next term. 

It seems that Planned Parenthood hasn’t lost all support and hope. The people who expressed an end of support for Komen, those who refused to buy boxes of cereal with pink ribbons, those on social media who powerfully expressed their outrage and support, and the small donors standing alongside the organization have all helped win this victory. This reversal marks that women’s freedom in the U.S. does stand a fighting chance. It’s up to the pro-choice supporters to keep demonstrating why women deserve and need the opportunity to make sexual and reproductive decisions about their own bodies. 

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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Sifat Azad

Sifat is pursuing her MFA in Creative Writing at Kingston University in London as the first-ever recipient of the Hilary Mantel Creative Writing Scholarship Award. She is a CUNY Baccalaureate graduate with dual concentrations in Literature and Creative Writing. Her piece, "Covered," was featured in John Jay's Finest and her short story, "Brownstone," was published in J Journal: New Writing on Justice.

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