Komen's Unforgivable Sin

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How quickly things change.

Just last week the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation was considered exemplary. And why not? Komen is a wildly popular not for profit dedicated exclusively to finding a cure for the scourge that is breast cancer. Raising money and awareness, partnering with providers and promoters, Komen helps give care and hope to millions.

The liberals, particularly the feminist Left, loved Komen because it shines a light on a problem that they view as exclusively female.

Sure, men themselves suffer from breast cancer, and they are the fathers, brothers and husbands of the women who suffer. But to those who champion women to the exclusion of men and seek to divide us along those lines for political gain, those guys are a rounding error. To the Left, Komen was a partner in the promotion of "women's health" and thus was a paragon of virtue.

But all of that, as the kids like to say, is so last week.

This week Komen was a pariah to the liberal Left and the enemy of women everywhere. A concerted effort was underway to damage Komen's reputation, starve it of funding, and bring it to heel. National Organization for Women President Terry O'Neil gleefully predicted on the clown show that is the Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC that in five years Komen would no longer exist.

Congressional Democrats took a break from figuring out new ways to borrow money we don't have to pay for programs we don't want so they could rail on Komen. Michael Bloomberg made yet another embarrassing spectacle of himself by entering the fray.

So what did Komen do? Commit a crime? Extort funds? Smile at Mitt Romney? Nope, much worse.

Komen committed an unforgivable sin: it decided that it was no longer going to give a financial grant to abortion provider Planned Parenthood as it has in the past. Giving lie to the code words "women's health," the Left went into full attack mode against one of the great champions of both women and health -- all in the name of abortion.

Now I can see the likes of O'Donnell and O'Neil (damn my Irish heritage) turning red and spitting mad at that sentiment. "Planned Parenthood provides breast cancer screenings! Without Komen's money, women will suffer and die!" Nonsense.

In truth, women seeking free or subsidized breast cancer prevention services would still be able to receive them, but at a location other than Planned Parenthood. Komen would still help fund those services because the $600,000 and change earmarked from Komen to Planned Parenthood will simply make its way to other providers.

In reality, this isn't about women, and it certainly isn't about health. If it was, the Left would be grateful that Komen did its work regardless of whether or not it had any relationship with Planned Parenthood. This is about the Left's effort to consolidate political power.

Komen is rightfully well-regarded across the political divide. When Komen funds Planned Parenthood, the Left can co-opt Komen's broad appeal and use it as political fodder. A valuable alliance to cloud a profound and penetrating reality -- that Planned Parenthood and its liberal supporters like O'Donnell and O'Neil are outside the mainstream of American values and should be marginalized.

Komen temporarily ended that illusion this week and learned first-hand that hell hath no fury like a liberal scorned. In the end, in the face of coordinated and unrelenting pressure from the Left, Komen reconsidered its position and will continue to fund Planned Parenthood after all. Those delusional souls who declared war on Komen this week will now claim victory, failing to see how dangerous, destructive, and petty their actions were. They will claim victory, failing to see that, in truth, they really don't care about women at all.

But for Komen, and for us, the battle must continue, for the sake of women -- and men -- everywhere, to put an end to breast cancer, a dreaded disease that has taken so many. As for eradicating the dreaded disease that is radical liberalism, I am less optimistic.

Patrick Hughes was a conservative Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in 2010. He lives in Hinsdale, Illinois with his wife and three children.

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