Tuesday, May 26, 2009

My June Selection

It's a little early, but since I already know what cause I'll be supporting in June, I figured I'd go ahead and post this. I'm actually just going to re-post a note I wrote on facebook about two years ago, because it still applies. I'll be running in the 2009 Komen North Texas Race for the Cure on June 6th, and I encourage you to join me, or donate if possible. Read on...

I saw that a friend of mine joined the group "I Will Not Support Komen Because it Funds Abortion Providers". I went to the page and read the description. The creator of that page and its members are very misinformed. I can't believe that with all the good that Komen does, these people would try to encourage us not to donate to them because a percentage of their money goes to Planned Parenthood, and Planned Parenthood also happens to provide abortion-related services. Komen and its Affiliates DO NOT provide any funding for abortions or for any activities outside the scope of their promise to end breast cancer forever. In many urban and rural areas, PP may be the only source of free or low-cost women's health screening services. My mother doesn't have health insurance, and thanks to funding provided by Komen, she received a free mammogram. Further, Komen requires all grant recipients to provide detailed reports (at least bi-annually) on where their grant money is spent. I'm pretty sure that if the money wasn't used for its intended purpose, Komen would stop sending them funds.

Just in the past couple of years, I've had two great friends tell me their moms were diagnosed with breast cancer. Luckily it was caught relatively early, so the outlook is good. If it wasn't for organizations like Komen, there would be much less publicity given to the importance of early detection and yearly mammograms....and I'm pretty positive that, without Komen, more women would be dying each year. When I participated in a Komen 5K a couple of years ago, there were a few protestors at the race, holding signs saying Komen supported abortion. Are they kidding me? I know they have a right to be there, but I just wanted to punch them in the face..with truth, of course :). When I looked out into the sea of 30,000 people, and saw all the pink hats (meaning a survivor) and names written on our backs denoting someone we've lost or someone we were honoring by running for them, I just felt so proud to be a part of it. Thank goodness there were 30,000 of us and only 5 protestors. Besides that, another part of their signs annoyed me. Abortion isn't black and white. What if a woman risked losing her life by carrying a baby to term? Is an abortion wrong in that case? What if a woman was raped and became pregnant and would be carrying her attacker's baby? Is an abortion wrong in that case? I'm not afraid to say that you can bet your life I'd be at Planned Parenthood looking for help if I was ever in that situation.

All I'm trying to say is, those protestors are making those shocking, exaggerated statements to get your attention and make you feel bad about what you're doing. Please visit Komen's website if you have any doubt in their purpose. Read their annual report, see where their grant money goes, look at the research they help fund. Check out their charity rating on charitynavigator.org. And make sure you also read the part about how Komen has played a critical role in every major advance in the fight against breast cancer in the last 25 years. When you donate to them, or participate in a walk, or wear a pink ribbon, etc, you are helping them save lives. I only wish I could go to work every day and feel the pride that my sister must feel knowing she works for an organization like that.

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