Since Tuesday, the story of Susan G. Komen’s de-funding of Planned Parenthood (and subsequent backpedaling) has exploded all over my Facebook newsfeed along with stories of folks donating to the PP’s emergency fund for breast health. I didn’t give because this past December I gave a big gift to Planned Parenthood–one of the largest donations I’ve ever made in my adult life–because I strongly believe in their work. Not just the health education, STD and cancer screenings, and access to contraceptives but abortions. In fact when I made the online donation, I wanted to specify that my money should be spent on terminating pregnancies.
When so many organizations are giving PP money with strings–like Komen giving money for breast cancer screenings (and the science on the impact and utility of early detection is questionable) or the federal government not being allowed to fund any abortions–I gave my money without any preconditions. I would be very happy if the entirety of my gift went to pay for abortions, which I believe are at times necessary and should remain a safe medical option for all women regardless of race and socioeconomic class. I’m sick and tired of hearing PP having to defend itself and its existence and insist that they do a lot more than abortions, which they do. But the fact is they do perform abortions and I’m very happy for it. I was raised by a mother who was an adult before Roe v. Wade changed the options for women. She remembers women who had had back alley abortions. She always stressed to me how important this hard won right is.
Abortions might be only constitute three percent of its overall activity but it’s an important 3 percent, especially for the women who’ve had to use this service. I will continue to give my money to them, no strings attached.