It was inevitable. Only those who are principally opposed to abortion can withstand the onslaught that the left is sure to unleash when there is even the appearance of being pro-life.
When Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the world's largest breast cancer charity, initially announced that its decision to defund Planned Parenthood was due to the fact that Congress was investigating the nation's largest abortion provider, it was painfully clear that Komen was not standing on firm ground. One doesn't need an investigation into Planned Parenthood to discern what they are all about.
Alas, after only about three days of relentless attacks from the Planned Parenthood extortion machine, Komen backtracked and declared, "We will continue to fund existing grants, including those of Planned Parenthood, and preserve their eligibility to apply for future grants, while maintaining the ability of our affiliates to make funding decisions that meet the needs of their communities."
This seemed to satisfy many on the left and frustrate those of us who had cheered Komen's initial declaration. However, some have noted that Komen's follow-up statement was not necessarily a capitulation.
James Taranto reports that "Austin Ruse, president of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, parses the statement for LifeNews and finds it actually reflects no change in policy: ‘We have known and have reported that they are continuing five grants (to Planned Parenthood) through 2012. This is a reference to that. The second clause about eligibility is certainly true. Any group can apply for anything. It does not mean they are going to get anything.'"
Pro-life advocate Jill Stanek notes "Komen's apology was careful not to include any commitment to give Planned Parenthood grants in the future. The Komen executive team doesn't want to, now more than ever."
It is unclear the direction Komen will take with Planned Parenthood in the future. One thing is clear - money will certainly factor into their decision. Major corporate donors were threatening to end their relationship with Komen over its initial Planned Parenthood statement, and some people, such as NOW's Terry O'Neill were threatening corporations to do just that.
"Corporations like Yoplait, and Dell computers, and New Balance shoes, all these corporations ... they're going to have to move away from Komen," said O'Neill on MSNBC's "The Ed Show."
As Taranto noted, the campaign against Komen "is analogous to a protection racket: Nice charity you've got there. It'd be a shame if anything happened to it."
Also, time and again Komen was accused of "playing politics." So much so that, in its follow-up statement, Komen said, "We have been distressed at the presumption that the changes made to our funding criteria were done for political reasons or to specifically penalize Planned Parenthood. They were not." Komen later added that they would be "Amending our criteria (to) ensure that politics has no place in our grant process."
Spending millions of dollars lobbying every year, Planned Parenthood is the most politically active organization operating in the most politicized industry within the U.S. Yet, after Komen decided it would no longer fund Planned Parenthood, The New York Times concluded that "Companies like Ford Motor, Dell and Yoplait may not find the same value in identifying themselves with the foundation after its sharp departure from political neutrality."
Jay Bookman of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution called Komen's original decision "profoundly stupid," adding that Komen had "taken sides in a fight that was not its own."
You know what's really "profoundly stupid"? Concluding that Komen was neutral and "apolitical" (to use another Bookman word) when they were funding Planned Parenthood, but "playing politics" when they decided to do otherwise.
Also "profoundly stupid" is to conclude that abortion represents only 3 percent of Planned Parenthood's services. This is the lie that will never die. The New York Times, Ed Schultz, Ezra Klein, The Boston Globe, et al, parroted the 3 percent nonsense. Of course, the left does this to give people the false idea that Planned Parenthood isn't all about abortion.
Part of the deception involved in this number is that, when a woman goes into Planned Parenthood for an abortion, there are multiple other "services" that go along with the abortion. Counting these services separately from the abortion is like concluding that, when someone stops at a liquor store and gets four candy bars, three bags of chips and two packs of gum along with their Crown Royal, only 10 percent of the "services" the liquor store provides involve alcohol. Liquor stores are to alcohol what Planned Parenthood is to abortions.
Perhaps the greatest absurdity in all of this is the fact that Planned Parenthood does not provide mammograms. That's right - all of the bluster over "women's health," and there are zero mammograms done at Planned Parenthood clinics.
Do you think liberals would be satisfied in this debate if Komen took the approximately $700,000 it donated to Planned Parenthood last year and gave it to crisis pregnancy centers to purchase mammography machines? Nah, me neither.
Trevor Thomas is a Gainesville resident and occasional columnist.