Rowyn (rowyn) wrote,

I Am Going to Regret This: on Komen and Planned Parenthood

To start:

(A) I like Planned Parenthood. During my college-student years, I obtained birth control pills through them, and because they had a policy that required annual exams to get birth control pills, I actually had regular health screenings and tests for . It was pretty much the only medical care I received during my years uninsured. Their services were cheap and professional.

(B) I like Susan G. Komen for the Cure. I do not have fond personal memories of them as I do PP, and I think they spend too much money on "education" (as opposed to screening, treatment or research programs). But a large part of breast cancer prevention is convincing women to do self-exams and get mammograms, and breast cancer is a big killer of women that is mostly preventable if caught in a timely fashion. So I can't say the education is wasted.

Given that I like both charities and think they do good work, you'd think I might have mixed feelings about Komen's recent de-funding and re-funding of grants to Planned Parenthood.

As it happens, though, all I can think is that this is one darn silly inconsequential kerfluffle.

Susan G. Komen for the Cure has total assets of almost $500,000,000. Its total expenses, including grants, were over $400,000,000.

I can't readily find current financial information for Planned Parenthood Federation of America, but their 2008 balance sheet showed $1,078,000,000 in total assets.

Komen's last grant to PP was $680,000. That figure represents about:

  • 0.14% of Komen's total assets 2011 *

  • 0.06% of Planned Parenthoods total assets 2008
* Yes, I'd rather compare this to expenses and revenue for a more apples-and-apples effect, but I can't find expenses for PPFA at all, so assets it is.

The point is, the amount of money at stake here is tiny for either charity. PPFA is not going to shut down without money from Komen. Komen is not going to be providing Funds for Abortions if they grant money to PPFA for breast-care services**. Komen can still do plenty of good whether or not it grants less than half a percent of its revenues to PP. It is Just Not That Big a Deal. It is not proof that one side or the other is Losing the Abortion Debate. It is such a tiny amount that it doesn't even get a footnote on either's financial statement.

** Yes, PP provides breast exams and related services. Most of their services are health-care related, and not connected to either contraception (about a third of their services) or abortion (3%). For a lot of low-income, uninsured women -- just like me sixteen years ago -- PP is their main health care provider, sad as that is.

The only good thing that came out of any of this is that a bunch of people who are passionately for or against abortion gave a lot of money that they probably wouldn't've thought to donate otherwise to two perfectly good causes. -.-

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