Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains announced this week that it is launching a new breast cancer prevention and screening project at its Arvada clinic.
The project is being funded with cash donated in response to news last spring that the juggernaut cancer-fighting Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation, reportedly steered by anti-abortion executive Karen Handel, had decided to discontinue its long-standing grant funding for the Planned Parenthood national organization.
In the wake of the controversial announcement, donors gave $67,000 to Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, Communications Director Monica McCafferty told the Independent.
Staffers at the new Arvada Breast Health Services Project funded by the donations will provide cancer examinations and education training. McCafferty said her organization hopes to continue funding the project in part with repeat donations.
The Arvada clinic had previously offered only minimal breast health services. It was not, for example, one of the Planned Parenthood clinics in the state that receive breast health funding through the Komen Foundation’s Denver and Aspen affiliates. That money goes to programs at clinics in Greeley, Fort Collins, Aurora and Glenwood Springs.
The Arvada clinic served 8,000 patients last year, nearly 70 percent of whom carried no health insurance, according to a Planned Parenthood release. The release added that Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains screened 15,452 women for breast cancer last year.
The regional Planned Parenthood organization operates 23 clinics in Colorado, three in Nevada and one each in Wyoming and New Mexico.
As news broke in January of Komen’s intended shift in funding away from Planned Parenthood, negative public reaction exploded. Some donors said they felt that Komen, the nation’s top charity battling breast cancer, was putting politics above women’s health. Komen was quick to reverse the decision but not before probing news stories piled up and local affiliates began pushing back. The two Komen affiliates in Colorado spearheaded resistance to the plan, announcing early on in the news cycle that they would continue to fund Planned Parenthood in Colorado because Planned Parenthood delivered the biggest bang for the buck here. Denver Komen reported that Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains received only 4.3 percent of the nearly $3 million Komen spent in the state but that Planned Parenthood clinics here detected nearly 20 percent of all of the cases of breast cancer discovered through Komen spending.
“The slogan ‘defund Planned Parenthood’ has been a popular soundbite among staunch anti-choice politicians,” McCafftery told the Independent, “but in reality, there is broad support for what Planned Parenthood does, as demonstrated by the [reaction] to the Komen announcement.”
McCafferty said 93 percent of the services Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains provides do not concern abortion.
99 Problems (JAY-Z)
Eric Fehrnstrom, senior campaign adviser for Mitt Romney, <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2012/06/03/494238/fehrnstrom-shiny-objects-women/" target="_hplink">said on Sunday</a> that issues pertaining to women's reproductive rights, such as abortion and birth control, were "shiny objects" meant to distract voters from the real issues. "Mitt Romney is pro-life," he told ABC's George Stephanopoulos. "He'll govern as a pro-life president, but you're going to see the Democrats use all sorts of shiny objects to distract people's attention from the Obama performance on the economy. This is not a social issue election."
The Senate will vote Thursday on the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would expand and strengthen the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and make it illegal for employers to punish women for bringing up pay disparity issues. Dana Perino, a Fox News contributor and former press secretary for President George W. Bush, <a href="http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/04/30/perino-equal-pay-issue-is-a-distraction-for-just-48-hours/" target="_hplink">called the equal pay issue</a> "a distraction" from the country's real financial problems last week. "Well, it's just yet another distraction of dealing with the major financial issues that the country should be dealing with," Perino said. "This is not a job creator."
Just My Imagination (The Temptations)
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), whose home state's legislature recently defunded Planned Parenthood and voted to pass a bill that would allow employers to deny women birth control coverage, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/26/john-mccain-war-on-women_n_1455591.html" target="_hplink">delivered a floor speech</a> in which he insisted that the war on women is something imaginary for Democrats to "sputter about." "My friends, this supposed 'War on Women' or the use of similarly outlandish rhetoric by partisan operatives has two purposes, and both are purely political in their purpose and effect: The first is to distract citizens from real issues that really matter and the second is to give talking heads something to sputter about when they appear on cable television," he said.
Butterfly Fly Away (Miley & Billy Ray Cyrus)
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus tried to trivialize concerns about the legislative "war on women" by comparing it to a "war on caterpillars." "If the Democrats said we had a war on caterpillars and every mainstream media outlet talked about the fact that Republicans have a war on caterpillars, then we'd have problems with caterpillars," Priebus <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-04-05/priebus-says-gender-battle-as-fictonal-as-caterpillar-war.html" target="_hplink">said in an April interview</a> on Bloomberg Television. "It's a fiction."
Distraction (Angels And Airwaves)
Missouri U.S. Senate candidate Sarah Steelman (R) took heat from her opponents in May when she contended that Democratic lawmakers' focus on the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act was "a distraction" from the issues they should be dealing with instead. "I think it's unfortunate that the Democrats have made a political football out of this thing, which I think is what they keep doing to distract from real problems that are facing our nation," she said in an interview with St. Louis Public Radio.
We Don't Care (Kanye West)
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) defended the Republican Party in April for going after insurance coverage for contraception by arguing that women don't actually care about contraception. "Women don't care about contraception," she said on ABC's The View. "They care about jobs and the economy and raising their families and all those other things."