Komen Caves to Political Thuggery

Well, Komen for the Cure has caved to the political thuggery and has reversed their decision to defund Planned Parenthood. As disappointed as I am with their decision I can’t say I’m surprised, especially in light of the vitriol thats been spat in my own direction when I came to the Komen Foundation’s defense. I never expected a warm welcome over at feministe.us; however, the reactionary anger I’ve received in the last 24 hours has been alarming. The full dialogue from feministe is below (unrelated comments removed for brevity’s sake) in order to address the intellectual dishonesty and browbeating that seems to have become characteristic of militant feminism.

  • 5Christian 2.2.2012 at 1:19 pm | Permalink
    According to this research article induced abortions pose a significant risk factor for breast cancer. Considering that Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider in the country and that the Komen Foundation’s mission is to fight breast cancer then wouldn’t it be reasonable to suggest that Komen may actually be cutting their funding to PP specifically with women’s health in mind? I understand that Komen’s donations to PP are meant for breast cancer screenings but their fungibility lends to the promotion of abortion services which is counterproductive to the foundation’s goal of fighting breast cancer. To suggest that the Komen Foundation is hostile towards women just seems a little absurd to me in this light.
  • 6   2.2.2012 at 1:26 pm | Permalink
    @Christian (#5) There has been a great deal of research that debunks those “abortion causes breast cancer” bullshit studies. That is one of pro-lifers more popular arguments against abortion. Too bad it’s not true.
    Hey look, it’s the National Cancer Institute!
  • 7   2.2.2012 at 1:28 pm | Permalink*

    @ Christian: Untrue. A National Cancer Institute workshop of more than 100 experts studying findings on cancer and pregnancy “concluded that having an abortion or miscarriage does not increase a woman’s subsequent risk of developing breast cancer.” (What is linked to breast cancer? Full-term pregnancy.) Says the American Cancer Society, “… [T]he public is not well-served by false alarms. At this time, the scientific evidence does not support the notion that abortion of any kind raises the risk of breast cancer or any other type of cancer.”
    (Incidentally, I have a whole post coming up about that stuff, and you just made me blow one of my bullet points. Thanks a heap.)

  • 8   2.2.2012 at 1:30 pm | Permalink
    It is horrifying to me that someone would actually come on here and promote one of the anti-choice lobby’s favorite lies by citing a 15-year old study that’s been repeatedly debunked. Even assuming that Christian was posting in good faith, I guess it just shows the power of propaganda,
  • 10   2.2.2012 at 1:31 pm | Permalink
    What is linked to breast cancer? Full-term pregnancy

    That, in the context of this particular discussion, is hilarious (in the broaders sense it sucks, obviously!). Wingnut claim = 180 degrees from the truth.
    Clearly, in order to fight breast cancer, Komen should be upping it’s funding of PP, including money earmarked for abortions! 😉

  • 12Christian 2.2.2012 at 3:08 pm | Permalink
    The abortion-breast cancer link is controversial, yes, but is by no means settled. More research is still needed considering the total lack of consensus among reports. Considering the possibility of a link it would seem prudent for Komen to stay away from abortion in their fight against cancer. Additionally, hormonal contraception is a group 1 carcinogen along with smoking tobacco – providing another prompt for Komen to cut ties with PP. I’m not trying to argue that Planned Parenthood is bad or debate the morality of abortion or contraception here. I just want to point out that Komen may have some perfectly legitimate reasons for ceasing their donations to PP.
  • 14   . 2.2.2012 at 4:19 pm | Permalink
    @Christian,
    Bullshit. You bring up a thoroughly debunked study and state it as fact with no acknowledgement of contrary views by the scientific community in support of what is widely known to be a political move. You don’t get to play the “Let’s be reasonable” card after that. You lied to support an anti-woman agenda. You have zero credibility.
  • 15   2.2.2012 at 4:24 pm | Permalink
    The abortion-breast cancer link is controversial, yes, but is by no means settled.

    Much like the vaccine-autism link… oh wait, that also turned out to be based on a garbage study that actual scientists obliterated with facts.

  • 16   2.2.2012 at 4:28 pm | Permalink
    Shorter Christian: Let’s tell enough lies and hope nobody has the time and patience to correct all of it.
    Or another version:
    Shorter Christian: But the ladies are killing themselves, somebody should protect them from themselves!
  • 17Christian 2.2.2012 at 4:46 pm | Permalink
    Look, I don’t pretend to be an expert on the subject. I’m just going off the information available to me. The abortion-breast cancer link may very well be erroneous but I’m not going to make a snap-decision now in this moment based on comments in an internet com-box. I will give this more thought, research it more thoroughly and then make a decision. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in four years of nursing school its that medicine is not black and white. This isn’t the first time I’ve had to make a choice between contradictory reports – it happens all the time. In the meantime, I stumbled across the following video on another blog claiming PP’s mammogram services are actually far more restricted than they claim. I would like the other side’s opinion on this. What’s your response to this video?
  • 26   2.2.2012 at 6:04 pm | Permalink
    @Christian,
    Yes, please go do your research before you share another piece of anti-woman propoganda. As part of that research go talk to some women who have had mammograms through their insurance company and through PP. You might learn that its the same process. Go to the dr for an exam. Get a referral. Go to an offsite radiology lab. Its very similar to most lab testing these days.
  • 28   2.2.2012 at 9:06 pm | Permalink
    Christian is trolling. He’s got a post on his blog with a 4chan trollface, crowing about how he’s mocking the stupid feminists.
  • 29   2.2.2012 at 9:07 pm | Permalink
    ‘Cause, you know, women’s health is just a big f****** game to privileged straight cis boys.
  • 30Christian 2.2.2012 at 9:58 pm | Permalink
    j. you’ll also notice that I use the term “trolling” in my post as an exaggeration. Just a little humor to try and keep things lighthearted. I’ve been nothing but polite here at feministe because I’m a guest here, commenting is a privilege and I owe it to everyone to be respectful.

  • 31   2.3.2012 at 8:12 am | Permalink
    @j.,
    Funny how we’re stupid, but all of his facts are wrong.
  • 32   2.3.2012 at 10:02 am | Permalink
    I will give this more thought, research it more thoroughly and then make a decision.

    You are stern, but fair, my liege.

  • 33Christian 2.3.2012 at 10:34 am | Permalink
    Kristen J,
    I never accused anyone of being stupid so I don’t know where you got that idea.
    As for “all my facts being wrong” I unwittingly posted one outdated research article – I should have checked the date on it and I didn’t. However, I don’t know how getting one data point wrong makes everything I say incorrect. I pointed out that the International Agency for Research on Cancer categorizes hormonal contraceptives as a Group 1 carcinogen – the same category as smoking tobacco. Yet, no one has addressed that. My point here was never to say that contraceptives are evil and women shouldn’t be allowed to use them but that maybe Komen for the Cure, who is still, you know, about finding a cure might find promoting services that increase breast cancer counter-productive to their main goal.

  • 34   2.3.2012 at 10:41 am | Permalink
    maybe Komen for the Cure, who is still, you know, about finding a cure might find promoting services that increase breast cancer counter-productive to their main goal.

    Don’t mammograms, like all x-rays, also increase breast cancer risk? So should SGK stop promoting mammograms?

  • 35   2.3.2012 at 10:53 am | Permalink
    My point here was never to say that contraceptives are evil and women shouldn’t be allowed to use them but that maybe Komen for the Cure, who is still, you know, about finding a cure might find promoting services that increase breast cancer counter-productive to their main goal.

    Its quality aside, has Komen stated or even hinted, ever, that this is one of their reasons?

  • 36   2.3.2012 at 10:53 am | Permalink*

    My point here was never to say that contraceptives are evil and women shouldn’t be allowed to use them but that maybe Komen for the Cure, who is still, you know, about finding a cure might find promoting services that increase breast cancer counter-productive to their main goal.

    And if Komen were using that as their excuse, it would be worth discussing. But they’re not. They’re saying investigation, blah blah blah new granting strategies, blah blah helping women blah. If you’re going to support their decision, you have to be able to defend the explanation(s) they’re actually giving, not the explanation you’d personally find reasonable.

Comments 6, 7, 8, 10: I mistakenly linked to an outdated research article and I should have paid closer attention. However, as I’ve delved deeper into the issue its not as cut-and-dry as these comments suggest. There is a lot of controversy concerning the abortion/breast cancer link and such a link may or may not exist. The article cited is 15 years old but a list of studies that do suggest a link can be found here, including several from as recently as 2009. I will not state that abortion causes breast cancer in light of the controversy but to make the equally controversial assertion that abortion does not cause breast cancer would also be fallacious. Regarding the claim that induced abortion is safer than carrying a pregnancy to term in regards to cancer risk, again, the reality is not nearly so simple. Full-term pregnancy has been linked to breast cancer but the elevated risk is very small and, more importantly, very short-lasting. Additionally, breastfeeding has been linked to a life-long reduction in breast cancer risk (see here, here, here) and considering that 70% of women initiate breastfeeding and 36% breastfeed through 6 months per pregnancy not only is any risk nullified for these women but they actually experience a net decrease in their risk for breast cancer. What this means is that when the natural process of pregnancy and delivery is not divorced from the natural process of breastfeeding then mothers experience positive health benefits. Which makes sense considering human physiology evolved precisely in order to do those things. Compare this to contraception, induced abortion, and bottle-feeding which all interfere with this natural process.

Comment 14: the article I linked to has not been debunked necessarily and as a meta-analysis reviewing 28 independent studies it in no way represents a “political move.” The analysis is merely outdated and in light of contradictory reports, faulty. Contrary to the commenters assertion I never “stated it as fact” and calling me a liar is laughable considering all I did was say, “article x says x” and, guess what. Article x did say x so I in no way compromised my credibility nor did I support any “anti-woman agenda.” As a senior nursing student I work in a traditionally and, still today, predominantly female profession, fifty percent of my patients are women, and I provide healthcare to women every day I work as a nurse – maybe I’m crazy, but I don’t think there’s anything anti-woman about anything I’m doing. What’s really absurd about this comment, however, is the assertion that I “don’t get to play the let’s be reasonable card.” First, being reasonable isn’t a privilege that can be taken away and, second, wouldn’t everything be better for everyone if I made every effort towards being reasonable? I cannot understand this mindset that I’m not allowed to be reasonable because I disagree. While it may be easier for the commenters over at feministe to view their opposition as irrational, ignorant husks of human beings who hate them for their double X chromosomes I have no obligation to appease their fantasy. I will continue to be reasonable and ask that my opponents to do the same because as much fun as it may be for some to pick on an irrational opponent when has that ever led to true justice? I’m much more interested in finding solidarity than I am in propagating division and I would ask that my opponents consider the same instead of trying to make me their scapegoat.

Comment 15: see response to comments 6, 7, 8, and 10.

Comment 16: “Let’s tell enough lies and hope nobody has the time and patience to correct all of it.” and
“But the ladies are killing themselves, somebody should protect them from themselves!” Both arguments are incoherent. I never lied as evidenced by simply reading the dialogue above. I posted one controversial link which apparently makes me a serial liar. The second quote is even more nonsensical; I pointed out that contraception is a Group 1 carcinogen as is smoking tobacco. I certainly never said or implied anything about women killing themselves and needing to be protected from themselves. In fact, its precisely because I believe that women are smart and fully capable of complete autonomy that I would recommend naprotechnology as a natural family planning method in order to circumvent the health risks of hormonal contraception. The only downside to naprotechnology is that it requires thinking and motivation – which is only a problem if you consider women too stupid or lazy to do it. They are neither of those things.

Comment 26: Again, to assert that anything I said or referenced was anti-woman propaganda is absurd. See above. Also, Planned Parenthood’s facilities do not possess mammogram equipment – they refer you someplace else for that – they only do manual exams. So mammograms through your insurance and through PP are not the same thing. PP refers you to facilities exterior to their organization.

Comment 28: I don’t know where he/she got the idea that I’m mocking feminists for being stupid since I never even implied such a thing. As for the troll accusation, I did make a joke about trolling on my blog . . . about how nothing I do on the internet could ever be construed as trolling because I’m far too polite. So in fact the exact opposite of bragging about trolling feministe.

Comment 29: I’m a privileged man making women’s health into a game? See comment 14 where I explain how I’m devoting my life to providing healthcare to women.

Comments 31 and 32: Never said you were stupid and, again, I posted one link that is controversial so it may or may not be wrong. As for the sarcastic comment trying to portray me as above it all, would you rather I didn’t think about any of this, didn’t do any research, and came to an irrational decision? Considering all the attempts to paint me as a villain I almost want to say yes, that’s exactly what you want. However, I’d rather you hate me for being reasonable than give you a reason to scapegoat me.

Comment 34: cancer risk from routine mammograms is minimal, especially compared to the carcinogenic effects of hormonal contraceptives. Obviously, the benefit of catching a tumor early outweighs the miniscule risk of causing cancer, but you already knew that.

Comments 35 and 36: Saying that I’m not allowed to discuss issues Komen itself didn’t mention and that I’m obligated to defend Komen’s specific explanations is absurd. I pointed out that hormonal contraceptives and possibly abortions are counter-productive to the fight against breast cancer. I also pointed out that PP doesn’t do mammograms. At worst you could accuse me of being off-topic, I suppose.

S0 according to the commenters over at feministe I’m not allowed to discuss my point of view, I’m not allowed to be reasonable, and I’m not allowed to disagree. I’m an anti-woman serial liar who thinks woman’s health is a game. I never realized that rational thought was a privilege that could be taken away by an anonymous commenter on the internet and I certainly didn’t know that I hate women. I want to spend the rest of my life with a woman; I thought this was because I like women, even love them, but apparently strangers on the internet know more about the inner workings of my heart than I do.

I need to reevaluate my life. I’ll start by going out and doing some nice things for women, like opening doors for them and paying for their dinners. Feminists like that kind of thing, right?

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2 thoughts on “Komen Caves to Political Thuggery

    • yeah, and that’s essentially what I wanted to illustrate here. Whenever I attempt to actually engage Planned Parenthood proponents in a discussion I’m looking for substance, give and take for both sides and, hopefully, some common ground to work with. Instead I get knee-jerk reactions void of any substance. Other groups are certainly guilty of the same kind of irrational reactionist responses, even some conservative Catholics, but I have NEVER encountered it anywhere to the same extreme degree as with these kind of Planned Parenthood militant feminist groups.

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