The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

Got a tip? Have something you need to tell us? Contact us

Loading Recent Classifieds...

Defunding Planned Parenthood furthers war on reproductive rights

I often wake up in the morning and wonder if the country has gone completely mad.

The GOP candidates continue their political charades, polluting the airwaves with messages of hate against women with passionate fervor.

“I don’t believe breast cancer research is advanced by funding an organization that does abortions where you’ve seen ties to cancer and abortions,” said Rick Santorum in response to the Susan G. Komen Foundation’s recent decision to retract funding from Planned Parenthood for breast health care services.

Using fear tactics such as an unproven link between breast cancer and abortion to scare women into having children they don’t want or can’t care for is simply abhorrent.  For the record, The National Cancer Institute website reports, “The newer studies consistently showed no association between induced and spontaneous abortions and breast cancer risk.”

And although Santorum’s website claims, “Every American should have access to high quality, affordable health care, with health care decisions made by patients and their physicians,” he has also been a staunch supporter of an abortion ban, even in cases of rape, telling Piers Morgan in a CNN interview that a woman should “make the best out of a bad situation.”

Perhaps the only thing more disturbing than the platform numb skulls like Santorum are given are the women who not only support them, but initiate anti-choice actions themselves.

Enter Karen Handel, the now-resigned vice president of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation and staunch pro-lifer cited behind the Planned Parenthood debacle.
Handel, who joined Komen last year, was among the key decision-makers in the move to pull breast health care funding from Planned Parenthood, according to the New York Times, although in her letter of resignation she attempted to downplay her role.

The events leading up to Komen’s decision started in September, when Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., launched an investigation into whether Planned Parenthood illegally used federal money to fund abortions.

This prompted Komen, which has revamped its criteria to bar grants to any group under local, state or federal investigation to retract funding for 19 Planned Parenthood affiliates.

The move sparked a nationwide outcry, including a letter from a group of 26 Democratic senators urging Nancy G. Brinker, Komen’s founder and CEO, to reconsider.

Just days later, Komen reversed its decision. Yet Brinker, who has floundered back and forth about the reasons behind the decision, maintains that it was not politically motivated.

The fact is that Planned Parenthood helps millions of women and men every year, providing pelvic and breast exams, distributing birth control to 76 percent of its patients, and providing millions of tests and treatments for sexually transmitted infections.

Abortions account for just three percent of its services, while cancer screening and prevention accounts for 16 percent.

Upholding the rights of women’s to access birth control, abortion and pelvic and breast disease screening doesn’t ruin lives; taking away those vital services absolutely does.

I have no doubt that what is fueling the constant barrage of attacks on women’s reproductive rights is the misogyny underlying our patriarchal society.

The notion that women have gained independence and escaped the oppression of yesteryear is a façade.

Consider that women today still earn less money than men on the dollar, still bear the brunt of childcare and housework, continue to be objectified by the media and are disproportionately affected by domestic violence.

While the war on women may not end anytime soon, the public outcry the recent Komen decision sparked is a hopeful sign. Women must band together and take significant action if we are to maintain our rights.

More to Discover