Perhaps the best thing to come from the Komen/Planned Parenthood debacle this month is that the secret is now out in the open: Over the years, Susan G. Komen for the Cure has given millions of dollars-$569,000 in 2010 alone-to Planned Parenthood.
Say what? How could a wildly successful, life-affirming charity be financially intertwined with the nation's number one abortion provider, specially given the research connecting abortion to breast cancer? It's a question pro-life advocates have been asking for years, in missives to Komen and to any audience at our disposal. But when we tried to explain why we wouldn't wear the pink ribbon or participate in the annual Race for the Cure, we couldn't seem to get our message through the ever-denser haze generated by the pink fog machine.
It was, after all, kind of David against Goliath. Founded in 1982 by the grieving sister of a 36-year-old breast cancer victim, Komen has grown to a charity generating $400 million in earnings annually while attracting 100,000 volunteers. The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure started with 800 participants in 1983 and had 1.6 million taking part last year. And those ubiquitous pink ribbons-just introduced in 2007-now show up on everything from sunglasses to yogurt cups to NFL uniforms.
And so it was that despite my initial despair after the 48-hour emotional roller coaster of Komen defunding Planned Parenthood, being brutalized by media bloodhounds, dragged back like a slave to the plantation for a public whipping as an example to other potential strays, then begging forgiveness, I saw a glimmer of hope when after church Sunday a fellow parishioner said to me, "I never knew Komen gave money to Planned Parenthood."
So hallelujah! Now we all know. And now we are free to choose-with eyes wide open-whether to say yes to pink, when part of that yes becomes no to life.