The Susan G. Komen foundation this week got served a reminder that all the women's health causes are an interconnected legacy of the feminist fights of the 1970s.
Looks like the pink ribbon ladies at the Susan G. Komen cancer foundation learned the lesson about politics being a body contact sport. Pulling their cancer screening program from the beleaguered Planned Parenthood under a transparently concocted rule they applied to no one else, the beribboned sisters were flayed to ribbons by a coalition from feminists online to the billionaire Mayor of New York City. How could Komen imperil women's health in a sacrifice to the war on choice? Yesterday they gave as close as it comes in the spin world to an apology, denying any wrongdoing and telling their critics to pipe down. No politics in their decision making, nosirree.
Let's cut through the pink ribbonry. This presentation of the issue completely obscures the real issue: the war on choice itself. Organizations like Americans United for Life, which is heavily involved in the Komen flap, have been waging the war for years without setting off an internet firestorm. What made Komen's move different is that it's supposed to be an organization for women's lives. And like it or not, preserving women's lives is not a stand-alone enterprise entirely divorced from the value of the lives you save. Valuing lives is the business of politics. Valuing women's lives used to be known as feminism. If feminism had not revived the claim that women's lives have value, there would be no breast cancer movement. Why should there be?