Commentary Sexual Health

A Medical Student and Former Komen Affiliate Responds to the Foundation’s Recent Decision

Sarah Stumbar

I am a recent member of Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s Young Women’s National Advisory Council, a previous director of Stony Brook University School of Medicine’s chapter of Medical Students for Choice, and a future family medicine physician. I was incredibly disappointed by Susan G. Komen’s recent decision to end its funding of breast health programs at Planned Parenthood affiliates across the United States.

See all our coverage of the Susan G. Komen Foundation’s break with Planned Parenthood here.

I am a recent member of Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s Young Women’s National Advisory Council, a previous director of Stony Brook University School of Medicine’s chapter of Medical Students for Choice, and a future family medicine physician. I was incredibly disappointed by Susan G. Komen’s recent decision to end its funding of breast health programs at Planned Parenthood affiliates across the United States. Thousands of poor and uninsured women throughout this country rely on Planned Parenthood as a place to receive comprehensive health care services.

Comprehensive health care includes services that respect the whole of a woman’s body, not just singularly her breasts or her reproductive organs. Compartmentalized care that only considers a single organ or a single disease never acts in the best interest of women; which is why the services offered at Planned Parenthood are so important, as this is a place where women can receive an abortion, an STD test, contraceptives, or a mammography referral.

In excluding Planned Parenthood from support for breast health programs, Susan G. Komen for the Cure was not acting in the best interests of women’s health. Instead, they are using women’s bodies as a place on which to write their own political agenda; while compromising access to vital clinical breast exam and mammography screenings. The last time I checked, women had the legal right to choose what was best for their bodies. I have passionately walked in New York City’s Race for the Cure for the past five years; but I don’t think that I will be able to do so this year. I cannot support an organization that does not support equitable access to comprehensive health care for all women.

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Sarah Eisenstein Stumbar, MPH MSIV, Stony Brook University School of Medicine

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