Thursday, October 6, 2011


While sitting at a red light this morning, I noticed two men from a landscaping business trimming the edges of the corner gas station's grass. They were both wearing hot pink shirts. Slightly confused, I remembered it's October. And since the light was long, I also had the chance to look up and see a billboard, "Spinning for Breast Cancer," with more pink plastered across the board.

But what's the problem? Cancer awareness is not bad, but unfortunately October's pink campaign raises money for the Susan G. Komen Foundation, which in turn supports Planned Parenthood.

Matthew Hanley has an overview of this sticky situation in his article, "The Dark Side of 'Thinking Pink.'" Here's a bit:

Curiously, Komen also funnels millions of dollars to Planned Parenthood — already a recipient of considerable governmental largesse. By doling out tons of contraceptives and providing for more abortion than any other outfit in the country, Planned Parenthood virtually ensures that the breast cancer epidemic will persist, not shrink.

You don’t have to be a cynic to find this cozy relationship a bit fishy.

Yes, something is rotten in Pink Denmark — despite the good will that the awareness campaign evokes in many people, among other redeeming qualities. Awareness of Breast Cancer per se, of course, is not the problem. Forbidding awareness of highly relevant reproductive risk factors ineluctably undermines the overall effort, which reveals that it is committed to women’s health — only up to a certain point.

I’m sure marketing gurus could figure out a way to raise awareness of these factors tactfully and succinctly at the supermarket check out counter, where everyone without fail is regularly asked to pitch in. Or if NFL players are man enough to wear pink on the field, why couldn’t broadcasters mention these risk factors on the air — perhaps during a marquee game in New York City, where 40 percent of all pregnancies end in abortion? (The figure is 60 percent among African Americans — much higher than even Eastern Europe, which with 105 abortions for every 100 live births, has the highest abortion rate in the world.) Even if they framed it as “controversial”, that would be some serious awareness-raising.

Read it all here.

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