I am so torn. I hate that I even have to write about this, but in one way it's getting my thoughts and feelings out, and in another way it's to inform you of something I discovered this past week.
One of my friends sent me a message a few days ago. In short it said, "I feel you should know that Susan G. Komen gives money to Planned Parenthood."
I'm sure you know that Planned Parenthood is the #1 provider of abortions in our country (even the word provider in that sentence sounds wrong to me).
At first I went on the defensive. Big time. I told her that in 2008, when I first decided to do the race, I had heard that SGK gave money to PP. Upon investigation, I was told that the St. Louis affiliate did not give money to PP, but that even the national organization that does give to PP closely monitors the money for women's health, breast screenings, etc. For some reason, that information worked for me, I justified it in my head, and went ahead and supported SGK.
After telling her this, she sent me another message that said, "A friend of mine called the STL affiliate this morning and they confirmed that they do, in fact, give to PP. And even if the money is earmarked for specific screenings, it frees up their other funds for abortions."
I tried to digest this information as best I could. I told myself that it was brave of Marie to tell me this, and I needed to just do some soul searching and figure out where I stood as far as supporting SGK.
Ironically just yesterday, MckMama's facebook page was full of comments as she declared that she would pull the Susan G. Komen ads off of her blog because of their support for Planned Parenthood. The comments ranged from totally supporting her to being totally appalled. The one comment that stood out to me the most, however, had to do with a HUGE list of organizations that also give money to Planned Parenthood. Are you sitting down? Here goes:
Charitable organizations associated with Planned Parenthood:
American Association of Retired Persons
American Automobile Association (AAA)
American Cancer Society
American Diabetes Association
Camp Fire Girls
Council of Churches (including Church World Service, and CROP Hunger Walks)
Doctors Without Borders
Dr. Phil Foundation
Glaucoma Research Foundation
Human Rights Watch
Juvenile Diabetes Foundation
Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
March of Dimes
Muscular Dystrophy Association
National Education Association
National Multiple Sclerosis Society
Outward Bound West
Save the Children
Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation
Young Womens Christian Association (YWCA)
And a partial list of companies that contribute to PP:
Bank of America
Basics Office Products
BBJ Linen (home products)
Carlson Companies (travel agencies)
CCA Global (Carpet One, Flooring America, Flooring Canada, Flooring One, Lighting One, etc.)
Chevron (fuel/energy; Xpress Lube, Texaco)
Comcast (cable television, Internet, etc.)
Country Inns & Suites
eBay (online marketplace; PayPal)
Four Seasons Hotels (Regent Hotels)
GlaxoSmithKline (over-the-counter medication, prescription drugs, etc.)
InterContinental Hotels (Candlewood, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Indigo, InterContinental, and Staybridge)
Johnson & Johnson
Lost Arrow (Patagonia, etc.)
Marriott (Courtyard Hotels, Fairfield Inn, Grand Residences, Horizons Hotels, JW Marriott Hotels, Renaissance Hotels & Inns, Ritz-Carlton Hotels, SpringHill Suites, TownePlace Suites)
Midas (motor vehicle care)
Nike (shoes/apparel, etc.)
OSI Restaurant Partners (Outback Steakhouse, etc.)
Paul Ecke Ranch (poinsettias)
Park Inn (hotel)
Park Plaza (hotel)
Pick Up Stix (restaurant)
Sonic (drive-in restaurants)
T.G.I. Friday's (restaurant)
Time Warner (Cinemax, HBO, AOL, etc.)
Whole Foods Market
So here's where I'm torn...even the American Cancer Society gives money to Planned Parenthood. How could we all just stop giving and stop funding an organization like this when we so badly need to learn so much more about cancer? All four of my grandparents had cancer - 3 out of 4 have passed away because of it. One of my aunts is a breast cancer survivor; she is so dear to me and I remember how that effected her and her family. I was beyond proud to walk with her last year at the SGK Race. I was hoping it would be something I could do every year with her. What do I do now that I know SGK gives money to an organization that I feel I can't support?
Can I now not even buy Girl Scout cookies? Should I cancel my AAA card?
Do you participate in Relay for Life? Your money goes to PP, too. Do you participate in the March of Dimes? Your money goes to PP, too. I could go on and on.
If these companies are really interested in women's health, why can't they support local clinics that are not abortion providing facilities? Do they really have to give money to the #1 provider of abortions?
And what do I do now?
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