For the record, I’ve never had an abortion, but my wedding was performed by a minister whose day job was executive director of our local Planned Parenthood office, and he asked that, in lieu of a fee-for-service, we make a comparable donation to the cause. I did so without hesitation, and I will in the future, because the first birth control prescription I ever filled was written by a PP doctor. And because I did that, and kept doing it, I never had to deal with the consequences of an unplanned pregnancy.
So I’m pro-Planned Parenthood.
I’ve always been suspicious of the Susan G. Komen people, on the other hand, for reasons many of you have thrashed out in comments in recent days — I always thought they were more about marketing their pinkness than anything else. I don’t like the phrase “for the cure,” as it should be pretty clear by now that cancer will likely never be “cured” in the strict sense of the word, although treatments continue to improve and we know so much more about the disease that we may well get pretty close to the ideal. And one of the things we know is that one key to surviving breast cancer is early detection, and the nominal money Planned Parenthood gets from the Komen organization (not enough to pay the Komen CEO’s salary for two years) goes for breast-cancer screening.
Being wealthy women, I wonder if the Komen folks have considered how many women use the services at Planned Parenthood as pretty much the beginning and end of their primary care. You may not be able to afford a doctor and a mammogram, but if you show up at PP, they’ll at least give you a pelvic and breast exam and pap smear, free or close to it. And yes, surely PP will get enough to make up the loss this year, but what about next year, and the year after that?
So much has been written about this in the past few days, and I know I’m late coming to it. But women’s health — and especially the right of women to make decisions about their lives and reproductive health free from meddling from state legislatures, federal-court judges and the pink-ribboned busybodies in Dallas — is very important to me. Not one more penny for the pink from me. Don’t show me your pledge sheet for your walk/run/whatever for the cure. I cut off United Way in Fort Wayne for precisely this reason some years ago. Planned Parenthood was there for me when I needed them, and I think I need to be there for them now. It’s really that simple.
Another good Bridge yesterday, with another installment in an ongoing project, following a number of families who were cast adrift by welfare reform in Michigan last year. You can read the stories there, but this was the angle I found most interesting:
…In 27 of Michigan’s 83 counties, the number of welfare cases is the same or higher than before the time limit was instituted.
Meanwhile, welfare cases in the state’s most populous county – Wayne County – are down 27 percent. In that one county alone, 8,621 families fewer families are receiving cash assistance.
Here’s another way to look at it: Of all families who have stopped receiving welfare checks since September, 54 percent live in Wayne County.
Wayne County = Detroit, in case you haven’t figured that out yet.
A little D-centric, but funny just the same, “Our How-To Guide For Making A Hardscrabble, Gritty, Post-Industrial Documentary About Detroit,” by the folks at Changing Gears. Well, there are a lot of them out there, and they all follow a pretty predictable model.
I hesitate to post this, but what the hell: The homicide investigation in Grosse Pointe ran straight off the rails night before last, with reports the husband maintained an S&M dungeon in the basement of one of his buildings. I disapprove of this sort of reporting — I try to be Dan Savage-like in my tolerance of other people’s intimate lives, but I couldn’t stop laughing yesterday about the reporter’s ominous lead-in to this piece, in which he gravely revealed the husband asked his playmates to call him “Master Bob.” This guy needs a new master name. How can anyone say “Master Bob” with a straight face? Master Roberto, Master Heinrich, Master Rudolfo, yes. Master Bob, Master Jim, Master Wally, no.
Off to work.