EBooks for Breast Cancer Screening and Education

Many of you have heard that the Susan G. Komen Foundation (the folks who do all that pink-related branding regarding breast cancer) is withdrawing its financial support from Planned Parenthood, which in the past did breast cancer screening and education for lots of poor women with funds offered by the Foundation. The Komen folks swear their choice to do this is not politically motivated, to which my response is yeah, right. Keep trying that line and see where it gets you.

Regardless of the motivations, what it means is that poor women, and women with poor access to women’s health care, are getting screwed again for reasons that have nothing to do with them. I know, I know, these women should have thought about reasonable access to health care pertaining to their own gender before they decided to go ahead and be poor. It’s their own fault, isn’t it. The poor. So stupid. And in this case women to boot. So they count even less. And if they have to rely on health services from an organization that also offers legal health services some people oppose, well, then they deserve what they get even more, don’t they.

The Komen folks are perfectly within their rights not to fund Planned Parenthood’s initiatives for breast cancer screening and education, even if they’re not honest enough to come right out and say it’s part of an overall right-wing agenda against Planned Parenthood. But I don’t think it’s right that poor women get caught in the crossfire. They don’t deserve to die just because they can’t afford to catch their cancer early.

Just a few minutes ago I pinged Bill Schafer at Subterranean Press and asked if it would be possible to track the sales of my eBooks in the next week in order to donate my share of those sales to Planned Parenthood, specifically for its breast cancer initiatives. He said it was, in the United States at least, and that SubPress would donate its share as well.

So, between today and February 8, 2012, every time you buy a Subterranean Press eBook written by me here in the United States, the proceeds are going to Planned Parenthood. I will direct that the donation go specifically toward their breast cancer screening and educational activities, to help replace the funding lost from the Susan G. Komen Foundation. What ebooks does this cover? Here’s a list on Kindle; here’s another on the Nook. eBooks sold in other formats for other readers here in the US will be covered, too.

Is this a political statement? As much as the Susan G. Komen’s decision not to fund Planned Parenthood’s breast cancer screening and education programs is. If you want to argue that wasn’t a political move at all, then neither is this. If you think otherwise, then you may think likewise about this. Either way, if this helps someone who couldn’t otherwise get access to breast cancer screening and education save her own life, I figure at least one person will come out ahead. And that works for me.

Update, 2/2, 11:12 am: In a little under 24 hours, from Amazon alone, we’ve raised $1681.79. Thanks, folks!

Update, 2/3, 10:13 am: Now we’re at about $2,700. Nice.

Update, 2/3, 11:45: The Susan G. Komen Foundation blinks. However, this fundraiser will continue as planned. Call it paranoia.

417 thoughts on “EBooks for Breast Cancer Screening and Education

  1. Folks:

    Please note the Mallet of Loving Correction has been placed in its warming chamber and will be applied vigorously on all those who see this contentious topic as license to be obnoxious. Be polite in expressing your views, and be especially polite in expressing your views to other folks in the thread.

    I thank you in advance for heeding this admonition.

  2. I expect SGK will find another, less controversial, less mission-diluting organization to send their dollars. And I expect that a lot of people will be sending their very first donation to SGK this week — not just me.

    This is not to be construed as a criticism to you for choosing to exercise your freedom of speech in the form of “putting your money where your mouth is.” More people ought to do that, and I respect you for it.

  3. Well,I hope you make the bestseller lists, but those who may already have most of what you’ve written should remember they can always make a donation directly. Those kindle originals look pretty intriguing, though….

  4. I was planning to get several things of yours for the Kindle this spring or summer, John, and am doing it this week. I strongly approve of the gesture.

  5. John, thank you. Your attitude, intelligence, open-mind, and creativity in supporting various charities and causes is part of why I respect and admire you, and will continue to buy your books. You have helped me find worthwhile charities and gotten me to donate to groups I otherwise would not have been aware of (e.g. the Lupus fundraiser via Clash of the Geeks).

  6. Planned Parenthood covered my basic healthcare needs when I was uninsured for ten years for little to no cost. (Note: I was employed full time doing office work during those ten years, but my employers did not offer me health insurance.)

    So, I’m going to go buy some eBooks now.

    (Also? Among other charitable givings, I donate to Planned Parenthood every paycheck anyway. Paying it forward, yo.)

  7. The thing that I can’t get away from in all this is that 1) the claim that PP promotes abortions is not true 2) the claim that PP is primarily an abortion provider is not true but that 3) by defunding a substantial amount of breast care, the right wing is now reducing the amount of health care PP provides, therefore making abortions a relatively larger percent of their total services. How does reducing women’s access to health care benefit anybody?

  8. Done and done. Speaking as a woman who grew up in poverty and has relied on Planned Parenthood for a lot of her basic health care in the past, I sincerely appreciate this.

    Also, yay, an excuse to finally binge on Scalzi ebooks! God Engines and Scalzi on Writing here I come!

  9. This was my year to do the SGK three-day. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007 (not at a PP clinic). Last night I took the money earmarked for SGK (the registration fee and my own donation) and donated it to PP.

    I have health insurance — I have several friends and acquaintances who do not and where PP is pretty much the only health services they can find and afford to use.

    I’m thinking that current SGK slogan ” everyone deserves a liftetime” should be disposed of as a statetment of a mission.

    I’m pretty furious about this.

  10. SarahK: “How does reducing women’s access to health care benefit anybody?”

    I think that’s a good and reasonable question, and I think the simplest answer is that there are many organizations that provide health care and health education and health advocacy to poor women. Some of them are local. Planned Parenthood is not the only choice. For all I know, shifting money from them to another organization may increase women’s access to health care, if those dollars are more wisely spent.

    The only way I can feel certain that my donation dollars won’t go toward a cause that saddens me is to send them to an organization that has nothing to do with it. Yes, yes, I know you can supposedly earmark your funds, but I don’t have the resources to follow whether those earmarks are well audited, and money is fungible, after all.

  11. John, your course of action is certainly The Right Thing To Do in situations like this; you are following your convictions with dollars.

    But I daresay the Komen Foundation believes they are doing the Right Thing, too, and honestly if that’s where their beliefs lie, then they should be praised for following convictions that are faithfully and conscientiously held. Their mission is The Cure. I say take them at their word that this is due to their rule change regarding investigations. Over time charitable foundations will shift their portfolios of support, and they people who lose money will ascribe sinister motivations. But Komen has done so much good for saving women’s lives, and they indeed have given millions to Planned Parenthood — perhaps they have earned even a bit of good faith from the rest of us?

  12. So-called pro-life advocates once again proving that their interest in preserving life stops at the end of the birth canal.

    And I’d like to join everyone else praising your gesture and buying your ebooks.

  13. Mark Beadles:

    The Susan G. Komen Foundation is may believe they’re doing the right thing if it so chooses, although in this case I disagree. It should also be noted that if the foundation is basing their actions on presumably moral grounds, then it doesn’t have the courage of its convictions to come right out and say so.

  14. The Komen Foundation lost a lot of my support when they started aggressively legally pursuing folks trying to raise money for them using the “For the Cure” tagline. Then the pinkwashing with lots of corporate sponsors putting pink ribbons on products with a few cents per several items going to the foundation itself. This is the straw that broke any support by me for the foundation. All of my money for breast cancer research will now go to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, which actually funds research, and not pink ribbons. As well as fund to PP itself so it can continue with its mission of providing health care and information to women regardless.

  15. Dammit, John! I haven’t bought my new eReader yet! Well, I’ll just have to donate directly–thank you. I do went to Planned Parenthood, in the days without health insurance and with very little money, and I am still grateful.

  16. I think that’s the most beautiful phrase I’ve read all day. Now I want a Mallet of Loving Correction.

  17. Oh goody, now I have a good excuse to get ebook versions of John’s books.

    @ bearing: Yes, I can totally understand how funding cancer screening badly dilutes the mission of an organization of people “working together to save lives, empower people, ensure quality care for all and energize science to find the cures.”. I can see that really totally blurs the line, there.

  18. JP the second:

    1. the “ummmm” thing is annoying when anyone uses it. This is one of my weird bugaboos.

    2. I doubt you actually hate to dissent. That rhetorical construction is another one of my bugaboos.

    3. Please find a more reputable news source than Breitbart to support the assertion. Breitbart’s history on partisan issues is not very good.

  19. Mark Beadles: “I say take them at their word that this is due to their rule change regarding investigations.”

    Perhaps. The next question is “why did they add this rule?”, which could be addressed by asking other questions like “who might have added this rule?”

    From the Jezebel post: “Karen Handel, who was endorsed by Sarah Palin during her unsuccessful bid for governor of Georgia in 2010, has been the Foundation’s Senior Vice President for Public Policy since April 2011. During her gubernatorial candidacy, she ran on an anti-choice platform, vowing that if elected, she’d defund Planned Parenthood.”

  20. I’ll be re-blogging this one. And then buying the eBooks I haven’t gotten around to getting yet (which appears to be…um, everything on that there Nook list…). You’re a good man, John Scalzi.

  21. Hey John,
    I would like to do the same thing with my books, either my book copy of e-book through Amazon. Any chance if there are other authors that want to get on board with you could you create a post and list us? I can send you the links via email. Thank You.

  22. Oops–that should be “I too went to Planned Parenthood.” And–by the way–JP the second: “breast cancer screening” does not refer only to mammograms, and anyone who expects to get a mammogram in what is basically a doctor’s office/examining room has . . . probably never had a mammogram. I don’t know what the CEO of Planned Parenthood was talking about, or how mistaken she was, but I don’t think that that means that Planned Parenthood isn’t offering women “the services they need.” Especially since, according to the PP website, they (as per most primary care physicians) do direct women to where they can get mammograms and presumably supply the required prescription.

  23. I doubt they are basing their decision on moral grounds. It is probably what you would describe as “caving to pressure.”

    I, too,would prefer to see SGK be honest about this. Honesty is the best policy.

    But I can’t say I am sorry to know their dollars will go to some other organization that serves public health.

  24. John,
    I have neither a Kindle or a Nook but I would love to read these eBooks and make a contribution. You mentioned other formats they may be available in, but I’m having a hard time tracking those down. Any chance you could help us non-Amazonian-non-Barnes-and-Nobleans with some links?

  25. SGK is claiming they have no choice because their policy is not to donate to an organization that is under investigation on a local, state, or federal level and Representative Cliff Stearns (R-FL), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations for the House Energy and Commerce Committee, launched an open-ended investigation into PP. I’m *sure* it is a completely legitimate and non-partisan investigation.

    I’ll also note that since last April, the Senior Vice President for Public Policy at SGK is a woman named Karen Handel, who previously had run in the 2010Georgia Republican Gubernatorial Primary and one plank of her platform was to defund PP.

  26. I’d respect the Komen Foundation more if they simply said they disagreed with PP and would look for other avenues to provide screenings to that population. Weaseling their way out under the “Congressional investigation” excuse is pathetic. If the investigation doesn’t turn up anything, will funding be restored? Somehow, I doubt it.

    On the other hand, supporting cancer research by lazing on the couch with a copy of The God Engines instead of huffing through the next Komen 5K is a definite upgrade in my book, so thanks John.

  27. Not that I really needed a good excuse, John, but thanks for giving me a push to finally pick up a “pile” of Kindle books I’ve been meaning to get anyway.

  28. I don’t feel so bad about not buying pink labeled stuff any more. I had mixed feelings about it: on the one hand it was supporting cancer research and treatment (well, a small fraction of it was, but those .01 cents add up) but on the other hand it felt like Energizer and Frito Lay were capitalizing on my wife having becoming a statistic. And seeing as how she had received help from Planned Parenthood in her younger days, I think I know where my support is going from here on out.

    Thanks for bringing this up, John. I love you man, but I’m pretty well stocked up on your books. If you don’t mind I’ll send some checks directly to the people who need them.

  29. Thank you, John.

    My partner and I have sponsored SGK “racers” for years; at the same time, we donate to PP “in the name of” Republicans who send us anti-Choice mail. Starting yesterday, when I read about this on Feministe, SGK gets no more of our money. We’ll just double down on PP.

  30. Someone posted your link on Facebook which brought me here. I purchased two of your eBooks by Subterranean Press. I just wanted to let you know why I purchased your books and to thank you for helping to make sure poor women have the same access to health care.

  31. I work in a cancer center and I speak to breast cancer patients every day. We do our best to make them all healthy again. Reading about this makes my heart freeze in my chest, because I know all too well how narrow the margin of finding cancer in time can be. Thank you, John, for doing a good and decent thing. I will be stocking up my nook tonight in your honor.

  32. John:
    As a lover of your work, I do hate to dissent. I’ve supported your work, follow you on twitter and read you here, so your opinions mean something to me. Breitbart may have picked the story up, but he didn’t produce it. Again, there are legitimate alternatives that could (possibly more effectively) use the funding that pinpoints the detection and prevention of breast cancer.

  33. I added a link to here to the MetaFilter discussion on the issue

    http://www.metafilter.com/112266/Womens-Healthcare#4163161

    Personally, I never supported Komen, considering it a fake ‘celebrity charity brand’ that diluted and harmed the overall battle against breast cancer and all cancer, and its willingness to let right-wing activists into its management is just more proof of its lack of goodwill. Planned Parenthood needs the money for ALL the good it does (which is obviously why the evil Breitbart media empire has to make fake videos to attack it – you were far too diplomatic to them).

  34. For all those who don’t have a kindle DEVICE, you can still read kindle books and nook books on other devices like PCs or smart phones. Kindle and Nook have software that runs on PCs and phones that allow you to read ebooks. So you can still buy these ebooks even if you don’t have a kindle or a nook.

    Kiindle apps: http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html/ref=sv_kstore_1?ie=UTF8&docId=1000493771
    Nook apps: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/u/free-nook-apps/379002321/

  35. Oh goooood. This is an excellent excuse to get them all to my Kindle app. I’m actually buying the stories I already got for free from you (off this site), plus paying again for that Alien Sex Story because I’m too lazy to upload the PDF to my tablet computer.

    I’m lazy for a good cause. Yay!

    There! I have bought!

  36. JP the Second:

    “As a lover of your work, I do hate to dissent.”

    At the risk of going off-topic for a second, one thing I would hate would be if people hated to dissent. I have opinions but I don’t expect everyone here to agree with me all the time.

    Regarding the video via Breitbart, given his history, him not producing it is not an indication it’s to be trusted. My initial assumption with anything politically-related on Breitbart is to look for the slant. His organization is not the only one for which I do this, but it certainly is one of them. I do definitely encourage you to look around.

  37. I thought “Subterranean Scalzi” was the name of his character in the Awesome Poster With Wil Wheaton.

  38. I don’t do ebooks, but I did just make my first ever donataion to PP. Thanks for spreading the word.

    I also gave your post the relatively miniscule signal boost that a mention on my blog can give.

  39. But I already have all of those books!

    …Guess I’ll just have to make a donation directly to PP, then.

  40. Just bought a bunch of these ebooks for my Nook. Thanks for doing this, John. I’m also making a direct donation to PP.

  41. It’s not like I needed a reason to fill my nook with your titles but it sure is nice to help you be philanthropic. I’ll be buying books tonight.

  42. I bought all of them, even the ones I already have in dead tree form, because it’s for a good cause. And it allows me to keep my precious hard copies in pristine condition.
    And not ending up with useless pink crap is an added bonus.

  43. I admire this. I’m not in on the whole e-book revolution, but I fully support this and will be donating to PP directly.

  44. Thanks for the opportunity to fill in some regrettable spaces in my collection. BTW, Planned Parenthood had some nice folks asking for donations on my way from the subway to the office this morning. As I am already on their mailing lists, I happily provided them with an additional donation, which in turn was repaid in high-fives.

  45. Wow! Thanks – I was actually trying to narrow down the vast acres of books that have been recommended to me to meet this month’s download budget. This makes it way, way easier.

    As far as SGK is concerned, I thought at this point it was nothing but corporate branding. Funding research and helping those who can’t afford it get screened or treated is one thing, but soliciting funds for “raising awareness” is a bunch of BS.

  46. I dont have a kindle, and I pretty much own everything that Scazli has written.
    So I went straight to the source and donated until it hurt.
    Which hurt more than usual. In the past the money was split between the two groups, now it all goes to PP. This made it much easier to decide.

  47. But I daresay the Komen Foundation believes they are doing the Right Thing, too, and honestly if that’s where their beliefs lie, then they should be praised for following convictions that are faithfully and conscientiously held.

    If the Komen Foundation were following those convictions openly, I think the likelihood that they would get so many people participating in their funding drives would be much, much smaller. The money is donated. It’s their money in a sort of moral trust. People who have supported them for years are disappointed by what’s perceived as a sudden about face–and that’s fair, because it was their time and their money. This is a shift in direction that, had it occurred earlier, may well have caused those supporters to give their time and money to different causes.

    And frankly, education and birth control are the best ways to prevent abortion; even those who are anti-abortion should heavily encourage and support sex education, education, and the spread of easily available birth control, since those prevent unwanted pregnancies, and therefore, their termination.

  48. Thank you for doing this, John. I love Whatever and this would be a great time to pick up some more of your work.

    Breitbart’s record regarding faking things up to damage innocent people is so astonishingly bad that I just don’t waste my time with anything he has been near anymore. There is no shortage of reputable sources, after all.

  49. These books have been sitting on my wishlist for a spell anyway. Now is a perfect time. Maybe I’ll pick up some Tor imprints too while I’m at it. Thanks for this John.

  50. Since I don’t see that anyone else has linked it, a response to the video linked by JP The Second:

    http://mediamatters.org/research/201103300021

    and

    http://mediamatters.org/blog/201103310030

    Basically, it looks like what someone suggested above. Planned Parenthood generally provides the referrals for the mammograms (ie. Access, which is what Cecile Richards says), not the mammograms themselves, and occasionally they have mobile clinics in their offices.

  51. I seem to be failing utterly at finding the “eBooks sold in other formats for other readers here in the US” mentioned above. All my Google-fu goes for naught. I see KevinM has kindly provided a link to applications that will allow reading the Kindle or Nook formats on the PC, which will do in a pinch, but ideally I’d like to find what other formats exist. Anyone got a handy link?

  52. Just bought one of each of the Kindle editions. Hope you don’t mind my waiting til now. Had bowel cancer last year, and since then have had a bit more of an appreciation for cancer and its implications for mortality.

  53. I have a rule against supporting any group or program that knuckles under to the religious reich. So now I guess there is one more organization on my list.

  54. @ Nicole: My Google-fu is weak today, too.

    Does anyone know if B&N books are formatted for the Nook in ePub format? Because I have my own favorite ebook app and would rather not start an ebook ghetto on my gadget just for a few books from B&N.

  55. Makes me wish I didnt already have the books. I’ll just donate to PP directly =)

    There was a statement made by SGK in 2009 as to why they funded Planned Parenthood. It has been deleted from the site, but persists in the forums here (http://apps.komen.org/Forums/tm.aspx?m=200701&high=planned+parenthood) in a post by “Komen Moderator”

    “…and while Komen Affiliates provide funds to pay for screening, education and treatment programs in dozens of communities, in some areas, the only place that poor, uninsured or under-insured women can receive these services are through programs run by Planned Parenthood.

    These facilities serve rural women, poor women, Native American women, women of color, and the un- and under-insured. As part of our financial arrangements, we monitor our grantees twice a year to be sure they are spending the money in line with our agreements, and we are assured that Planned Parenthood uses these funds only for breast health education, screening and treatment programs. ”

    I haven’t seen any statement from Komen that alternatives to Planned Parenthood for these women have emerged in the last 3 years. I hope those who feel certain that defunding Planned Parenthood will have no collateral damage actually KNOW this to be true, rather than hoping it is.

  56. @ Allen Hunter: “I hope those who feel certain that defunding Planned Parenthood will have no collateral damage actually KNOW this to be true, rather than hoping it is.”

    Amen to that. Health care is precarious at best when you don’t have insurance. Removing one of the venues for the uninsured is awful.

  57. Thanks so much, John. I have already made a donation to Planned Parenthood and did it in honor of Susan Komen with an acknowledgement to be sent to the foundation. Any time I would have given to the foundation, I will now donate to Planned Parenthood in their name.

  58. @ Allen Hunter: “I hope those who feel certain that defunding Planned Parenthood will have no collateral damage actually KNOW this to be true, rather than hoping it is.”

    All things considered, I would be *astonished* if this were true.

  59. Hi
    I’ve been meaning to check out your books, based on recommendations, and this has pushed you to the top of my shopping list. I lack an ereader, so can’t do it this way, but trust me when I say I’ll be ordering your stuff from Powell’s shortly.

  60. Much like Panic Software’s donating of an entire day’s revenue to Tsunami victims last year enabled me to justify replacing my non-Mac-App-Store-bought software with Mac App Store versions, I’m now complementing my gorgeous SubPress print editions of Sagan Diary and The God Engines with their equally well-crafted ebook counterparts. Good move, John, thanks.

  61. After I made my PP donation, I realized my father — who I just introduced to Scalzi through the means of a gifted Kindle already loaded with Android’s Dream — doesn’t have any of these ebooks. So I bought copies of all of them for him (thank heavens for Amazon’s “give this ebook as a gift” option). Double gifting!

  62. If you’re going the direct donation route, it has been suggested that you can make it an Honorary Donation and request a thank-you card be sent to:

    Karen Handel
    Senior VP of Fail
    c/o Susan G. Komen Foundation
    P.O. Box 650309
    Dallas, TX 75265

  63. John,

    My thought’s on the SGKF’s decision can basically be summed up as “incoherent rage.” Using poor women as chips in a political game whose end goal is depriving women of the right to consent to other people using their organs is–well, we’re back around to “incoherent rage.”

    But you’ve done something a heck of a lot better than incoherent rage; you’ve found a way to make a positive contribution. And in so doing you’ve created the first post about this issue that hasn’t made me want to punch humanity in the face twice. So thank you for that. Thank you for using your privilege to stand up for people who don’t share it. You’re a class act.

  64. @Bearpaw

    Does anyone know if B&N books are formatted for the Nook in ePub format? Because I have my own favorite ebook app and would rather not start an ebook ghetto on my gadget just for a few books from B&N.

    I think my B&N purchases have come as ePub files, which I’ve used on a Kobo eReader.

  65. Thanks, John, for using your Awesome Internet Power for good once again. I’ve sent a “I’m Very, VERY Disappointed In You” letter to the bigwigs at Komen, with a cc to the local affiliate and my local PP affiliate – noting that I will be taking my Race for the Cure donation and adding it to my annual PP donation. I may just buy a couple of books, too…

  66. Thank goodness I saw this post. I’d already bought all of them some time ago with the single exception of “The God Engines.” Got that one a few minutes ago.

  67. Oh, and picked up The God Engines. Been curious about it for awhile, wanted to get it in hard copy, but this gets me the book and helps a good cause all at once. Works for me even if I prefer holding paper books. ;)

  68. Dammit, I just bought The God Engine and a couple of the stories last week. /sigh
    Guess I’ll grab Sagan Diary and maybe You’re Not Fooling Anyone, just cause.

  69. The blog at komen.org won’t load, the message board has thousands of visitors and keeps stalling. I could try calling …. What should I do with the pink things in my kitchen? Just use them, keeping them as a reminder of another betrayal, I suppose.

    I suppose the idea is some variant of “divide and conquer”

    Komen’s annual budget appears to be ~$us400,000,000; their donations to Planned Parenthood ~$us700,000. About 0.175% of Komen’s budget, about 0.06% of Planned Parenthood’s total budget.

    I’m really anti-bully.

    Got all of the books already, John, so Planned Parenthood gets another donation from me today. (Part of that “so conservative he’s an old-fashioned liberal” thing, I suppose.)

  70. As a fan of your work. I will be donating too planned parenthood in honor of your name. It not just I don’t want to read your books. I don’t have the money now to buy during your donation week. I finished “Old Man’s War” years ago and I still haven’t got the other books in your great series.

  71. Dan and others without an ebook reader: you can get the Nook software for PC for free. I don’t have an actual Nook either, but I can read Nook books on my PC. Get the free software, buy a Scalzi book! :)

  72. I’ll go against the grain here and say that your post makes me quite sad. Defunding PP is a good thing, and after years of not supporting SGK, I’m glad now that I can do so. On one point we do agree, I wish that SGK had been more open about its reasoning.

    SGK should be about breast cancer treatments and research, not a funding platform for the pro-choice, pro-abortion movement.

    A quick google search for ‘free mammograms’ in my area nets quite a few results, most from local hospitals So this idea that without PP women cannot find free or inexpensive breast cancer screenings is, at least in my area, demonstrably false.

    I say “Rock on SGK” and sadly John, despite the fact that you are one of my favorite contemporary sci-fi authors, I won’t be participating in your current fundraiser. I suspect you won’t really miss my business.

  73. I am interested in seeing if they stick to the official line. Over at Facebook, the internet is dropping anvils on their head. Though I used to support them, I have been unhappy with them for quite some time. They are such a big institution now that they suffer from losing touch with the people. I’m already a strong PP supporter. They are big enough to be important and efficient, but still ‘small’ enough to always have their eye on the ball.

  74. In 2011, SGK gave PP grants totaling about $680,000.

    According to PP, they have raised $400,000 in donations since the announcement of SGK’s betrayal yesterday.

    As I noted above, SGK’s VP of Public Policy is a staunch anti-choicer. SGK’s CEO served as an ambassador under George W,. Bush.

  75. The God Engines is also available at “Weightless Books” and “Baen Ebooks”, the latter store also carries “Your Hatemail Will Be Graded”. I believe both stores are US based, and if their accounting is good enough could count towards John’s donation.

  76. Read your post and immediately logged on and bought a book. Way to go John! I like a man that backs up his beliefs with action!

  77. Dear Mr. Scalzi:

    It is good to see an author like you make a constructive response and take a stand. I have shared this post on my Twitter and FB, and I hope others will in addition to maybe buying a book or two. Sadly, I do not have an e-reader, but I can certainly donate directly. And in solidarity, I will certainly check out for titles from your publisher Subterranean Press.

    Thank you. I have a wife and a daughter. And I want to make sure good services and health information are available to them.

    Best, and keep on blogging.

  78. Conservative Mom @ 5:26: I’ll go against the grain here and say that your post makes me quite sad. Defunding PP is a good thing, and after years of not supporting SGK, I’m glad now that I can do so. On one point we do agree, I wish that SGK had been more open about its reasoning.

    Sadly, while a common thought, your glee is factually wrong. 26% of PP’s activity goes towards cancer screenings and other women’s health issues in general. 35% goes to STD/STI testing and treatment. 35% goes towards contraception, and a grand total of 3% goes towards abortions.

    So even if you consider contraception to be a net bad, that leaves just under 40% of PP’s procedures as things that can be considered negative by that framework. And you might want to consider noticing that of the 118 comments that were in this thread when you posted, yours was the only one that was wholly positive about SGK’s move and that a large number of commenters had personal interactions with PP or knew people that had in non-abortion-related capacities, which is extremely statistically likely, given, well, the statistics.

    So, in other words, defunding Planned Parenthood is a net bad, they do significantly more than just abortions for a large number of people. Also, as someone else upthread noted, SGK had rules in place and audited the money going to PP to make sure it didn’t pay for abortions and only paid for cancer screenings.

    Link to info on PP’s percentage of activites: http://www.factcheck.org/2011/04/planned-parenthood/

  79. “A quick google search for ‘free mammograms’ in my area nets quite a few results, most from local hospitals So this idea that without PP women cannot find free or inexpensive breast cancer screenings is, at least in my area, demonstrably false.”

    I think that there may be significant differences between Googling a free mammogram and actually getting one.There may also be differences in the atmosphere, follow-up care and additional services offered by Planned Parenthood.

  80. At the risk of becoming a victim of the Mallet:

    Dear Conservative Mom: Anyone who would say “a funding platform for the pro-choice, pro-abortion movement” is deliberately ignoring the fact that people who are pro-choice also want to reduce the need for any woman ever to be faced with the choice whether or not to abort. I think most people here know this. Pro-choice does not equal pro-abortion.

  81. Conservative Mom, you seem to be assuming everyone shares your experiences. For many poor and rural areas, Planned Parenthood is the beginning, the end, and the entirety of the options for free-to-low-cost women’s healthcare. Early breast cancer *detection* is still, by far and away, the best method of surviving breast cancer, so I am at a loss to understand how removing funding for the 97% of Planned Parenthood that is not abortion-related is in any way, shape, or form, “pro-life”.

  82. Cool. I’ve been meaning to pick up some more of your stuff. Komen’s move irritated me. And I have an Amazon gift card to spend. Done. Win win win.

  83. I am so confused.

    Do I buy the ebooks from Subterranean, or if I buy them from Amazon do they count?

    Sorry to be such an incompetent.

  84. Thanks. I have worked directly with PP here in Chicago and the people I worked with were all very sincere and hardworking folks, doing mostly healthcare and education work.

  85. The reich-wing conservatrons know they’ll always have access to health services and abortion services (rich women always have), so they see no downside to slowly choking Planned Parenthood, which serves many a rural and poor constituency.

    “Pro-life”ers? How can you sleep with all your hypocrisy?

  86. @ Conservative Mom “free” mammograms still require a script from a physician, with out the script, no mammogram. Now see how many doctors and clinics provide those referrals/scripts at low or no cost? Plus, mammograms do not find 100% of breast cancers, but clinical breast exams may catch what the mammogram misses. Many of ‘free mammograms’ do not necessarily include the clinical exam (or the education in how to do, and keep up with them.)

    Do that self exam while enjoying the reading!

    Thanks for the positive action here Mr Scalzi!

  87. “A spokeswoman for the Komen foundation, Leslie Aun, told The Associated Press that the main factor in the decision was a new rule adopted by Komen that prohibits grants to organizations being investigated by local, state or federal authorities. Ms. Aun told The A.P. that Planned Parenthood was therefore disqualified from financing because of an inquiry being conducted by Representative Cliff Stearns, Republican of Florida, who is looking at how Planned Parenthood spends and reports its money.”

    Translation: They invented and adopted the rule specifically to justify cutting off the PP funding while hiding the real reasons for so doing.

    My donation to PP just doubled. SGK will never see another dime of my cash, and that little pink ribbon symbol just became a Do Not Buy sign for me. And I know some people with e-readers who are about to get some presents.

    Unlike my local PP clinic where donations mostly go right to service provision, less than half of the SGKF revenue goes to actual screening and research anyway. I prefer my donations to go right to the bottom line of actually helping people instead of paying PR flack salaries for “raising awareness,” so it’s not like I was going to give the SGKF any donations anyway.

    (Side chatter: I don’t hate to dissent, but I often beg to differ…)

  88. It seems that every week there is another assault on the health of poor women in the U.S. I’d posted the following on the Koman FB page, but after five “likes,” they deleted it: “@komenforthecure doing tremendous disservice by defunding Planned Parenthood. Can no longer support. War on women’s health continues.”

    As a result I created a FB group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/363480037014100/

  89. …And I would add to those who really, really, really want to believe the video up on the Breitbart page, claiming that PP does not provide mammograms or other screening services…

    Let’s try some logic here: Komen is not defunding PP because they think PP is using its ~$500,000 a year Komen funds improperly. Which is to say: PP *is using those funds to supply breast cancer screening services for women.

    If the Breitbart purveyed claims were true, don’t you think that those claims would form the fundamental basis of Komen’s justification for what they are doing?

  90. “They don’t deserve to die just because they can’t afford to catch their cancer early.”

    Funny thing, but I can’t seem to find the post of yours from November, 2009 decrying the suggested removal of breast cancer screenings from Medicare coverage for women under 50. Since that kind of change would have amounted to far greater a difference than $680,000 per year, and would have exclusively increased poor women’s cancer risk (as opposed to Planned Parenthood’s general slush fund), I’m sure someone so concerned with women’s health wouldn’t have ignored that.

    Do please provide a link for that post, won’t you, John?

  91. Gerrymander:

    Funny thing, I don’t see the line in the rhetoric rule book that says that in order to comment on an issue, one must comment on every instance which another person who is not one’s self believes is related to it, or else one’s current comment is somehow invalid and/or hypocritical.

    Do please provide evidence of that rule for me, won’t you, gerrymander?

    Elsewise, I’m just gonna go ahead and file this comment of yours into the “stupid argument tricks” bin. You’ll recognize this bin. It’s circular.

  92. Bought the only one I hadn’t already paid for, The Sagan Diary. The reason I didn’t buy it before was because I read it for free on the Subterranean Press site but hey, what’s $3 for a good cause.

  93. Does anyone know if B&N books are formatted for the Nook in ePub format? Because I have my own favorite ebook app and would rather not start an ebook ghetto on my gadget just for a few books from B&N.

    They are in ePub format. However, they are DRM’ed.

    For folks who know how to strip the DRM (which may require more knowledge than most folks are willing to get), you can then make it readable for almost any e-Reader.

    I think that there may be significant differences between Googling a free mammogram and actually getting one.There may also be differences in the atmosphere, follow-up care and additional services offered by Planned Parenthood.

    Yeah. Pretty much this. The pragmatic and logistical realities of health care in rural and poor areas aren’t quite the same as many urban people (of any political stripe) may think they are.

  94. Gerrymander:

    Do please provide a link for that post, won’t you, John?

    Are you unaware that the default mode of clever is………..

    Tosser.

  95. Thank you for doing this, John. I was happy to fatten up the e-reader to participate, and my husband is delighted that he won’t have to move the print copies when we finally get around to moving.

  96. As the husband of a six year advanced breast cancer survivor (2 cm x 3 cm tumor, mastectomy, another tumor in the lymph nodes, six months chemo, reconstruction, etc), I am a total advocate of mammograms anywhere and everywhere. I wish that my wife had gotten a mammogram before she was 45. Maybe then she would not have to had the mastectomy and the five other surgeries.

    Politicians and people with agendas really need to stay away from women’s reproductive issues. They only seem to make things worse.

  97. The most surprising part of the story for me is that the SGK foundation, which raises millions, probably spends more to put on its various public events each year than it gave to PP. Even though I fall on the anti-abortion side of the political spectrum, I think someone at SGK should have realized what an unforced error this was on their part.

  98. Thanks John. I have no personal story to relate here, but the cause is very worthy.

    And after reading the comments here, I will continue to read in the background. I don’t comment often as some of these people are only interested in starting a fight. I choose not to play.

    I’ll go read my four new books now. Thank you, again, Sir.

  99. Sorry John.

    Sometimes I’m easily irritated, and this issue is one I find it particularly hard to be polite about.

    No excuse though – I should just refrain from commenting.

  100. If your true motivation is to help poor women, I’m curious why you would patronize an organization that would jeopardize its ability to provide seevices by engaging in a practice as polarizing as providing abortions. Though I do give you credit for putting your money where your mouth is rather than insisting that others do so.

  101. Did you write any real books, like on paper? ;0 I guess I’ll just have to donate directly. (Sorry bookseller humor.) This is a great thing you’re doing. Peace

  102. Re: “these women should have thought about reasonable access to health care pertaining to their own gender before they decided to go ahead and be poor” –

    I’m not sure that’s true. In fact, you might have it backwards. Maybe they should have gotten better jobs and made more money before they decided to be women?

  103. Johnmcg.

    “I’m curious why you would patronize an organization that would jeopardize its ability to provide seevices by engaging in a practice as polarizing as providing abortions.”

    Roe vs Wade ws 39 years ago!

    For a non american it’s hard to concieve that this issue is still an issue at all.

  104. Bravo to Scalzi for taking this awesome step!

    I know a number of women who have relied on Planned Parenthood for access to contraception at some point in their lives. As Gail Colins pointed out, nearly two million low-income women depend on PP for family-planning and other health services, and there’s no other organization ready to pick up the slack.

  105. john mcg:

    “I’m curious why you would patronize an organization that would jeopardize its ability to provide services by engaging in a practice as polarizing as providing abortions.”

    People should not contribute to organizations that polarize people? This is bad news for the NRA, another organization which offers services which are polarizing, but which, as with Planned Parenthood, are totally legal.

    (And as it happens, there are some parts of the NRA’s services I support, such as their gun training and education programs.)

    And of course PP and NRA are just two examples. “Polarizing” is a bad metric, I think, for evaluating one’s support for organizations.

  106. Johnmcg.:

    “I’m curious why you would patronize an organization that would jeopardize its ability to provide seevices by engaging in a practice as polarizing as providing abortions.”

    Perhaps unwittingly, you have identified the real issue here. PP will help care for the entire woman, not just her politically expeditious parts and outgrowths. Remember pols kissing babies? Not much has changed.

    I was an early supporter of SGK, but I have seen the organization change much over the years. My sense is that the bureaucracy of the foundation is now most concerned with themselves, no longer about the women they purport to help. I think those are clay feet I see.

  107. If I hadn’t read almost everything you have published, I would be filling up that Kindle as we speak. Good to know you’re a good guy. THANK YOU.

  108. The irony is that Planned Parenthood is possibly the most effective organization out there at preventing abortions, and it’s not just for low-income women. I went to them in my late teens seeking birth control because I didn’t feel comfortable asking my father to take me to the doctor for that purpose. (My mother had died of cancer a number of years earlier.) I was heading off to college, had a long-term partner, and didn’t want to rely on condoms as a sole source of birth control. Two methods are more reliable than one. Later I would marry that partner and have two planned pregnancies resulting in two wonderful children.

  109. john mcg@7:23: If your true motivation is to help poor women, I’m curious why you would patronize an organization that would jeopardize its ability to provide seevices by engaging in a practice as polarizing as providing abortions.

    You might want to look in to the history of abortion as a “polarizing practice” in America. Slacktivist offers a good summation here: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/slacktivist/2009/06/02/killing-in-the-name-of/

    Basically, Roe v. Wade was passed in 1973 and greeted with, for all intents and purposes, a yawn by the proto-Religious Right. It wasn’t until the 1980s and addition of such wonderful folks as Francis Schaeffer, Jerry Falwell, and Pat Robertson to the mainstream of American political and religious culture that it even became an issue. It became an issue precisely because people on the Christian right decided they wanted to use it to gain power by getting people to vote on only one or two wedge issues.

    As such, the true controversy is the question of how anyone could support the so-called “pro-life” brigade, since they’re just cynically manipulating people to gain political power. Unfortunately, they’re doing it quite effectively.

  110. It only takes a small search of the web to see all the other problems that SGK has. From not really being evidenced or science based in its advocacy to not really putting that much funding towards finding a cure. They sue other non-profits to protect their turf. They put out a perfume that apparently had carcinogens in it. Got into an a mail in top agreement with Yoplait that donated ten cents per each top mailed in at a time when stamps cost 37cents. Many people had problems with “buckets for the cure” with KFC. Their agreements to work with the George W. Bush Institute raised some eyebrows. With Planned Parenthood, it is only the latest in a long string of bad moves.

    I credit them greatly with bringing the issue of breast cancer before the public. The awareness part of their campaign has been overwhelmingly successful and should be applauded. Yet I have to agree with @Tom 7:56 in that this is an organization that has lost its way.

    Give to support their mission, but giving to them is probably not the best choice.

  111. John–long time fan, first time reader of your blog, and I just wanted to say how great I think what you are doing is. As someone approaching antique human status, I wish there were a way to support you through physical books, but I guess I’ll find out how the kindle app on my phone works. Thanks for standing up for what you believe!

  112. Came here from someone on my friends list who re-blogged this. I don’t have an e-reader (time to get one!), so I can’t contribute that way, but I will be sending a donation to Planned Parenthood this week. Thank you for doing this and for being so public about it. As someone who has used their healthcare services and who have had relatives who have used their healthcare services, I can vouch for them as an organization which does amazing things with the small amount of support they get. Abortions are only a tiny fraction of the services they provide: breast screening, pap smears, curing infections, post-partum care, lactation consultation – our local Planned Parenthood does all of these and many more things besides. If the SGK Fund’s whole existence is supposed to be about curing breast cancer and preventing women who have it from suffering and dying, then they are about to fail an awful lot of women. Shame on them!

  113. The Breitbart claim seems to be something of a red herring. As i understand it, mammograms are not the recommended initial breast cancer screening test for women under 40. Where it is appropriate, Planned Parenthood will provide a referral, but generally does not do the procedure in house. So the Breitbart sting is irrelevant except to the extent it demonstrates the bad faith of Breitbart and his associates.

  114. First: John you are the awesome for doing this. I have the Kindle reader software on my PC, so I’ll a couple of books.

    Second: Gerrymander: I think you may be a little confused about breast care funding and MediCARE. A woman UNDER 50 can’t get Medicare; Medicare is a program for people 65 and OVER.

    You may be thinking of MediCAID funding which does help people of all ages, and which regularly faces Congressional cuts.

    Two programs which are often confused but which are different in who they help. Learn the difference, please.

  115. john mcg: Planned Parenthood is 95 years old. They’ve been helping women and families with health issues for a long time now. My mother went to PP for contraceptive help when that was an iffy matter, even for married people.

  116. Add me to the list of people picking up everything I don’t have. And I guess I’ll have to add PP to my montly donation list. Once again the Whatever is costing me some serious bux. Damn you, Scalzi (shakes fist impotently)!

  117. Thanks for doing the brave thing, and the right thing. I just picked up several titles for Kindle that i currently have in paper.

  118. John, thanks for taking a such a stand for your principles!
    I am really impressed and hope this gets you many, many sales.

  119. Thanks for doing this, John! I just grabbed God Engines, Sagan Diaries and You’re Not Fooling Anyone. Hopefully this will make up for my horribly misjudged Hugo nomination – it was a prologue, not a first chapter!

  120. Well, good for Denver Komen! And not least for checking the facts of how much bang they are getting for the funding of Planned Parenthood before throwing the proverbial baby out with the bath water (so to speak).

  121. John: Yours was the first site I ran across today with this issue and, lo and behold, it was EVERYWHERE as soon as I started looking around, so you are da MAN by putting your money where your mouth (or typing fingers?) is. My Nook now has three new Scalzi icons on the Home page.

    Thanks for bringing the issue up and putting it into a forum of intelligent discussion.

  122. Have shared this blog post on FB. Referred to Mr. Scalzi as “one of my favorite authors”. Guess I could have omitted “one of…”

    Thank you John Scalzi.

  123. I understand that most here disagree, but there remains a sizable minority of the US population that finds abortion abhorrent, the killing of innocent unborn life, and will not want to have anything to do with organizations that are involved in providing abortions, and that is not going to change any time soon. Again, I understand most here disagree, but if we’re dealing with reality, that’s part of the reality we have to deal with.

    So long as that is the case, the government and organizations seeking broad support such as Komen, will face pressure to dissociate themselves from groups that provide abortion. Again, I understand that you don’t like that, but it is reality.

    Given that, if Planned Parenthood and its supporters were truly primarily concerned with providing health services to poor women, it seems they would want to get away from the hot potato of abortion, which, given its political radioactivity, puts its ability to provide these services in consistent jeopardy. Continuing to perform abortions is reckless, if serving poor women is what they’re primarily about.

    But they’re not. Planned Parenthood is willing to gamble its ability to help poor women on society’s continued acceptance of abortion. And its supporters are willing to defend it in doing so. What that tells me is that these folks are not solely about providing cancer screenings to poor women, but also pushing for wider societal entanglement in, and acceptance of abortion.

    Whatever small percentage of PP’s activities abortion represents, they are not willing to give them up in order to continue providing care for poor women. Indeed, they are willing to hold it hostage.

    As I mentioned, I do give Mr. Scalzi credit for putting his own money where his mouth is rather than saying that the government or others must do so. It does always puzzle me that an organization that I hear about doing so many wonderful things is always hard up for money and dependent on the government and organizations like Komen.

    But I think he’s being less than honest in claiming that it’s just about health services for poor women.

  124. Continuing to perform abortions is reckless, if serving poor women is what they’re primarily about.

    The a priori assumption here is that abortion is not serving poor women.

    I can think of five different ways where this assumption is utterly without merit.

  125. johnmcg: How far do you want to carry the transitivity of blame? You can’t support Scalzi, since he’s supporting Planned Parenthood. You can’t support WordPress, since they support him. You can’t support EFF, since they support WordPress. You can’t support ….

    You want others to do as you believe. I believe you should be allowed to want that; and I want you to fail at it.

    My apologies, John. Mallot –> x <– here, please. Thank you for what you've done here.

  126. I’ll be toddling off–virtually, of course–to Ye Olde E-Book Kiosk immediately, John. Also, if there were a “like” button for comments, a very large number of nice sentiments have been thrown out here. Dissenters will be dissenters. Some expose themselves to be folks who don’t work all the way to the end of their rhetorical equations, thus reinforcing the viewpoint of those from whom they are dissenting. I hope you raise a piss-pot full of money.

  127. johnmcg:

    “if Planned Parenthood and its supporters were truly primarily concerned with providing health services to poor women, it seems they would want to get away from the hot potato of abortion”

    Just as the NRA and their supporters, if it were truly concerned about gun education and training, would want to get away from the hot potato of endorsing assault rifles designed only to kill human beings.

    We could do this all night if you like, johnmcg. But we won’t; the argument you’re making isn’t actually fruitful in any sense other than “this organization, some of whose practices I disagree with, should not do the things I disagree with.” This is not actually a very good argument for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that your definition of what health services for women should be appears to be predicated solely on what you personally find to be controversial. There’s a fine argument to be made that women’s health service really ought not be made based on what a vocal minority is made uncomfortable by, particularly when what they are made uncomfortable by is entirely legal.

  128. johnmcg: The fallacy in your logic is not that some people oppose abortion. It is that SGK is changing its stance toward PP because of outside pressure. Funnily, they have not claimed “we are halting donations to PP because we are losing donors” or “we are not able to fulfill our mission” or anything suggesting that their choice is motivated by anything whatsoever to do with breast cancer survivors. Instead, their rationale – which they are doubling down on – is “we must adhere to this new administrative rule that we just made up.”

    Do you also think organizations like Legal Aid, whose entire mission is to provide legal assistance to the poor, should stop what they are doing because they are “polarizing? Certain conservative members of Congress routinely try to gut their funding; is it your view that they should stop helping poor people until everybody is satisfied with their mission?

    gerrymander: In 2009, a task force made some recommendations about screening and came to the conclusion that while biennial screening was necessary for women 50+, it wasn’t always for women younger than that. As of late November 2009 Medicare had not adopted that recommendation. So if you’ve got information that Medicare abolished screening for women 40-49 at some point because of fake administrative rules or because someone with authority in Medicare had some moral issue folded into the recommendations, please do share it with us. Otherwise, your fake concern for women’s health in order to ‘gotcha’ is pretty pathetic.

  129. I am a Sci fi fan, and apologize for never having heard of you. I also give a monthly donalion to PP. I got myself a Nook because I was tired of the kids telling me at 10:00 pm that they needed a book for “tomorrow” and having all bookstores closed. Now I have a better reason for having it!!

    Thank you!!

    p.s. You really need a “like” button for your blog!! Or better yet, “love”!

  130. Even if I never read even one of them, this will be the best $14 I’ve ever spent. That said, I will probably read every single one of them, just out of principle and because you rock so hard that you should have whole drifts of panties on your front lawn.

    I’ve been telling people all day long that this just proves that Komen cares less about women’s health than they do about selling pink shit. They absolutely DO NOT want a cure for cancer. If there was a cure for cancer, their pink-shit empire wouldn’t be needed. Maybe at one point, they cared. That changed when they found out just how much money could be made by shilling pink shit.

  131. I must say, John, you are being more measured and reasonable than I could ever hope to be. I started seeing the red mist as soon as Breitbart was mentioned. Definitely more productive that way. Bravo.

    Other than that, I just donated a nontrivial amount of my monthly pay to my local Planned Parenthood’s general fund, for the following reasons:

    1) Planned Parenthood provided reproductive health services to my wife while she and I were poor and dating, thus adding directly to my domestic happiness;

    2) I now have a 2-year-old daughter and want to make sure the services of Planned Parenthood (ALL of the services of Planned Parenthood) will be available if she needs them.

    Some of the mad wags on the Facebooks are using this link (https://secure.ppaction.org/site/SPageServer?pagename=pp_ppol_Nondirected_HonoraryGiving) to donate in the name of SGK. That way they get a nice thank-you card from Planned Parenthood. I kicked in an extra $5 that way, for the lolz.

  132. You’ll need the foundation info to do this, though:

    Susan G. Komen Foundation, 5005 LBJ Freeway, Dallas TX, 75244.

    Sorry for the double-post.

  133. johnmcg @7:26: So long as that is the case, the government and organizations seeking broad support such as Komen, will face pressure to dissociate themselves from groups that provide abortion. Again, I understand that you don’t like that, but it is reality.

    Here’s an interesting little statistic for you: During 2011 Susan G Komen for the Cure gave $680,000 to Planned Parenthood for breast cancer screenings. In the 24 hours after SGK announced they were taking their ball and going home Planned Parenthood raised $650,000. And that number is from a WaPo article that’s several hours old (http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/planned-parenthood-says-komen-decision-causes-donation-spike/2012/02/01/gIQAGLsxiQ_story.html). And the reaction from the community against SGK has been overwhelmingly negative.

    There is a political “hot potato” here. It’s just that the actual issue is that a small but vocal collection of hypocrites (since “decided to defund cancer screenings” and “pro-life” should never, ever be put together with a positive correspondence) managed to bring hell down upon their heads and destroy their credibility incredibly quickly. Over the last year or so we’ve seen the internet flex its muscles with Occupy, the SOPA/PIPA blackout, and now this and it seems to get results rather quickly and impressively in ways that spill out in to the real world.

    SGK made a huge mistake here and they’ll lose. There simply aren’t enough people out there who genuinely believe that Planned Parenthood only does abortions to make this a good move on their part. Just look at the comments here. We’re almost two hundred in and only one has been in wholehearted support of SGK’s move. Admittedly, this is a pretty self-selected group, but it pretty much mirrors everything I’ve seen on the news, blogs, and social media sites.

  134. You rock! I have used Planned Parenthood and was (am still) thankful for their existance and services.

    Do the short stories count towards donations as well?

  135. @A.M. Donovan: For comparison the head of Planned Parenthood Federation, Western Hemisphere Region makes $275K, and 86% of their revenue goes into program funding. Both SGK and PP are given four stars by your ratings agency.

    Heads of large nonprofits do tend to be well-compensated. The head of the Red Cross, for example, takes home close to $1 million. Are they overcompensated? Perhaps, but running huge nonprofits is hard, and not everybody can do it well. I don’t feel equipped to rant on that subject.

  136. Done, purchases made, donations made, good feelings all around.
    Not going to get into the side discussions tonight.

  137. I don’t object to supporting organization engaged in polarizing activity per se (though I would obviously prefer people didn’t support ones I disagree with)

    I object to supporting an organization engaged in an activity, and claiming that it’s not about that polarizing issue, but about some broadly approved activity like providing cancer screenings for women. And that those who decline to support that organization are against providing cancer screenings for women.

    If the NRA had a prostate screening operation of a similar scale to PP’s breast cancer screening, a donation to them, even a donation earmarked for cancer screenings, would be a signal of support for their legislative agenda. And a refusal to support them would not be tantamount to sentencing poor men to death.

  138. johnmcg:

    “I object to supporting an organization engaged in an activity, and claiming that it’s not about that polarizing issue, but about some broadly approved activity like providing cancer screenings for women.”

    Well, then, fortunately for you, no one’s doing that here today. Now, it appears you want to suggest that’s what I’m doing, but you’re wrong about that, and the argument you appear to be making for it is really taking the long way around. To clear up any confusion, I’m perfectly fine with Planned Parenthood offering abortion services. However, if I wanted to do fundraising for that portion of their services, I’d do it head-on. The reason I’m saying I’ll contribute the funds specifically for breast cancer screening is because that’s what I intend to donate the money towards.

    Your NRA prostate screening comparison makes no sense, incidentally.

    Look, johnmcg, if you’re going to call me a sneaky liar with a hidden agenda, or simply a foolish dupe, I would prefer you simply come out and say it. What you’re doing instead is no less insulting to me, it just takes more words.

  139. Got a Nook for Christmas, I have been looking for new authors to read, and this is such a good cause, you have gained a reader!

  140. …and yet many organizations, in pursuit of their mission, must take actions one may not agree with. The ACLU regularly finds itself defending the Klan in free-speech cases. Not because they loves them the Klan, but because the ACLU exists to protect freedom of speech, regardless of the speaker or the message. Do Klan supporters come up and give them big hugs in gratitude for this service (often done pro bono)? Do they hell. You think their lefty allies are delighted by this aspect of their mission? Hah. I have actually seen flyers saying “No free speech for fascists!” Some people have no sense of irony, I guess.

    You’ll also note that the ACLU is not out running ads saying “HEY! Give us money so we can defend the Klan!” They talk about their mission in terms that are designed to draw in the broadest possible support. Because they’re not idiots.

    Planned Parenthood’s mission is to provide COMPREHENSIVE health and reproductive care services to people who otherwise couldn’t afford them. Comprehensive means comprehensive. It does not mean “broadly popular” or “everything that doesn’t make my straight male Congressman uncomfortable.” It means the entire gamut of reproductive health services to which women (and men) are legally entitled. If 3% of the organizations funding therefore goes to abortion, well that’s part of what COMPREHENSIVE means. If in pursuit of their mission they are able to educate couples about birth control and effectively distribute contraceptives, thus reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies, and therefore the number of abortions, well, hey, that’s all part of the service too.

    I note that these are not really new points in this discussion, and am beginning to wonder if you’re being deliberately obtuse. (Sorry if that brings down the Hammer).

  141. johnmcg @11:20: If the NRA had a prostate screening operation of a similar scale to PP’s breast cancer screening, a donation to them, even a donation earmarked for cancer screenings, would be a signal of support for their legislative agenda. And a refusal to support them would not be tantamount to sentencing poor men to death.

    I’m beginning to think you’re being willfully and intentionally obtuse here. Planned Parenthood isn’t pretending anything here. They engage in activity and advocacy related to women’s health and rights to bodily autonomy. One aspect of bodily autonomy and, often, health in a very real sense is the right to have access to abortions.

    PP does eleven times as much in regards to access to contraception as they do for abortion. They do five times as many breast cancer screenings as they do abortions. They’re “legislative agenda,” as you call it, is to advocate that women should be allowed to choose for themselves what to do with their bodies and be able to get access to the health resources they need. Yet they’re constantly crapped upon as that place that apparently does nothing but force poor, confused women in to having abortions as part of the evil librul’s plans to destroy America and Jesus or something.

    Also, to make your NRA equivalence in to something other than a blatantly false equivalence we’d need to live in a world where bullets simply form in men’s prostates and the only thing that can stop them is by trapping them inside a gun. Or something. I do know. Your thing only works if you don’t know what Planned Parenthood does or the NRA does. Here’s a hint, though: most people, especially in America, get to choose whether or not they want to own a gun and then they definitely get to choose what they shoot with said guns. Women do not choose to get breast cancer.

  142. I think the word “obtuse” has gotten sufficient workout in reference to johnmcg’s position, folks. It doesn’t need to be brought into use again. Thanks.

  143. Seemed like a good time to get The God Engines.

    Also, someone up-thread here mentioned completing their collection of ‘Subterranean Scalzis’, which sounds much more exciting out of context.

  144. I had the case of the Subterranean Scalzis once. Drank a big glass of warm, salty water and it went away like *dat.*

  145. Only tangentially related to things that people wish to legislate because it makes them uncomfortable…

    As of tonight, I can marry my partner of 17 years in our state of residence!!! The Fed still defines this as illegal, of course, but phooey on that. I’ve already got my bridesmaid lined up…

    Ahem. Carry on.

  146. @johnmcg: But SGK is not withdrawing support from PP because of “polarizing activity” or abortion or some mission unrelated to breast-cancer screening. Just ask them! They insist, and continue to insist, that their sole reason is a Congressional investigation.

    So why, exactly, are you in favor of SGK’s actions?

  147. Congrats, Constance! Though if your state is the state I hang my hat, there are a few more formalities to iron out. Won’t take more than a couple of days.

    Though you’re going to want to hit the altar before November. The referendum battle’s going to be brutal, and those things are never guaranteed.

  148. Constance:

    a) It does still have to be passed by the house, and then signed by the governor, but it’s a good start, and congrats.

    b) it’s off topic so let’s please stay on topic for now, please.

  149. Reblogged this on The Fog of Ward. and commented:
    I’ve been back and forth all day as to what I wanted to say about this issue. It figures that Scalzi would say it so much better than I could ever hope to. That, and he’s got an awesome thing going on here, so give it a look.

  150. Someone passed me this link, which (approvingly) states that SGK stopped funding embryonic stem-cell research. Even when, you know, it might be cancer research.

    http://www.lifenews.com/2012/02/01/komen-also-stops-funding-embryonic-stem-cell-research-centers/

    “Meanwhile, as LifeNews reported, new Komen Vice President for public policy Karen Handel, a pro-life advocate for Georgia, also opposes embryonic stem cell research. She has been credited with being instrumental in helping stop the Planned Parenthood funding.”

  151. Nice with the donation.

    A couple years ago, I quit giving any money to (keep old white people alive — apparently I’m an old white person with a death wish) disease foundations. Instead, I give to third world causes like FINCA. But my biggest annual donation, by 5x, is to Planned Parenthood. They are doing the good work for every (young) woman in America.

  152. So, in the name of making it harder for some women to terminate their pregnancies, they’re going to make it harder for some other women who want to carry their babies to full term to get the prenatal care they need, risking the lives of babies and mothers who might otherwise be sympathetic to their cause.

    That’s both breathtakingly hypocritical and breathtakingly stupid. Any analogy I could try to draw to this position would be Malleted as inflammatory and off-topic, so I shall refrain.

  153. thank you very much for your support. I do still believe that Susan B Komen would have wanted her legacy to support the poor women as well as the ones that can afford insurance ..BUT if you investigate further you will find that there ARE programs out there that provide mammograms and help for women in preventative care..don’t shoot them down yet. they do allot of good for breast cancer survivors (lme included) as well as for women that need help in preventative care. There is help iut there for women that need mammograms that do not have insurance…they need to do their homework. I know that my daughter is 33 years old and at has told me she has no insurance for mammogram; that is simply not true..There are free clinics all over Seattle (for ex.) that provide assistance and funding. Please women and men, believe that you will find the care because it IS out there.

  154. I really think SGK thought they could do this quietly and nobody would notice. It seemed to work for the stem-cell thing. They thought they could simultaneously speak to the pro-lifers and the general population without the two comparing notes. Because really, they don’t all that often. Right wing discourse has evolved into such a tangled web of dog whistles, obscure name-checks and reality-free mythology that reading many right-wing publications feels like a game of “Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra.” (Sometimes I wonder if the reverse is true, but I don’t think it is)

    One thing Planned Parenthood is not, though is quiet. Really, though, I wonder if SGK’s communications department was even notified before this went down.

  155. I don’t have any extra money right now (in fact I have negative-extra money), or I’d buy a Nook and all these books in a heartbeat. All I can say is “down with SGK” and that I’ll post this on FB. Also, good idea not to buy pink-ribbon things any more.

  156. Someone on my FB page linked to this, and I thought it was worth sharing in the context of the current discussion:

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/02/01/1060885/-Behind-the-Pink-Curtain-Komens-Political-Agenda

    I was pro-life until I got my first period. Then it dawned on me that if, god forbid, I was raped, I would not want to carry that pregnancy to term, and I would want a safe, legal way available to me to terminate said pregnancy.

    My birthday is 1/23. Every year I get to hear the Roe v Wade rhetoric so often I’m ready to throw my computer out the window. But it’s still an “agenda” that deserves support. I’ve been meaning to pick up some of your work for a while now, Scalzi. Maybe this is the day. Thank you.

  157. I actually bought almost all of these just two days ago, but I picked up the last one (The Sagan Diary) and made a contribution to PP of the Pacific Northwest in my grandmother’s name, since her birthday is coming up and charitable donations are her preferred gift. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for this. I’m always pleased when authors whose books I love also happen to share some of my beliefs.

  158. mythago @12:18 am: That’s really upsetting. Your link also quotes Ms. Handel as saying “I oppose embryonic stem cell research, which creates life solely for the purpose of destroying it.” Of course, that’s false: as the National Institutes of Health point out, embryonic stem cells used in research typically come from embryos that were created as part of fertility treatments. In many cases, these embryos were going to be discarded anyhow.

    I don’t understand why a cancer-fighting organization would hire someone with a history of saying false things about the practices of medical researchers. This certainly doesn’t make me inclined to buy things with pink ribbons on them anymore.

  159. Yay, John! You rock! I donated directly to PP since I’m pretty close to full on Scalzi books. I mean there’s ROOM for more, but you’ve only written so many! ;-) (I eagerly await RED SHIRTS.)

  160. I’d also like to say, as a cancer survivor myself, that cancer really sucks. And there are women with breast cancer in my support group at Gilda’s Club. Some will not survive.

    So I’d just like to say “walk in front of a bus, you dirty Komenists.”

  161. Hm. Not familiar with the background, but there are a lot of people with axes to grind against Komen; one’s claimed that Komen lobbied for Medicaid to screen for breast cancer but lobbied AGAINST them being able to pay for treatment, as well as killing research into environmental links with breast cancer and lobbying against the public option in what’s known as Obamacare.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/02/01/1060885/-Behind-the-Pink-Curtain-Komens-Political-Agenda

  162. Does anyone know if the actual person that was Susan G Komen was anti-choice? If she was, then the foundation should wave that banner high. At least then they would be honest, and consistent with Ms Komen’s memory and beliefs. This mealy-mouthed end-run is disgusting; if Ms Komen was pro-Choice, it’s a travesty.

  163. Constance: exactly. If they want to be an organization that only funds breast-cancer research consistent with national anti-abortion groups’ agendas, then why hesitate to say so? Why invent a new rule they obviously chose just so they could withdraw support from PP?

  164. @ John

    This is awesome, John. I don’t have an ebook reader and I don’t want to buy ebooks at this juncture, but I set aside a percentage of my annual charitable fund for impromptu causes. Some of that percentage will go PP’s way.

    @ Goggolor

    So thank you, Goggolor, for the handy info.

    @ Constance

    Congrats, Constance! (Sorry, John, but I hope the Mallet is merciful tonight.)

    @ mythago

    Meanwhile, as LifeNews reported, new Komen Vice President for public policy Karen Handel, a pro-life advocate for Georgia, also opposes embryonic stem cell research. She has been credited with being instrumental in helping stop the Planned Parenthood funding.

    While I disagree with them, I can understand where the anti-abortion crowd is coming from (some of them, at any rate, on that particularly narrow issue); but they’re still wrong. The anti-contraception crowd are just religious nutters. The anti-stem-cell research crowd are just Luddites hose brains have the same number of neurons as a stem-cell, specifically zero.

    Constance: exactly. If they want to be an organization that only funds breast-cancer research consistent with national anti-abortion groups’ agendas, then why hesitate to say so? Why invent a new rule they obviously chose just so they could withdraw support from PP?

    For some reason the phrase, …have their cake and eat it too. prings unbidden to mind.

    @ Xopher

    I don’t have any extra money right now (in fact I have negative-extra money), or I’d buy a Nook and all these books in a heartbeat.

    I am going to donate $20. May I donate $10 of it in your honor? If so, would you prefer I use the Xopher (first name) HalfTongue (last name), or your real name? If you would prefer the pseudonym, I understand perfectly; I would prefer people online not know my name in real life. If you would prefer I not donate in your honor, I will still donate the same amount and take no offense.

  165. Bravo John! Don’t have the funds right now for an e-reader or even to do a direct donation, but I have linked your blog post about this where I can.

  166. Having surveyed the intarwebz, the consensus seems to be, KOMEN IS PURE EVIL AND KOMEN MUST DIE ARRGGH ARGGHHHH ARGGHHHHHHHH. But wait, there is also a consensus that seems to go like this, PLANNED PARENTHOOD IS EVIL AND PLANNED PARENTHOOD MUST DIE ARRGHHH ARRRGGGHHHH ARGGGHHHHHHHH.

    What am I to think of all this rage, both genuine and manufactured?

    I’m one of those in-the-middle folk who think abortion-as-retroactive-birth-control is a highly questionable thing — the time for planning is before conception, IMHO. Yet I cannot say that I think women should be denied abortion as a procedure, because there are instances and times when I think it both moral and ethical to terminate a pregnancy: rapes, incest, teen molestation, life-threatening complications for the mother, etc.

    I understand the pro-life stance, at least when couched in the argument of Judeo-Christendom: that life — given by God — begins in the womb, and that man doesn’t have the right to take away that God-given life just because it’s not yet able to advocate for itself, or has become inconvenient for the bearer.

    But I also think that if it truly is a religious issue, then the matter lies between each individual woman and her Maker. Only the Lord knows what’s in the hearts of these women, and only He will judge. We can try to persuade women to think carefully before they abort — very carefully, I would hope — but we can’t deny them their choice altogether without being guilty of a different kind of sin.

    Thus I come back to sitting on my fence and sighing sadly. Because I think the pro-choice and the pro-life sides both have very good, valuable arguments. And I dislike greatly seeing them war against each other, year after year after year, trying to stamp out and villify the other, as if being pro-woman were an object and this object were somehow ownable in an exclusive fashion by an exclusive ideology.

    John’s obviously put his money and his mouth where his beliefs are, and I respect that.

    But I also respect the fact that Komen et al may have had very solid ethical and moral considerations of their own; and that to blame it all on political pressure from “reich wingers” is not only a disservice to those for whom this was probably a very difficult decision, but also plays right back into the binary bad-good mathematics that characterize the warped abortion debate.

    I am sure Planned Parenthood will not lack for funds now that the “crimes” of Komen have been plastered far and wide, on every virtual billboard. People will be rushing to make their statements with their wallets. It’s not the end of PP. And for Komen, hopefully when the heat dies down they will find ways to put their funding to good use — perhaps through clinics or hospitals or healthcare organizations not tied so directly to abortion?

    It’s not about PLANNED PARENTHOOD WIN, KOMEN LOSE, YAY, KOMEN LOSE, t’s about women getting healthcare and cancer concerns addressed, and if there is money to do this and it’s capable of saving lives, then I hope Komen is able to find the avenue.

  167. @ Brad R Torgersen

    You seem to miss the very basic point that Komen claims it is not about abortion but about a Republican Congressman’s investigation into Planned Parenthood that is the problem. Your basis of “solid ethical and moral considerations” seem to leave out the entire fact that they are being disingenuous about their own actions. Based on your reading of those actions.

    It is always fun to try and claim the middle ground, as though it magically makes one look reasonable, but frankly at least look at the actual claims of the organizations involved before degenerating into this sort of false equivalency.

    My one question is- If the abortion question lies as one between “the individual woman and her maker” what then is your place in the discussion?

  168. @ Edward Brennan

    It is always fun to try and claim the middle ground, as though it magically makes one look reasonable, but frankly at least look at the actual claims of the organizations involved before degenerating into this sort of false equivalency.

    FWIW, I took Brad to mean that both charities did good and throwing one or the other under the bus, while cathartic, doesn’t really help the people who need medical care.

    Is Komen being disingenuous, hedging their bets in the hope of not losing all their anti-abortion or pro-choice donors in one bad PR move? Sure looks like it. Does that mean they need to burn to the metaphorical ground? An argument could be made, but I’ll keep my torch and pitchfork in the closet just for now and focus on doing what very small part I can in picking of the slack Komen left at PP. Maybe Komen will realize being straightforward will win them more support in the long run and they can continue to be a force for good. Or maybe they’ll continue cowering behind doubletalk until all their goodwill is spent.

    Just my 2 cents.
    (*dons flame-retardant suit*)

  169. Edward Brennan,

    Gulliver has it. Komen’s split with PP seems to have engendered a sentiment among some pro-choice people that Komen is anti-woman and therefore is evil, evil, evil and must die, die, die, a horrible death, die. I don’t see it that way. And since Komen is not — to my knowledge — a sole-proprietorship, it stands to reason that within Komen itself there is a spectrum of opinion, and that given Komen’s prior support of PP there was most likely a great deal of internal debate, discussion, and unsurety. Or at least I extrapolate this from what I’ve read. They ultimately decided to withdraw from PP, and if people want to fault them for being disingenuous about how they did it, fine. I won’t defend Komen’s somewhat peculiar position statement, where their withrdrawal is concerned. They were being political about that particular choice, and are suffering some criticism as a result.

    The fact remains that Komen has money it wants to spend on womens healthcare. I think this is a Good Thing. I hope that Komen — which is doubtless also seeing a spike in individual support from pro-life people — can find a productive conduit for this cash. I do not hope for Komen to die, die, die as seems to be the extreme sentiment on the part of certain pro-choice folk for whom no quarter can be given to the hated, vile, Hitlerian pro-life camp.

    Now, to your assertion that it is “fun” being in the middle… stop being glib, sir. I have sat uneasily upon this fence all my adult life. It is anything but fun, precisely because people on both sides like to throw rocks at the squish. Some of them even hate a squish more than they hate The Enemy. At least The Enemy is easily demonized and made The Other such that The Enemy can be targetted with a clear conscience. Squishes are neither friend nor foe, and thus force the strident into the uncomfortable position of actually having to consider whether or not there may be some validity to The Enemy’s position. So instead of doing this, it’s easier to throw rocks at the squish and demand that the squish choose sides, once and for all.

    It’s not about false equivalency, it’s about seeing both sides of a thing, and determining that from different points of view both sides may have a very good point. If pushed by force to “pick” I suppose I would fall over into the pro-choice camp, but not without a lot of grumping and complaining, because as I noted above, I think abortion-as-retroactive-birth-control is morally repugnant. I don’t want to take away womens’ access to abortion for this reason, but I think women who do this are committing a very serious, very not-cool act.

    If I may frame it in the terms of my own religion: in the pre-existence, Christ desired choice, and all glory to the Father, while Lucifer desired conformity to the law, but all glory to himself, thus I think people must be free to make choices which are not in alignment with God or Christ, and in the case of womens bodies in particular, I think the physical connection of mother-child is one of those areas where God and God alone is wise enough to cast judgment. We can persuade a woman to think twice about abortion, but I would not block a woman legally from abortion. The sin of the terminated pregnancy being the smaller of the sins, when compared to enforced conformity in what is more or less a moral issue.

  170. @Brad R. Torgersen:

    You’re misstating the sides of the debate. It’s not “pro-choice” versus “pro-life”. It’s “pro-choice” versus “anti-choice“.

    There’s a very subtle distinction. Someone who is pro-life would prefer pregnant women to choose not to have an abortion. Someone who is anti-choice — like most of the right wing and religious fundies — don’t want women to have a choice in the matter, period.

    The only reason you’re sitting on the fence is because you’re not comfortable with the fact that being pro-choice means that sometimes women will use that freedom of choice to make choices you’d prefer them not to.

  171. @ Gulliver

    I actually think that Komen was doing its best to be part of the right wing movement to throw Planned Parenthood under the bus. Which one might reasonably conclude that they wish for the loss of Planned Parenthood. Which is consistent with the known political preferences of the Komen heads. Of course, until this, Abortion was never officially part of the Komen mission one way or the other and abortion was an issue that millions of people who supported Komen never equated with their contributions. Being anti-abortion or pro-choice was not what it was about. Due to Komens change in policies, it now is. Say what you will about Planned Parenthood, but I don’t think they have be inconsistent in their mission as they put it forward, nor do I believe that they have ever expressed a desire to have Komen go away.

    Again there is no equivalency here, and for many people Komen’s attempt to leverage its muscle into an area outside its mission could be considered a large net negative. Holding women’s health hostage over that of the fetus is not good health policy.

    I think what people wish for is for Komen to remain just an an organization against Cancer. I never said that Komen should be burnt to the ground. But if they choose to be anti abortion/anti cancer organization, many people will be like John and put their money elsewhere.

  172. @ Brad Torgersen

    I actually felt that a false equivalency was being drawn between Komen and Planned Parenthood in your original post. Not in regards to your particular position on abortion.

    On abortion, I think @Rens has it right.

  173. The only reason you’re sitting on the fence is because you’re not comfortable with the fact that being pro-choice means that sometimes women will use that freedom of choice to make choices you’d prefer them not to.

    Yes, that’s more or less it. It’s a problematic conundrum for me because I believe very much in the idea that choice — actual choice — occurs prior to conception. That the life of the unborn deserve more consideration than is often given, and that women who elect to have abortions as if those abortions are no less morally problematic than, say, a condom or a birth control pill, are making a serious error.

    Still, I realize this is my view and that if I use legal means to enforce my view such that women are denied the option altogether — especially in circumstances like rape, incest, molestation, etc. — then my sin becomes the greater of the two. I have arrogated the judgment seat, and presumed myself God’s “enforcer” on Earth. Which I am not prepared to do. Nor would I want anyone else to do it, no matter how pure their intentions might be.

  174. @ Gulliver
    Love the python, always. And just well done in general for you comments.

    @ Brad R Torgersen
    Just…damn well said all around man. I cannot agree with you more. Too much gets thrown around in situations like these that is tantamount to Our Side vs There Side and WINNING, with the people that actually need help getting marginalized. I agree that a clear message needs to be sent to SGK that practices like this are not in their best interests if they wish to continue, and honestly feel that Karen lady should step down and let someone more interested in helping people and less interested in using a charity to foist the political agenda off on people from behind a pink-ribboned mask.

    @ Edward Brennan
    “It is always fun to try and claim the middle ground, as though it magically makes one look reasonable,”
    It’s not magic, Ed, it actually is being reasonable. Using condescending diction in describing someones opinion that doesn’t mesh up perfectly with your own doesn’t “magically” make you look witty either. It just makes you look condescending and intolerant of someone trying to find a way to think about something that isn’t purely binary. Reducing all political thought in this country to ‘Red or Blue’ is one of the things that has us in our current mess. But at the risk of getting too far off topic I wont go into that particular set of rants.

    And finally,
    @ John Scalzi
    You have been one of my favorite writers ever since a friend of mine handed me a book and said “Here, you like Heinlein, read this. It’s like the spiritual successor of Starship Troopers!” I have actually, through re-reads of both, come to enjoy OMW over ST, take that or leave it where you will. In any case I just wanted to say how much I admire what you’ve done here today. You are one of the few celebs that use their superpowers for goods, not just for trying to look like they are doing that. I really appreciated what you did for you local library awhile back too. I don’t have an e-reader, but I will be sending PP a check, just as I did my own library back then.
    Thank you for reminding us to be good people. It’s very easy to get caught up in our own mess and forget we can help others even if we don’t have everything perfect on our own end first.

  175. @ Zephi

    It is reasonable when the position thought out behind it is reasonable. But claiming the middle is not ipso facto reasonable by definition. Brad Torgersen had a reasonable well thought out position when it comes to abortion, but I did not believe he had one when it came to Komen’s and Planned Parenthood for the reasons stated above. Further, I would hope it is not the tone that makes something reasonable but the argument behind it. The tone is just rhetoric. For the record I don’t believe either “the red or the blue” is a particularly helpful dichotomy but a sad relic of our system of government based on a two party state. I prefer more thought on individual issues. Also I am a Ted never an Ed.

  176. I’m of the opinion that no matter what public justification the Komen Foundation used to stop funding Planned Parenthood’s cancer-screenings, be it their uncomfortableness of giving money to an abortion provider or their stated reason, Planned Parenthood would have reacted the same way.

    Given that one of their affliates in New Jersey got caught red-handed in an undercover video providing advice on how to avoid reporting requirements for women seeking abortions, plus the questions raised by Congressman Stearn’s investigation on whether Planned Parenthod was using federal tax dollars to underwrite abortion services, I think it was a matter of time before Komen decided to cut ties with Planned Parenthood. If they felt that they couldn’t trust PP’s assurances that none of their grant money was going to non cancer-screening activities, then that is their business. They are under no legal or moral obligation to provide them with grant money and for PP to pretend that Komen’s decision will leave women out in the cold unable to get screened is good for fundraising and moral outrage according to the eye of the beholder, but not so much for the truth. My feeling is Komen will look to turn to other cancer-screening non-profits or start their own.

  177. And to be clear, my disgust with the outrage from elements of the pro-choice camp regarding Komen’s decisions is centered on their belief that they are entitled to grant money or federal funding because PP provides some much needed birth-control and cancer-screening resources to women in need (with regards to income or lack of insurance) regardless of valid questions about whether or not they are using that money to provide abortions on demand.

  178. But I daresay the Komen Foundation believes they are doing the Right Thing, too, and honestly if that’s where their beliefs lie, then they should be praised for following convictions that are faithfully and conscientiously held.

    Well, you keeping saying “faithfully and conscientiously”. In this case, I don’t think those words mean what you think they do. I’d also be disinclined to financially support an organisation of this nature which has appointed a “Senior Vice President for Public Policy” whose record on relevant public policy and evidence-based science around cancer research and treatment is, to put it generously, discouraging. (For the record, I don’t give a damn that Karen Handel is a registered Republican whose run for Georgia governor was endorsed by Sarah Palin. Breast cancer isn’t partisan; neither are good people who give a damn about good treatment and research. I care a lot that she seems dangerously underqualified for her job.)

    Pardon my French, but it looks like low-income women are being spite f***ed by a combination of someone with a covert political agenda employed by an organsatization that needs a grant from a foundation that funds spine transplants.

  179. Dammit Scalzi, you make me want to donate to the cause and then let me realize I already HAVE all of your Subterranean eBooks! Not cool, John. Not cool.

  180. “If your true motivation is to help poor women, I’m curious why you would patronize an organization that would jeopardize its ability to provide seevices by engaging in a practice as polarizing as providing abortions.”

    Now, I’m coming to this discussion from a non-US perspective, and having lived my entire life in a country where abortions are a political non-issue and questioning women’s right to have them would be political suicide, but I would argue that providing abortions is a very important way indeed to help women, poor or not.

    //JJ

  181. Thank you for doing this. And, I agree, there’s no way that Susan G. Komen’s actions are not politically motivated. As a result, I’ve purchased every book linked in your Amazon account.

  182. @Christopher Shaffer

    They are under no legal or moral obligation to provide them with grant money

    Derailing for Dummies 101: Get outraged at an argument nobody here has actually made. What part of this from John’s original post was written in a strange foreign tongue?

    The Komen folks are perfectly within their rights not to fund Planned Parenthood’s initiatives for breast cancer screening and education, even if they’re not honest enough to come right out and say it’s part of an overall right-wing agenda against Planned Parenthood. But I don’t think it’s right that poor women get caught in the crossfire. They don’t deserve to die just because they can’t afford to catch their cancer early.

    I would also say that the Komen Foundation abso-fraking-loutely has a moral and ethical obligation (and should have stringent legal ones) to be absolutely transparent how it uses the billions of dollars it has solicited over the last twenty five years. That includes rules that don’t reek of having been freshly pulled out of someone’s arse to cover up a political agenda that might alienate donors.

    Or does accountability for using other people’s money only apply to Planned Parenthood, Christopher?

  183. A little late to this post, too easily enraged to read through the comments but just wanted to say YOU ROCK JOHN SCALZI. And I’m buying your books. Thanks for being one of the good guys.

  184. Thank you for doing this. And, I agree, there’s no way that Susan G. Komen’s actions are not politically motivated.

    Sorry for being pedantic (sincerely), but would it be appropriate to not confuse Susan G. Komen (who died over thirty years ago) and the charity her sister founded in her name? Apologies in advance if that’s common usage in the US, it just looks a little odd to me.

  185. You’re a good man John Scalzi. I just bought: The Tale of the Wicked, How I Proposed to My Wife: An Alien Sex Story, and Questions for a Soldier. All of the stories I don’t already have in a chapbook, or haven’t read online.

  186. Christopher Shaffer:

    “I’m of the opinion that no matter what public justification the Komen Foundation used to stop funding Planned Parenthood’s cancer-screenings, be it their uncomfortableness of giving money to an abortion provider or their stated reason, Planned Parenthood would have reacted the same way.”

    And? It doesn’t matter what public rationale for an action X gives, even if it is transparently ridiculous, because Y will respond in the same manner regardless? That’s some interesting thinking you’ve got going there.

    For my part, allow me to suggest moral agency should not be contingent upon how another party reacts. And in this case, that the Komen people should have been more honest with the public about why they withdrew funding, and for matter, more honest with themselves. Revamping their grant regulations to use a set of criteria which only exclude Planned Parenthood among their current grantees is more than a little obvious. It’s a shame the Komen folks apparently believe breast cancer makes people unable to connect dots.

  187. Well done, John and publisher. Thank you for taking concrete action and using your high public profile to express your opinion of this situation. I bought a book and have urged my friends to do so and posted this on my facebook page.

  188. @Edward Brennan
    I have to agree with you there. Taking a middle ground stance never automatically gives one a moral high ground of any sort. But I would think that attempting to find that is still a noble thing, rather then toeing a party line. More then anything I am just an advocate of thinking for yourself. Have caught flack from this over the years from zealots of both sides of various issues, so I apologize if I am a little sensitive to it. I also would say that Tone matters a great deal! Fundamentally it can change the content of an intended message, and I did find yours a tad condescending in the message I responded too. I Still think Brad was doing a good job of trying to not totally throw out a charity that has done some very great things in its past, and believe those things should not be forgotten just because it’s current head has her own her firmly up her own ass. I won’t be sending them any money until she is no longer a part of the group, and I’d rather like to see a public distancing from her.
    Also very sorry for the Ed, Ted it shall be now and forever.

  189. John, you rock my socks. I’ve linked your post to both my Livejournal and writer’s blog. I know this is just a pipe dream, but I’d love to see more authors doing this. Can you imagine how much money could be raised if 10, 50, 100 authors donated their ebook sales for just one day? It fair boggles my poor old mind. I just wanted to say, well played Sir, well played.
    Jessie

  190. Your absolutely correct in stating that it is their right to not fund PP. Since I view abortion as murder, and not on religious grounds I can assure you, I might now actually donote to the foundation once I investigate the whole mess. Interestingly enough the reports are that donations to PP have risen sharply so hopefully for them they will be able to make up the difference and people can quit whining and crying over this. And truthly if people would manage what they give instead of letting other organizations give for them then PP should have no problem at all.

    As a side note, I find it shallow that anyone who is pro-life is viewed as doing so for religious reasons.

  191. Christopher Shaffer:

    “I’m of the opinion that no matter what public justification the Komen Foundation used to stop funding Planned Parenthood’s cancer-screenings, be it their uncomfortableness of giving money to an abortion provider or their stated reason, Planned Parenthood would have reacted the same way.”

    I know, roight? No matter how many times you tell them bitchez it’s for their own good, they still get all crazy and shitz. /sarcasm

  192. Thank you for your generosity. I’ve shared the link on my FB page, and I hope all my writer friends (and others) will see it and act on it. Not going to jump into the controversy: just want to see the breast cancer screenings continue to be provided to women who otherwise would go unscreened and undiagnosed.

    mb

  193. I never did buy Pink themed stuff, but that’s because I want some of my money to go to the actual cause, not the bureaucracy. But now I have an even better reason to not support the Komen Foundation.

    About 10 years ago I went to my doctor and asked about getting a prescription for birth control. I was 21 and in a long-term relationship (who is now my husband), but the doctor told me that he would not give me birth control because of my age and martial status, then proceeded to “pray for my soul” out loud. I ran out of that office sobbing and made an appointment at PP. I didn’t know where else to go. They were nice, they were understanding, and they cared about my health and helping me /prevent/ pregnancy. It seems like such a small thing, but I feel like they gave me control over my life when I had no one else to turn to. They also taught me how to perform the self breast exam, and I still have that little pamphlet. Giving women easy access to prevent pregnancy and detect breast cancer early is great mission, and shame on Komen for letting political bs get in the way of what /should/ be their mission: helping women.

    On my way to make a donation to Planned Parenthood.

  194. Thanks for being not only a great author, but a classy and rational guy. I’ve shared your page with others, and just now via Facebook. I totally agree: regardless of where you are on the political spectrum it shouldn’t preclude basic human concern, sympathy, and kindness.

  195. I’m not a huge fan of people who unilaterally declare war on abortion clinics (which, planned parenthood is much more than that), but I do kinda think that SGK might be the victim of sensationalism. SGK has said they pulled funding for non-political reason, like Planned Parenthood being under congressional scrutiny. I’m willing to give SGK the benfit of the doubt, because they do so much for cancer research and support of its victims. I think it is wrong to villianize a charity because two organizations have differing politics (if that is, indeed, what the issue is).

    I’m glad that people are increasing their support for PP after this, but I also think that SGK is an entity that is free to fund whatever they want to. SGK’s statement maybe doubtful, but I’ve also not seen the financial statements for PP proving that they were using the money specifically for cancer screenings. If SGK didn’t feel like the money was being used properly, I feel they have a moral obligation to direct that money to organizations who do. Not that I’m accusing PP of anything, I’m just saying that we don’t know what all went into the decision.

    Anyways, my veiws are that overall SGK and PP are both good organizations. It sucks that they can’t koombayah and be friends.

  196. Warlord, this article might help you understand: http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/02/top-susan-g-komen-official-resigned-over-planned-parenthood-cave-in/252405/

    Komen…says it cut-off Planned Parenthood because of a newly adopted foundation rule prohibiting it from funding any group that is under formal investigation by a government body. (Planned Parenthood is being investigated by Rep. Cliff Stearns, an anti-abortion Florida Republican, who says he is trying to learn if the group spent public money to provide abortions.)

    But three sources with direct knowledge of the Komen decision-making process told me that the rule was adopted in order to create an excuse to cut-off Planned Parenthood. (Komen gives out grants to roughly 2,000 organizations, and the new “no-investigations” rule applies to only one so far.) The decision to create a rule that would cut funding to Planned Parenthood, according to these sources, was driven by the organization’s new senior vice-president for public policy, Karen Handel, a former gubernatorial candidate from Georgia who is staunchly anti-abortion and who has said that since she is “pro-life, I do not support the mission of Planned Parenthood.”
    [...]
    “The rule was created to give the board of directors the excuse to stop the funding of Planned Parenthood. It was completely arbitrary. If they hadn’t come up with this particular rule, they would have come up with something else in order to separate themselves from Planned Parenthood.”

  197. @Brad R. Torgersen

    »It’s a problematic conundrum for me because I believe very much in the idea that choice — actual choice — occurs prior to conception. That the life of the unborn deserve more consideration than is often given, and that women who elect to have abortions as if those abortions are no less morally problematic than, say, a condom or a birth control pill, are making a serious error.«

    What you are writing here is based on three rather large assumptions.

    1.
    »I believe very much in the idea that choice — actual choice — occurs prior to conception.«

    Choice is preceded by knowledge. But the very same people who are rabidly against abortion are also morally opposed to sex-ed, leaving just the group who is most likely to have sex (young, fertile, hormonal) without knowledge about how it all works and without knowledge of how to prevent pregnancy, let alone access to birth control. It’s hard to imagine for someone who has grown up with those informations just how prevalent mis- or noninformation is in areas where the adults have a pact to leave the next generation ignorant until, or possibly even after, they marry.
    There is no choice involved if people don’t even get to know how it all works, and are left to wonder if a kiss can make you pregnant, or thinking that pulling out is a viable form of birth control.

    2.
    Your underlying assumption that the correct use of birth control actually results in not getting pregnant, and that pregnancy is the result of carelessness, or thinking of just using the »alternative birth control« of abortion.

    Let’s take a look at some popular contraceptives. The pill has, according to Wikipedia, a failure rate of 2-8% of women who are using it with typical effectiveness (depending on population studied). Typical effectiveness means including those who have misunderstood some rules about taking it or maybe didn’t know that it may not work properly if you get sick or take different medication on top.

    So, up to one woman in thirteen of those who use the pill gets pregnant every year.
    Of the absolut perfect users it’s still a pregnancy rate of 0.3%, meaning one woman of every 333 who uses it absolutely perfectly gets pregant despite using birth control.

    The rate for condoms is even higher (if not combined with other things like spermicide). 10-18% for typical effectiveness, and 2% for perfect users. So of the couples who use it, 5,5 of every houndred women will get preganant per year, and still one in twenty of those who do everything perfectly.

    Per year.

    That includes the couple who has four children and doesn’t know how the feed a fifth, the teens who haven’t finished school yet and were very careful when they did it the very first time, the graduate who is the first to finish university in her family and has student loans of over 100.000 dollars she needs to pay off by getting the best job she can, instead of becoming an unemployed single mom with an incredible amount of debt. Let alone all the others who simply can’t make the choice of carrying a pregnancy to term (and no, the whole »they can let someone adopt it« argument isn’t viable either, but it’s too much to get into here).

    So, without carelessness. Certainly without a thought of »Hey, I can always have an abortion, right?«. It all can still result in a desperate need for a woman to be able to terminate a pregnancy legally and healthily.

    3.
    »… that women who elect to have abortions as if those abortions are no less morally problematic than, say, a condom or a birth control pill, are making a serious error.«

    You are probably going to argue that you of course didn’t mean every woman who aborts, but the way you built your argument left no room for women who do so for very good reasons (even if those reasons do not include rape or incest), but jumped directly to abortion used lightly. It does sound like every abortion not had for those extreme reasons is, in your eyes, just used as another form of birth control when in reality that would be an extremely small fraction of women indeed. Since you used those extreme examples as part of a bigger argument, you must be thinking it is actually a pretty big percentage of the women who abort for reasons other than rape or incest, i.e. for reasons you don’t deem serious enough.

    Let alone the fact that having an abortion is only possible after the woman got meticulously informed about what is going on during pregnancy and the abortion, why would you think this is a decision that is ever, ever made lightly? By the very women who are currently carrying the fetus and have to decide what is going to happen with their lives from there on out? But of course you, being on the outside, not pregnant, not even inhabiting a woman’s body, have the very knowledge and moral superiority that all the women who were ever pregnant and decided to abort are supposedly lacking. Or must be lacking, since choosing an abortion is inherently immoral, thus it can only be made by those who don’t know better.

    I find the underlying assumption extremely insulting on a very elementary human level, but it seems to be shared by many privileged males (and some females) who unfortunately are in positions to decide, preach and make political decisions about women’s bodies. Because women are apparently unable to grasp the seriousness of the matter. All those ignorant women. So let’s deny them access to what they obviously don’t properly understand.

    I do believe you were not aware of your assumptions, and that you mean well. But those assumptions are rooted in a position of privilege, and the reality of being a woman, of maybe getting pregnant, possibly despite using contraception, and having to decide if you are going to make the difficult decision to abort or not, is something you frankly know nothing about.

  198. Well done, John. Thank you. Added a couple of reads to my new Kindle.

    I have done Race for the Cure since 2008 in honor of a co-worker (she passed in 2011). Not anymore. I sent a letter to the Denver affiliate telling them (a) why and (b) that my funds would be going to PP and other worthy causes. Now what to do with the Race T-shirts…..

  199. SGK has said they pulled funding for non-political reason, like Planned Parenthood being under congressional scrutiny. I’m willing to give SGK the benfit of the doubt, because they do so much for cancer research and support of its victims.

    I am not so willing, precisely because Komen does NOT do as much as they say they do, and because that Congressional scrutiny is a transparent political ploy to harass Planned Parenthood.

    Moreover, there is a history of questionable organizational behavior by Komen, ranging from suing other non-profits over branding to lobbying against public money for cancer treatment to less than efficient use of funds dispersal.

  200. I understand the pro-life stance, at least when couched in the argument of Judeo-Christendom: that life — given by God — begins in the womb, and that man doesn’t have the right to take away that God-given life just because it’s not yet able to advocate for itself, or has become inconvenient for the bearer.

    Brad, speaking as somebody who falls on the “Judeo-” part of your hyphenation there, understanding that you probably meant no harm, I’m going to put this as nicely as possible:

    Don’t do this.

    Christianity arose out of Judaism. That does not mean, as many Christians seem to believe, that Judaism is just exactly like Christianity with no Jesus or bacon. There are profound theological, moral and intellectual differences. For a Christian to present a Christian theological or moral position as “Judeo-Christian” is the religious equivalent of trying to bolster your blog post by saying “I get a lot of e-mails that agree with me on this.” Specifically on the subject of abortion, Judaism takes a very, very different view than the simplistic recitation you give above, ranging from situations where abortion is forbidden to where it is actually mandated, and of course since there are many different religious views within Judaism there is not One True Belief that miraculously overlaps with Christianity.

    Also, given the long and negative experience of Jews living in parts of the world traditionally referred to as “Christendom”, and given that Jews tend to refer to those same parts of the world under the term Diaspora (I assume you know the meaning of the word), I hope you will consider how you sound referring to a physical or moral sphere of Christian influence as “Judeo-Christendom.”

    By the way, setting the theology aside: sneering about pregnancy being an “inconvenience” is pretty ignorant and embarrassing coming from anyone vaguely familiar with where babies come from, and is a pretty nasty minimization of the real impact pregnancy and childbearing has on women and their bodies. Believing that the life of the unborn child outweighs most, if not all, other considerations is one thing. Believing that being pregnant is no more big a deal than having a hangnail is shameful and stupid. I’d like to think you’re not one of those guys who smirks about how he never has to deal with any of that stupid female stuff like periods and babies, haw haw. Don’t imitate one.

  201. You know, we can argue about whether Komen’s actions were moral or wise or what-have-you all day long. We can argue abortion from now till doomsday. Bottom line for me is this:

    1) PP has lost money they were using to support breast cancer screening. They could have lost the money because a big donor died or went bankrupt or any old reason.
    2) Breast cancer screening is a Good Thing. It can save lives and breasts. I’m a fan of both.
    3) A donation to replace that lost funding would, therefore, be a Good Thing.

    QED.

  202. warlordgrego @ 10:00 am: SGK has said they pulled funding for non-political reason, like Planned Parenthood being under congressional scrutiny.
    Even if you buy the Komen Foundation’s story, the policy to deny funding to an organization because they are under investigation by any branch of federal, state, or local government is a bad one. I’ll quote the Atlantic‘s Linda Hirshman:
    The skepticism is further fueled by the weirdness of a rule letting any city council member or random state legislator decide to defund a Komen grantee just by starting an “investigation.” The Department of HHS rejected Stearns’ invitation to look into Planned Parenthood months ago, and, even if he were dead on, Stearns isn’t suggesting there’s something wrong with Planned Parenthood’s cancer screening. What if the IRS was looking into a hospital’s tax status? Or almost any member of the Arizona legislature was worrying that an in-state facility with Komen money was harboring illegal immigrants? Would Komen have to pull their funding too?
    Basically, the Komen Foundation just granted a unilateral veto in its grant-making to every one of the 535 members of Congress, every one of thousands of state and local lawmakers, and countless numbers of other federal, state, and local officials with the power to launch investigations. That seems like an incredibly unworkable, reckless policy.

  203. Thank you, Mr. Scalzi for two things:

    1. Supporting this most worthwhile cause, of course, and
    2. Finally pushing me to get off my lazy ass and become a reader of your works.

  204. Basically, the Komen Foundation just granted a unilateral veto in its grant-making to every one of the 535 members of Congress, every one of thousands of state and local lawmakers, and countless numbers of other federal, state, and local officials with the power to launch investigations. That seems like an incredibly unworkable, reckless policy.

    Yeah, that pretty much indicates to me that this was an action done in bad faith. I mean, really…If they’re giving money to, say, Penn State, they’d have to stop it immediately, right?

  205. They could have lost the money because a big donor died or went bankrupt or any old reason.

    But they didn’t. They lost the money because a national organization specifically dedicated to stopping breast cancer decided to stop supporting PP’s breast-cancer screening for reasons that had nothing to do with breast-cancer screening. If you feel this is irrelevant and too tedious to discuss, that’s your prerogative, and nobody is going to force you to talk about it. But many people are upset, particularly when they have supported SGK and given money to it in the past under the assumption that SGK put its mission of preventing and ending breast cancer first.

  206. Great Gesture John, any chance you could see about international sales? Happy to support you just for the fact of you taking this stand, and I expect it will be quite good for your readership figures, but that’s as it should be – always happy to hear of new writers who’s views I share.

  207. Linked to this from a friend. Your post is funny and I like the cause so I bought three of your ebooks. Nicely done!

  208. Sarah May:

    It’s much more difficult to track international eBook sales with any precision, so for our immediate purposes it makes sense to stick with the domestic market for this. Don’t let that stop you from making a direct donation to PP if you are so inspired.

  209. If you feel this is irrelevant and too tedious to discuss, that’s your prerogative, and nobody is going to force you to talk about it.

    Please don’t misunderstand. I’m not saying people shouldn’t discuss it. My point is that, whatever side you come down on, we can probably agree on this much: contributions here to promote early breast cancer screening are something we can all get behind.

  210. I was trying to find a way to donate to Planned Parenthood, but all I have to my name is a few gift cards to Barnes and Nobles and Amazon – and I was trying to find an excuse to spend money on your books – so thank you for making this decision a no brainer.

  211. dude this post (retweeted by wil wheaton) has just made me a new reader of the blog and very likely your novels. Thank you SO much, as a woman who is preparing to use planned parenthood as I no longer has health insurance due to rising costs.

  212. JD: absolutely. And if one has very strong religious and/or moral objections to abortion and contraception, it absolutely makes sense that one might choose to give money to, say, a Catholic hospital’s program offering screening to poor and low-income women, rather than to an organization that provides abortion and contraception.

    But SGK’s stand is one that should be repellent to anyone with principles, regardless of their stance on abortion. They claim that their decision to withdraw funding is based on a purely administrative rule that they just now made up and don’t seem to be applying to any other grant recipient, and has nothing whatsoever to do with abortion; and as the many links posted above indicate, all evidence very strongly indicates that their stated position is a lie.

  213. I’m not buying any e-books- the TBR pile is out of control, and making it virtual doesn’t help anything but my bedside table. I did just make a contribution to Planned Parenthood, so please add $25 to the total of donations attributable to you.

  214. I’d like to thank Mr. Rhoades for joining in. Somehow I don’t think the one 99 cent story I didn’t already have is going to do a lot for PP. Thanks to Mr. Scalzi, too.

  215. I’ve never read any of your books, but I’ve been meaning to for a while…this is the perfect opportunity to do so. Planned Parenthood is the only place many low income women in my community can access basic care including preventative cancer screenings. Thank you for doing this!

  216. Thanks, Mr Scalzi. Aside from awesome, this thing you are doing gave me the opportunity to effortlessly contribute to a worthy cause in another country. Also more good stories to read!

  217. But three sources with direct knowledge of the Komen decision-making process told me that the rule was adopted in order to create an excuse to cut-off Planned Parenthood. (Komen gives out grants to roughly 2,000 organizations, and the new “no-investigations” rule applies to only one so far.)

    Yeah, that was my conclusion way upthread simply from reading the actual order of events and applying my experience with cororate-speak to their public statements. SGKF invented a policy specifically designed to exclude PP from their grantee list, however much spin they may use to avoid so saying. PP is in the target sights of the Religious Right, who will do whatever possible to shut PP down. Which is why I made a hefty donation to PP yesterday, following a hefty donation last year when my state legislature went all nutburger and started passing laws aimed directly at shutting down PP in my state while pretending they weren’t and sanctimoniously crying how they were just trying to improve clinical standards for better women’s health. (The courts here have been kicking that legislation to pieces.) I do want to thank the SGKF for making their lack of ethics transparent enough that I can now with a good conscience do my darndest to see that they never get another dime of mine, directly or indirectly.

    As for comments upstream and elsewhere that PP is using federal funds to subsidize abortions, which is the subject of that “Congressional investigation,” I would note that anyone who can do basic book-keeping math and who runs the funding numbers can quickly see that that is NOT the case.

  218. Just read the blog post and virtually all of the comments and bought the works from B&N. Since several comments have indicated that people might not be familiar with various ebook formats and tools I would like to mention a program called Calibre which in its basic form does format translation (for example MOBI to EPUB) as long as the file does not have DRM. I think a previous comment already discussed DRM so I will skip that topic.

    So Thanks for this blog post and since the comments were mostly well reasoned and accurate I also say Thank You to those who made good comments. I now have several links to follow up on as well as much more in my ever increasing TBR.

  219. The excuse that Komen is pulling funding because PP is under investigation, reminds me of the anti-acorn legislation that was trying to specifically target Acorn, but if actually applied in reality and with consistency would have covered many, many organizations. Clearly it was specifically aimed at Acorn. Clearly, this is specifically aimed at PP.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/09/22/whoops-anti-acorn-bill-ro_n_294949.html

    When people try to pass off their obviously politically motivated behavior as nothing more than a matter of principles, it always makes me chuckle.

  220. This decision makes me so mad on so many levels. But I want to stress to those who are saying that defunding Planned Parenthood is a good thing: no. Stop. I understand you have strong opinions, and I understand nothing I say will change that. But I submit that abortion is entirely irrelevant to this discussion.

    By withdrawing its funding from Planned Parenthood, the Komen Foundation has cut off its support of thousands of low-income women, in defiance of its own mission statement. While it’s true there are many other providers of health care to low-income women, I can’t think of another organization with the same kind of name recognition and outreach as Planned Parenthood. It makes no sense for the Komen Foundation to take this step. None. Not if early detection truly matters to them.

    If you absolutely can’t tolerate the Foundation working with an organization that also happens to provide a safe, legal, and occasionally necessary medical procedure, I suggest you look up other groups that do pure breast cancer screenings and put your support there. But don’t punish women who use Planned Parenthood. They just want to be healthy.

    I shall now go browse e-books. Good day.

  221. Mr. Scalzipants, you are the man. You talk the talk, and you walk the walk. Plus you can write! You are my Hero of the Month.

    So I bought the short stories I didn’t have (Election and Wicked), the writing book (finally!) and Sagan. I boosted the signal. I caught JD’s declaration, bought a few of HIS short stories, and boosted HIS signal.

  222. I find it grating when most creative people I admire express political and/or religious opinions publicly because so many of them who exhibit grace and subtlety in their writing turn to cliche, poor structure, and grandstanding when expressing personal opinions. This is one of the few blogs that I not only find tolerable, but routinely your sound and logical opinions challenge me to rethink my less than sound and logical opinions. I am a young man in process transitioning from an upbringing of fundamentalist right-wing beliefs to a more moderate and compassionate opinion base and this blog has been a great resource in that journey.

    As your readers contemplate alternate donations to fund breast cancer research, I’d like them to consider a few things. Until this week I worked in a major university cancer center and I can affirm that very little useful funding for cutting edge research and treatment comes from SGK or any other giant branded charity. If readers here really have a passion about breast cancer research consider donating to your local university cancer center where it will go more directly to the budget of researchers working on just that thing without the extra layers of red tape involved in a charity or other funding institution. Also, if the cancer funding passions here are still up for grabs, I would strongly consider readers look into supporting any number of the other cancers that have higher mortality rates and significantly less funding such as lung cancer which runs in my in-laws family and is the cancer with the highest mortality rate among men and women yet receives the least amount of funding from the federal government. Another good choice would be to consider funding research into something like adrenal cancer which is very deadly but because it is also rare it receives very little funding.

  223. I don’t have an ebook reader, either, but will make a direction donation to PP. Very, very cool of you to do this. Let some good come out of this lunacy.

  224. John, thanks for this, I’m purchasing two titles I don’t have. I stopped donating to SGK or buying their pink ribbon products about a year ago based on how they apportion their income (the suing of local fundraisers was the straw that broke that camels back). I highly recommend http://www.charitynavigator.org/ for anyone who will be directing future charitable contributions away from SGK.

    @Brad R. Torgersen, I understand your conflict. I’ve long described my stance as personally pro-life but politically pro-choice. Abortion is not the choice I would make, but I don’t think my choice, whether based on religion or science, should dictate any other woman’s choice. It saddens me that many of my friends/family who are staunch conservatives who believe the government should stay out of our lives also believe the government should be in our bedrooms and our uteri, dictating who we may marry and what options we have when pregnant.

  225. @Shae, it sounds like we may share many of the same family and friends. My contrarian nature immediately wants to go to the opposite extreme on these kinds of issues, but I think that’s just as bad. Maybe we can eventually work in a well-reasoned, forgiving middle ground.

  226. Pretty much all charities have overhead expenses. When you donate to Komen, The United Way, or other organizations that do not directly provide and services except for resdistributing your money you get a lot less bang for your buck. The dollar you donate to Komen is 80 cents that is distributed to another organization that has their overhead too. Skip the middleman and donate directly to service providing charities. Planned Parenthood, Boy Scouts of America, St Jude Childrens Research Hospital, whatever you like. You will do more good for the same money and you can be choosier about your donating too. Putting politics before helping people is a no-no for me whether it be Komen cutting off Planned Parenthood or The United Way cutting off the Boy Scouts.

  227. “Funny thing, I don’t see the line in the rhetoric rule book that says that in order to comment on an issue, one must comment on every instance which another person who is not one’s self believes is related to it, or else one’s current comment is somehow invalid and/or hypocritical.”

    It’s your blog, John. What you choose or not to comment upon is your choice. But contrary your strawman argument above, it’s not the lack of previous discussion that’s hypocritical. The hypocrisy comes in by choosing to mask a political post (as this is) as something else — specifically concern for women’s cancer risks, and especially those of disadvantaged women. You’re doing the mirror image of what you fault The Komen Foundation for.

    That angers me because there are important discussions to be had about breast cancer. Anyone serious about apolitical anti-cancer funding should recognize that Planned Parenthood is a mixed bag. They do perform basic breast cancer screenings and refer women for mammograms. That’s good. They also provide support for women to delay pregnancy and, yes, have abortions — both of which increase cancer risk. That’s bad. Breast cancer is one of the places where “women’s reproductive freedom” and “women’s health” are not completely aligned.

    Choosing to overtly and completely align with PP in this debate is therefore a political decision. And that’s fine; it’s your blog. But if you’re going to make a political post about how wrong it is to hide the true reason for a political decision by someone else, have the stones to be upfront about it and not do the same damn thing. Don’t your readers deserve that much? Don’t you?

  228. I usually don’t donate to many things, but I agree with your viewpoint in this situation so I will help you make your statement.

  229. @gerrymander: “They also provide support for women to delay pregnancy and, yes, have abortions — both of which increase cancer risk.”

    I’m going to request some hard scientific citations to back up your claims here, because everything I’ve read from the NCI and other major cancer research centers have explicitly stated that there is no conclusive link between breast cancer risk and birth control pills or abortion.

  230. Normally I’m not a fan of hackers but I laughed out loud at what they changed the Komen banner to read.

  231. J. Wallerius,

    Choice is preceded by knowledge. But the very same people who are rabidly against abortion are also morally opposed to sex-ed, leaving just the group who is most likely to have sex (young, fertile, hormonal) without knowledge about how it all works and without knowledge of how to prevent pregnancy, let alone access to birth control.

    Have I said anything which would tell you I am opposed to sex ed, or birth control, or the dispensation of knowledge to those who need it most? I understand the common misconception — that anyone opposed to abortion-as-birth-control on religious grounds is automatically opposed to all forms of birth control and/or reproductive education. I am not one of these people. I have an 8 year old daughter. My wife and I have been quite blunt, candid, and rigorous in educating her about the birds and the bees. I wish many others would do the same. But for myself, I can state plainly that I am pro-education and pro-contraception.

    Your underlying assumption that the correct use of birth control actually results in not getting pregnant, and that pregnancy is the result of carelessness, or thinking of just using the »alternative birth control« of abortion.

    The only sure-fire way to not get pregnant is to not have sex until you’re ready to risk the chance that you might get pregnant. And yes, I think it’s entirely accurate to say that carelessness is very much a part of it. If this makes some people angry, or it offends them for me to state plainly that some women are careless when they engage in unprotected sex, sans contraceptives — especially out of wedlock — I won’t apologize for it. Acting as if carelessness is not even a factor is at least as obtuse as claiming that contraceptives are 100% effective in all cases — something I’ve never claimed, BTW. I don’t think carelessness should condemn a woman to pregnancy if she really, really, really, really, really doesn’t want to be pregnant. But I think women who do engage in more or less careless sex are doing a highly suspect and questionable thing, and I wish more women (and men too) would think twice (or even thrice) before hopping into the sack without contraceptives, or a real plan in the event of conception. My wife and I waited ten years to have our daughter. This was deliberate, and we had a lot of sex in those ten years. It can be done. I think some people just think it’s too much of a pain. They can always “fix” the problem later, if they have to. And I find this attitude disturbing.

    You are probably going to argue that you of course didn’t mean every woman who aborts, but the way you built your argument left no room for women who do so for very good reasons (even if those reasons do not include rape or incest), but jumped directly to abortion used lightly.

    Again, no apologies. Many women do use abortion lightly. This is the uncomfortable and ugly truth of it. I know many here will deny and rail and accuse and bang pots and pans trying to claim that every abortion is a seriously and carefully considered choice, never done lightly, never done without the utmost provision, concern, forethought, and soul-wrenching anguish. I think this is only truly… some of the time. The rest of the time? When you teach a woman from her toddler years that the baby growing in her stomach is no more a person than the pimples she pops as an adolescent, of course she’s going to take her abortion(s) lightly. Why wouldn’t she? Certain well-funded mouthpieces of the pro-choice variety do all they can to paint abortion as a no-fault, no-worry, no-angst procedure. I personally have known women who have gone into it thinking and believing exactly these things. Because that’s all they’ve ever been taught.

    Which, of course, has not prevented them from coming out of the procedure feeling less-than-fine about it. And I won’t ever deride or make light of the mental and emotional toll of abortion on the women who avail themselves of it. Here again I have witnessed first-hand the aftermath of abortion. Even among the staunchest feminists and pro-choice advocates, I do not think many can claim — after the fact — that it was as worry-free as they might have professed it to be before they themselves underwent the event. And it’s precisely this emotional — spiritual? — aftermath that occasionally turns pro-choicers and women who have had abortions, into pro-lifers who are against abortion.

    But of course you, being on the outside, not pregnant, not even inhabiting a woman’s body, have the very knowledge and moral superiority that all the women who were ever pregnant and decided to abort are supposedly lacking. Or must be lacking, since choosing an abortion is inherently immoral, thus it can only be made by those who don’t know better.

    Yes, I think abortion-as-birth-control is immoral. But I also think it should be legally permitted. Just like I think drinking alcohol and doing drugs recreationally is immoral, but ought to be legally permitted. I believe in liberty. So if you want to ding me for thinking a thing is immoral, and consider me a crass man for making a moral judgment, be my guest. I keep my own counsel on this and am not about to pander to a certain side of the debate just so that I don’t get rocks thrown at me.

    I find the underlying assumption extremely insulting on a very elementary human level, but it seems to be shared by many privileged males (and some females) who unfortunately are in positions to decide, preach and make political decisions about women’s bodies. Because women are apparently unable to grasp the seriousness of the matter. All those ignorant women. So let’s deny them access to what they obviously don’t properly understand.

    I never said we should deny them access, and if you keep trying to prop me up as an access-denial advocate, we’re done with this discussion. Please go have your argument with the real Enemy, because I am not it. I said at the start that persuasion is my election, where combating abortion is concerned. By all means, give women means and access and keep it legal. But in the public debate, let those of us who see a moral problem with abortion make our case. Many women will ignore it and do what they want. I get that, and while I think they’re wrong, I don’t want to take away their right to choose. I will hope that the few women who do have second thoughts, reconsider the life within them and what they might owe to that life, rather than what may (in the moment) seem logical or expedient, from the point of view of their own personal or financial predicaments.

    Here I would segue into a tangential assertion. On the flip side of all this, I also know women who are very anti-choice and who are about as financially downtrodden as those who are usually pro-choice, and these pro-lifers will not avail themselves of an abortion, nor even use contraceptives of any sort. Often citing religious reasons. I have sometimes seen these women procreate well beyond their means, and I consider it an act of thoughtlessness roughly equivalent to the thoughtlessness of the woman who engages in care-free, unprotected sex, then decides to “fix” the problem with an abortion afterward.

    In both cases I think the women — and their men — are hiding behind a wall of arguments that don’t amount to much, in the final wash. Responsibility is the real key, and when women — any women, or their men with them — treat their combined procreative power with disrespect or nonchalance, I think it’s an important issue. And I wish people would consider their actions more carefully. Because it won’t be they alone who bear the brunt of those actions — their children bear the brunt too.

    I do believe you were not aware of your assumptions, and that you mean well. But those assumptions are rooted in a position of privilege, and the reality of being a woman, of maybe getting pregnant, possibly despite using contraception, and having to decide if you are going to make the difficult decision to abort or not, is something you frankly know nothing about.

    I call this the, “Shut up you stupid man,” argument. It’s intended to silence, not persuade. I find it as insulting as you seem to find my “careless woman” argument(s) to be. So I think I’ll quit with you now, and move on to someone more familiar to me.

    Mythago,

    Christianity arose out of Judaism. That does not mean, as many Christians seem to believe, that Judaism is just exactly like Christianity with no Jesus or bacon. There are profound theological, moral and intellectual differences. For a Christian to present a Christian theological or moral position as “Judeo-Christian” is the religious equivalent of trying to bolster your blog post by saying “I get a lot of e-mails that agree with me on this.” Specifically on the subject of abortion, Judaism takes a very, very different view than the simplistic recitation you give above, ranging from situations where abortion is forbidden to where it is actually mandated, and of course since there are many different religious views within Judaism there is not One True Belief that miraculously overlaps with Christianity.

    Mythago, at the risk of starting an argument about how we’re arguing, I think you’re reaching on this. “Judeo-Christian” is a shopworn aphorism which has been with us for decades, if not longer. Yes, yes, I know that every single Jew’s views on a given thing are not in accord with every single Christian’s views on a thing. That there is no magical consensus. However, I am willing to drop the use of this aphorism in this thread if you would like a more precise use of vocabulary. I am not so stubborn as to demand that my general view on the aphorism is so important as to trump your more specific view. So, point taken, and I shall proceed thus. Sorry if my use of the aphorism bothered you, it was not intended to.

    By the way, setting the theology aside: sneering about pregnancy being an “inconvenience” is pretty ignorant and embarrassing coming from anyone vaguely familiar with where babies come from, and is a pretty nasty minimization of the real impact pregnancy and childbearing has on women and their bodies.

    I did not sneer. I stated a thing plainly. See my earlier statements up above. There are women in America for whom abortion is not much more of a decision than whether or not to put a condom on their boyfriends. This is the nonchalance which has been bred by some vocal advocates in the pro-choice camp — their relentless campaigning to remove the moral and ethical considerations from the decision.

    Abortion is supposed to be no-harm, no-foul. It is part and parcel of some pro-choicers’ blanket “message” to the masses, as much as some pro-lifers’ “abortion is murder” meme is part and parcel of their message.

    I see merit to both sides of the equation, and if pushed hard, would fall into the pro-choice camp. With many, many complaints, and a big giant frown on my face — and much grumbling and clod-kicking once I was on the ground.

    But I would never delude myself into believing that abortion-as-birth-control is the non-existent phantom that some seem to need it to be. This is a very real thing, and it happens every day, and while I do not believe we should legally restrict abortion because of it, I still find it morally problematic in the extreme, and I wish more women who do have abortions in this manner would think more carefully. Before sex. After sex. The whole enchilada.

    Believing that the life of the unborn child outweighs most, if not all, other considerations is one thing. Believing that being pregnant is no more big a deal than having a hangnail is shameful and stupid. I’d like to think you’re not one of those guys who smirks about how he never has to deal with any of that stupid female stuff like periods and babies, haw haw. Don’t imitate one.

    You seem to be saying that you know the minds of all women, and that all women who abort cannot nor would they ever embark upon the procedure lightly. That it is always in all cases a very, very serious matter — carefully and agonizingly deliberated. That this is automatic in all cases and no man should ever suggest otherwise.

    I know for a fact you are wrong, if this is what you are saying.

    And if this is not what you’re saying, I’d like you to rephrase?

    As for the last bit, I think you’re seeing what’s not there. Or maybe you see me in a far poorer light than I might hope?

    Either way, whatever “imitation” is happening, I think I’ve demonstrated sufficiently in these many, many threads that I am not a “crotch scratcher” of the sort you glibly described in your last paragraph. This isn’t about guys vs. girls. This is much more serious, and I think my effort to explain my case proves that I’m not in this for the yuks, nor the finger-pointing, nor the cheap chauvinism of the “player” male who sees women as commodities, not people.

    Abortion is a serious matter. Very serious. It affects the lives of women. It affects the lives of children. It affects families, and this in turn affects society as a whole. I applaud women and men alike who can approach their reproductive powers with serious minds and serious consideration. Again, my wife and I have been there, and we have done that. It can be done. And being poor doesn’t mean you have to be thoughtless or ignorant about what you do with your body. If I wish for anything, I wish for a society that grows up — beyond the Puritanism of the don’t-talk-about-sex camp, but also beyond the hedonism of the sex-should-be-care-free camp.

    We’re obviously not there yet.

    P.S: apologies for the broken tag in my previous attempt to post this.

  232. @brad

    Again, no apologies. Many women do use abortion lightly. This is the uncomfortable and ugly truth of it.

    Really? You have something to back this up with besides pulling it out of your ass? Because I don’t believe it. And having known personally several women who had abortions, I find it a repulsive and offensive suggestion.

  233. You seem to be saying that you know the minds of all women,

    As do you.

    You are bringing up the statement that there are some women who take abortion lightly. That brings up the counter questions: How do you know? And how many?

    If the answer to the latter is few, then anything that addresses abortion as a whole and not these women is over-inclusive and should not be considered in a discussion about abortion.

  234. Just wanted to post that this post prompted my wife and I to donate $100 to Planned Parenthood. Transaction was processed today.

  235. Thank you so much for doing this. PP took care of me when I desperately needed health care and I’m glad to see that people are still donating to them.

  236. Why is the SGK mission so focused on “raising awareness?” Are there really people who don’t know breast cancer exists anymore? If they changed/expanded their mission to “raising awareness of where to get treatment and screenings” I’d understand that; it would make an impact where such information isn’t readily available. If they changed/expanded their mission to “providing medical support for early detection” in such a way as to give the prescriptions for mammograms that are hard to get without healthcare, I’d understand that. If more of their money went towards funding research for a cure, I’d consider doing a tagged/designated donation. If less of their money went to PR, suing other non-profits for the use of the phrase “the cure,” the color pink, or the ribbon imagery, I’d be less critical of their actions.

    @Conservative Mom: my roommate works for a health network in Indiana that provides free/very low cost healthcare to people with no health insurance. It is a generalized network, providing a variety of services for people of all ages (including well child exams, physicals for school/sports eligibility, cancer screening and treatment, sick-child visits, etc). They provide all kinds of treatment, and the waitlist to get in is months long. People who need a well-child exam will literally have to wait up to three months to get in. Cancer progresses differently in every person, but what if someone who unknowingy has cancer had to wait three months to get in for that exam? I admit I don’t know what kind of wait the PP facilities have for their exams, but I know from personal observation and experience that other free/reduced cost options have very long waits. The “quite a few” results found in a google search might not be as helpful as you might think.

  237. @Brad:
    Again, my wife and I have been there, and we have done that. It can be done

    1) It seems to me that arguments about abortion are off the topic of this thread

    2) That said, the blithe glossing over of contraceptive failure is getting my goat in a big way. I have three children. I have had one miscarriage. When I got pregnant the first time, I was on the pill AND had an IUD in. How irresponsible was that? Out of all my pregnancies, exactly one was planned, the last one. It’s just nonsense to say that people can live their lives according to plan. There are way too many factors beyond individual control. If your life is working out for you along the lines you’ve laid down for yourself, I’m glad for you, but you can’t expect that just because yours is, everybody else’s is as well.

    3) Regarding the impact of abortion on children, it is also true that some women choose to have abortions because they care about the children that they already have.

  238. Regarding buying books from b&n – can anyone tell me if all of them are nook drm-d, or if they are clean epubs? I looked elsewhere and not all of them were available, so I am curious.
    John, I bought the 2 shorts you talked about last week after finding out through the grapevine that they were clean, but I did not see that reflected on the b&n website, so I wanted to ask if anyone had any insight on determining drm status before purchase.

  239. Just bought “The God Engines” and “The Sagan Diary”. Thanks very much for what you’re doing here.

    Oh, and also thank you for writing such feats of Literary Awesomeness. I love your writing!

  240. Thanks for this John. My mother died from breast cancer last summer, and I wouldn’t wish that fate on anyone, regardless of my political leanings on abortion. I just bought a copy of ‘The Sagan Diary’.

  241. Gerrymander:

    “The hypocrisy comes in by choosing to mask a political post (as this is) as something else — specifically concern for women’s cancer risks, and especially those of disadvantaged women. ”

    Gerrymander, this is just spectacularly dumb.

    One, this is quite obviously a political post, since I’m commenting about what is to me clearly an obviously politically-motivated act on the part of the Komen people. The part in which I tell people it’s only a political statement if they believe the Komen act was political is me pointing out the absurdity of thinking the Komen act wasn’t political. Strangely, it doesn’t seem most people have been having a problem with this particular rhetorical construction of mine.

    Two, this is also concern for women’s cancer risks, and especially those of disadvantaged women. Seriously, Gerrymander, do you actually read this blog? You have to be absolutely blind not to know that issues of poverty are a huge issue for me and that I write about them with frequency and with passion. To suggest that writing about them in this particular context is hypocrisy on my part simply means you don’t pay attention.

    Three, the fact you seem to have trouble processing that a post may be both about politics and about genuine concern about poor women is on you, not on me or anyone else. Try to entertain the possibility one may write about both, simultaneously.

    This is two stupid argument tricks from you in a row, Gerrymander. If you make a third you’re off the thread, so think very carefully about how you respond to this. So far, to say you haven’t been covering yourself in glory, rhetorically speaking, is to understate the case.

    Brad R. Torgerson:

    This is the point where it’s advisable to go write a blog post on your own site and host comments there, because your increasingly extensive responses are taking the thread further off-topic than it should be. When you’ve made that post, feel free to link to it in this comment thread.

  242. gerrymander @ 2:56 pm:

    The hypocrisy comes in by choosing to mask a political post (as this is) as something else — specifically concern for women’s cancer risks, and especially those of disadvantaged women.

    He didn’t mask it. He specifically wrote:

    Is this a political statement? As much as the Susan G. Komen’s decision not to fund Planned Parenthood’s breast cancer screening and education programs is. If you want to argue that wasn’t a political move at all, then neither is this. If you think otherwise, then you may think likewise about this.

    You also write:

    [Planned Parenthood] also provide support for women to delay pregnancy and, yes, have abortions — both of which increase cancer risk. That’s bad. Breast cancer is one of the places where “women’s reproductive freedom” and “women’s health” are not completely aligned.

    Setting aside the lack of evidence of these links, do you realize how incredibly paternalistic you are being here? For many women, access to contraception is critical to achieve their education and career goals. Even if taking oral contraceptives or having an abortion increased a woman’s risk of breast cancer, why is it my or your place to tell her she has to have a child for her own sake? What’s next: Are we going to withhold funding for women’s health clinics in Florida in order to protect them from skin cancer?

  243. I’m pretty much maxed out on Scalzi e-books, which left me the option of contributing directly. Unfortunately, I’m cheap. But your good example, and those of your readers, forced me to pry open the wallet and send some money to Planned Parenthood. HAVE YOU NO SHAME?

    P.S. I have to admit that I gave somewhat less than Mayor Bloomberg, but good on him.

  244. I declare, the only thing I love me more from our gracious host than a good loving malleting is a good rhetorical hammering.

    Worth the price of admission, I say.

  245. Considering that in 2010, Planned Parenthood made 841 adoption referrals compared to performing more than 350,000 abortions, they should be defunded. That’s 500 abortions to every single adoption. Ridiculous. Please continue your lack of funding of this horrible money-making behemoth, Susan G., they don’t deserve your support. [Especially stupid part deleted -- JS]

  246. I have no close family member who has ever had breast cancer, but when I was a young woman, working full time, but still living with my parents, because my job didn’t pay enough to move out, Planned Parenthood provided all my health care for a couple of years. It was the only place I could afford. (and they let me pay what I could afford). One good thing about this whole mess is that it has reminded me after all these years that I owe PP a lot more than I paid them for back then. I’ve bought every one of those books you listed, John. I made a direct donation, too.
    I do want to share that you are not the only author doing something like this:

    http://rolanni.livejournal.com/741110.html

  247. @MeganW “Why is the SGK mission so focused on “raising awareness?”

    Because if they actually used all or even most of that money for silly things like applied research and cancer screenings, they’d have to lay off a lot of fine dedicated PR people. As others have noted upstream, if you really want to make a direct difference the best way is to donate directly to organizations doing applied work insead of grant-shuffling and awareness-raising. Especially those actually doing things in your own community rather than some big-budget national charity. That’s my personal general rule of thumb for write-a-check donations. For my mileage the local soup kitchen or my local PP office needs that money a lot more than a mega-million-budget awareness-raising group like the SGKF.

  248. Eric b:

    “Considering that in 2010, Planned Parenthood made 841 adoption referrals compared to performing more than 350,000 abortions, they should be defunded.”

    Not unless their funding was predicated on the performance of its adoption referrals. Otherwise, this is a standard issue silly argument.

    Note also that I tossed out the trolling part of your post; don’t do it again.

  249. Thank you, John. (And I just purchase several of your ebooks.)

    I shouldn’t even touch this, but …

    in 2010, Planned Parenthood made 841 adoption referrals compared to performing more than 350,000 abortions… That’s 500 abortions to every single adoption.

    You’re acting like there’s only two options there — i.e. every woman who didn’t have an abortion decided instead to put the kid up for adoption. There’s a third option (going through with the pregnancy and raising the kid) that’s available. Adoption just isn’t that popular in this country.

  250. @Gerrymander
    …………..Well….just damn man. There is nothing I can say that John didn’t already. Just…dude. Chill out, please. Obviously you are passionate, and if you just modified that a little bit it might could be constructive. You just have some…issues to work through. But potential is still there! Just…think more and insult less. In the end, pure rhetoric is no ones friend.

    @Alpha Lyra
    I Know! usually I am all against hackers, but it nice to see the talent used for something that isn’t purly destructive for once! I really think that given the right people and motives, that hacking talents could be a positive force for good, rather then just for ‘Lulz’ as they are so often used for now. Makes me wish I was more tech savvy. As it stand…ive you need a descriptive bibliography made up, I’m your man! …..But no one ever needs a descriptive bib…. I’m crawl back to my archives.

  251. This is *awesome*. Good on you, sir!

    I’m located in Canada, so I’m not sure if my purchase would actually benefit. I’m pretty impressed, though!

  252. I still haven’t figured out what to do about the eBook thing (that is, which one to buy and so on), but please add $25 to your total of donations to Planned Parenthood. And I have signal-boosted this on my LiveJournal and DreamWidth accounts.

  253. I think drinking alcohol and doing drugs recreationally is immoral

    It might be off topic, or explain a lot of the disconnect I’ve had with some of your stuff previously. But, you actually believe that that in particular is a moral question? On what basis of morality?

    In other news: I suspect very strongly that you’ll struggle to find very many women who took the decision to have an abortion lightly, and, good for you that you and your wife didn’t get pregnant in 10 years – I’ve known a lot of very careful people who didn’t have your luck.

    Finally: Good call John – I’m maxed out on books, so I just gave money to PP.

  254. “They also provide support for women to delay pregnancy and, yes, have abortions — both of which increase cancer risk. That’s bad.”

    And IT’S A BALD-FACED LIE. Debunked many times.

  255. Thanks for doing this. I’m in Canada and want to mention that the National Film Board of Canada is releasing Pink Ribbons, Inc. tomorrow (3 Feb). A timely release indeed–you can see the trailer at youtube: http://youtu.be/3QPZfcYTUaA

  256. CLP wrote:

    Setting aside the lack of evidence of these links, do you realize how incredibly paternalistic you are being here? For many women, access to contraception is critical to achieve their education and career goals. Even if taking oral contraceptives or having an abortion increased a woman’s risk of breast cancer, why is it my or your place to tell her she has to have a child for her own sake?

    And at the risk of John practicing his Mallet swing on my head, it would be fair to note the leading cause of pregnancy is male ejaculation during vaginal intercourse. Funny how contraception always seems to be women’s work isn’t it? And back on planet Earth, any health care professional who tells you any medication, procedure or treatment option is totally risk free (and, no, “very very low” still isn’t “zero”) is either grossly incompetent or a stone cold liar. Neither option engenders confidence in my breast.

  257. It appears that the Komen Foundation will also stop funding embryonic stem cell research centers. http://www.lifenews.com/2012/02/01/komen-also-stops-funding-embryonic-stem-cell-research-centers/
    I support right to choice but I think I can understand where many pro life folks are coming from. It just strikes this non religious person that there are to many very bad things happening in this world to spend time,fury, and, money trying to allow an unwanted pregnancy to start or come to term.

    My wife and I will be sending regular donations to Planned Parent now .. something the Komen decision has caused us to do.

    Mr Scalzi, I purchased your “Election” short story .. not the greatest scifi or comedy or political story I have ever read but an enjoyable read non the less. Thank you for the story and this effort of yours. I look forward to buying more of your material.

  258. it would be fair to note the leading cause of pregnancy is male ejaculation during vaginal intercourse

    Is there another cause that I don’t know about?

  259. I came back here through the Recent Comments list, and had to read up through part of it…hence saw that Brad had said women do use abortion lightly before I read his post.

    Seems like the kind of thing people write just before I click Ignore on their name, on sites with Ignore. That’s just jaw-droppingly ignorant, insensitive, and cruel.

  260. Eric b @ 4:49 pm: I’m not sure what you want Planned Parenthood to do about this ratio. Refuse to do abortions and tell the women to seek an adoption agency instead? If that’s what you think, you should come out and say it.

    Likewise, if the Komen Foundation doesn’t want to do business with an abortion provider, they should come out and say it, instead of making up a poorly-thought-out rule.

    gwangung @ 5:35 pm: That really doesn’t surprise me. Given how broad the rule was, I was very suspicious it would only apply Planned Parenthood. I’m curious to see what kind of logical contorsions the Komen Foundation leaders use to explain why PP is disqualified and Penn State isn’t. (For the record, I don’t think the Komen Foundation should withhold its grant money from Penn State. I think the rule is dumb.)

    Craig Ranapia @ 7:12 pm: I completely agree that contraception is a shared responsibility, and I should have made that more clear in my post! Unfortunately, however, when unintended pregnancies occur, women tend to bear the bulk of the consequences, economically and socially.

  261. I live in Canada, and it appears that only U.S. purchases of your e-books go to Planned Parenthood. So I thought I’d leave a comment to say that I really support what you’re doing, and I’ll buy your e-books anyway. I think I’ll also make an appointment to get that (government-funded) mammogram that I’ve been putting off getting. I’m fortunate to live in a country where I don’t have to rely on a charitable organization to provide my health care.

  262. Thank you so much for doing this, the way everyone is gathering together to support PP is giving me some hope for the future of this country! I’ve bookmarked your blog, bought my very first books by you (I got An Election & You’re Not Fooling Anyone) (I love SFF, but I’m pretty new to it and there are lots of cool authors I just haven’t tried yet!) and I just gave $50 directly to PP as well, doubled by Bloomberg for extra joy. Here’s a direct link in case anyone is looking for the doubled-donation site: http://ppaction.org/breasthealthfund

  263. Yesterday, I buried my friend after her three-month battle with breast cancer that had already metastasized to her spine and liver by the time they found it. To honor her memory, I had decided to make a donation to SGK. However, I think that buying books and helping low-income women get the help they need would have made her far happier. Thanks, John.

  264. E-book n00b here – I use Stanza on my iPhone and eReader on my Playbook. Is there a source for me to go for those?

  265. I’ve been following this tread for a while hoping to come up with something profound and moving, so here it is. Thank you John, just purchased eBooks for my daughter and I

  266. This was posted anonymously on Slacktivist’s thread re the SGK fiasco:

    PPs are notoriously underfunded, and providing money to the national organisation (which is largely advocacy) does not necessarily translate into increased funding at the local level (which is largely medical care)…
    So, if you feel moved to donate to PP in response to this, or any other outrage, see if there’s a local branch to donate to, rather than sending a check to the head office. The local branch can almost certainly use it. Or volunteer – they can often use people to stuff envelopes and all manner of other non-glamorous work that needs to get done but which detracts from other, more important work.

  267. I know this thread is getting old, but I haven’t seen anyone link to Nancy Brinker’s youtube message about the whole thing here:

    I’d like to think that her words are honest. That’s not to say that some folks in SGK didn’t push the pro-life stance, just as there were some pushing pro-choice. That’s America. But was that the main decision? John, you suggest that it is. But hearing her speak… well, I’d like to stay more optimistic on the subject.

  268. I’d be breaking John’s admonition to “take it to your own blog, please,” if I got wrapped up in another large response. It seems several people are dismayed and/or aghast at my sentiments, and this is to be expected. It is ever thus when discussing the pro-life (anti-choice?) side of things among committed pro-choice folk. You may or may not be surprised to know that I get the same reactions, when explaining the pro-choice side to ardent pro-lifers. “So you approve of murdering babies?!” Why no, I never said that. But that’s all some pro-lifers seem to hear. Which explains why this topic continues to be a political tornado. Emotion and ideology, swirling together.

    I still hope Komen finds a productive conduit for its funds. Again, being pro-woman is not the exclusive domain of an exclusive ideology.

  269. 1. Here and elsewhere I see that many people are starting or increasing donations to PP in the hope that at least a portion of the money will go to breast cancer early detection.

    2. I see (mostly elsewhere) that SGK will be the recipient of donations from many Pro-life people who previously had not donated.

    1+2 may = a win for poor, under-served women in the long run. I certainly hope it works out that way. I am, by no means, a supporter of Planned Parenthood, but I think I need to find an alternative organization which provides mammograms and other care to poor women and make a donation.

  270. @Brad: For some of us, this topic continues to be a political tornado, not because we are all selective-hearing extremist unable to rise above the fray like your own reasonable, ever-moderate self, but because the subject is about us. Several women here have already posted about how they have been, or are, in financial situations where PP is the reason they are able to get Pap smears or breast exams or STD treatment. And if more women have not posted about their experiences with the rather serious negative health effects that pregnancy and childbirth can lead to, perhaps it’s because they didn’t wish to do so in a public forum where your only response would be to tut-tut about how you never had a condom break so what’s your beef, lady? You indeed have the luxury of treating women’s reproductive health as a curious intellectual concern of no personal import, as cold and abstract a debate subject as the causes of the war of 1812. Perhaps take a moment to consider how someone directly impacted by a loss of funding to PP might perceive things differently.

    Also, as a side note, I apparently was not clear enough in my previous post. Attributing your supercessionist religious beliefs to my faith because “Judeo-Christian” has some kind of cachet of authenticity is appallingly ignorant. The fact that there is a long history of people using a phrase thoughtlessly does not make it any less thoughtless, and whether all members of religion A agree with religion B has nothing to do with whether implying a faith believes [thing] is flat-out false. This is not about whether it hits a personal and oddball pet peeve of mine. It is making a completely ignorant and wrong statement about a religious faith to which you do not belong, and further, with which your own faith has a rather problematic history.

  271. Yes, Brad, you’re the Wise Elder who Speaks Wisdom to Lesser Beings, the Cooler Head that Everyone Hopes Will Prevail.

    Your ego is astonishing (that’s the polite way to say it). What you said was grotesquely offensive and untrue, and now you’re trying to cover it with “gee the other side is just as offended when I talk to them. See what a moderate iconoclast I am?”

    Please. *eyeroll*

  272. @mythago: I swear everything I’ve seen you say here has been totally freaking awesome.

    And to keep this on topic, I definitely appreciate what’s being done here, and I’ve bought a few of the stories I didn’t already have. My health insurance is a plan I buy on my own, and thought it’s the best one my broke self can afford but it doesn’t cover reproductive health such birth control, yearly gyno/pap visits or maternity care because having a functioning uterus is a pre-existing condition or something? I dunno. Planned Parenthood has definitely helped me cover that gap for some standard health concerns as well as emergency situations (which happen no matter how careful you are because sometimes,everything just goes sideways).

  273. @ Brad R. Torgersen

    I don’t want to drag things further afield of the topic, so I’ll keep this brief. You have experience of what you believed was women you knew being blasé about they personally having abortions. You extrapolated from this that such things were a common occurrence. mythago and several others here took exception to that. Then you amended by saying that you’ve witnessed it happen (anecdotal evidence), so it’s a valid problem. Maybe it is or maybe you’re wrong, but it was the generalizing that ticked folks off. Yes, abortion is a touchy subject, but that doesn’t mean that anyone who gets irritated by an interlocutor doesn’t have a reasonable complaint beyond the subject matter itself.

    There is no way deciding whether or not to have an abortion doesn’t take a toll on the woman facing the decision. In suggesting that some women are unconcerned for their unborn infant, you made it sound like it was a big game to them. And then you generalized that based on anecdotal evidence. I submit that it would more productive to simply suggest that you would like for all participants (since, as you eventually noted, it takes two to tango) to think carefully, before having sex, about the possibilities they are opening; and that, if anyone isn’t, to please do so, rather than assuming that your experience is common or that your perception of the attitudes of the women you know was necessarily accurate. This will still offend some people (and perhaps with good reason), but it will be a lot less condescending than generalizing about an situation of which you are biologically incapable of ever experiencing firsthand.

    I offer this only as my perspective on your intent and the response your words received. I may be wrong about you, and/or I may be wrong about those who responded.

    I won’t even touch the Judeo-Christian thing beyond saying mythago had a damn good point, IMHO.

    @ John

    John, I know you said you wanted this thread to get away from the abortion digression. If you believe this reply should be Malleted, I understand and accept that judgment willingly. I only wanted to add what I can only hope was some clarity. I will post on the abortion topic no more. If you decide to leave this, thank you for your patience.

  274. Xopher and Mythago (and anyone else who wants to debate my choice of words or my reasoning) I invite you to do so at my blog. I knew going into it that some of the things I’d write here would piss people off. I said it right in my first post: people hate a fence-sitter. Especially a fence-sitter who isn’t dogmatic nor protectionist about a certain dogma, but pursues a thing down to the nexus of crossed (but equal) principles. Perhaps what I’ve written in my own space might illuminate my beliefs in a less contentious manner? (shrug) I will now exit the thread.

  275. CLP @ 8.07:

    Unfortunately, however, when unintended pregnancies occur, women tend to bear the bulk of the consequences, economically and socially.

    Totally agree with you there, and there was no lack of clarity in your OP! But I’m bemused by the opportunistic concern trolling about health risks of oral contraceptives from sections of the right. Wouldn’t it be lovely if as much energy was put into encouraging men to take ownership of their sexuality and fertility as goes into slut-shaming and man-trolling women?

    And one side effect of this thread? The public health system in my native New Zealand is very far from perfect – and there’s a lot of things we can do better around cancer detection, treatment and prevention. But, hell, it’s wonderful living in a country where breast cancer screening for at-risk women isn’t totally dependent on the size of your pocketbook and/or the right kind of job.

  276. @Judy: PP was, last I checked, pretty close in new donations to the level of funding that it got in grants from SGK. I’m sure that many people who did not donate to SGK will do so now; but on the other hand, this shone a very big spotlight on SGK, and not just about the issue of PP, but of how it uses its donations, its filing lawsuits, its other activities, and so on. Not really sure this is 1+2 so much as 1+2+shitstorm.

  277. Also, apologies to John’s thing about double posts, but I think a lot of the discussion about “fence-sitting” can be handled with more more brevity by, of all things, TV Tropes.

  278. Yes, Brad, ascribe the animosity toward you to anything you want as long as it means you don’t have to change your behavior, which is its real cause.

  279. First of all John, GOOD WORK MAN! I hope you’re able to raise a good bit of $ for a good cause. I wish I had the moola to invest in all of the books being offered, but at the moment I’m a bit cashed strapped and gotta wait til next week to end that situation.

    Believe me, when I first started reading about this flap, it was pretty apparent that it was a political move. After all, in the past, SKG has had no problem selling their identity to anyone willing to fork over some cash, even endorsing products that lead to unhealthy amounts of fat which can be a contributing cause to cancer (KFC I’m looking at you! And I love me some KFC sigh), fingernail polish, and perfume both of which contain chemicals known to be cancer causing agents.

    In other news, Planned Parenthood seems to be coming out of this in pretty good shape anyway. On top of the first reported $400,000 they will also receive $250,000 from Michael Bloomberg (NYC Mayor that is), and an additional $250,000 from a (so-far unnamed) family foundation in Dallas, TX. Meanwhile, over in SKG land, there is dissension in the ranks, with at least one top official resigning in what appears to be a protest move, and several SKG affiliates protesting the move to defund PP.

    Personally, if SKG was a man, after reading all the backlash against it, I would say that it (he) had achieved the unenviable status of having stepped on its (his) own dick, out of spite no less. Since SKG is primarily primarily a women centered organization (hey us guys get breast cancer too… just not reported as much), I’m not sure what the appropriate metaphor would be in this case.

    And kind Sir if you don’t mind, would like to take just a moment to step aside from the topic. It will be quick and neat, and besides you and several others expressed support for me just a few (5) short weeks ago in a time of need, so I wanna pay some back in deed.

    @Constance
    Congratulations on the impending Nuptuals. Best wishes for a happy and fulfilling marriage. :D

  280. Mythago, Xopher: I realize Brad has a history here and …is doofus-osity, a word?…anyway, I digress, is often his own worst enemy, rhetorically. However, you two did look like you targeted the one objectional thing in his long posts on a controversal subject and hammered on it to not much effect. For the most part, I thought his comments were reasoned and heart-felt, if somewhat off topic. Do I disagree with him on why and how the vast majority of women make their reproductive decisions? Yes. Do I think he believes and cares about what he said? Yes. If he believes in all the real world policies he says he does, should I care if his world view is a little off? Nope. Not really. Just think about it, you’re carrying this battle into Brad’s head and why on Earth would you want to go there? If you win, that’s what you get: Brad’s soul. Personally, I would rather have the little dinosaur toy that doubles in size when you add water. (Link to Bart Simpson not found.)

    And Judaeo-Christian came into vogue as an inclusive, PC term to acknowledge the connection to Judaism and not expropriate that Deity to Christianity exclusively. Somebody else is probably mad he didn’t throw in a Moslem inclusive phrase. You’re just picking fights now because you want Brad to go away.

  281. On the topic of “giving SGK the benefit of the doubt” here’s a couple of facts in more or less random order:

    * The current president of SGK made “Defund Planned Parenthood” part of her election platform while running for public office.

    * Andrew Breitbart, a man not known for his truthful reporting or any kind of journalistic ethics whatsoever, manufactures a “sting operation” and then claims that Planned Parenthood is performing or conspiring in illegal abortions for underaged girls. It’s not even remotely close to what happened, but he says it loudly and repeatedly.

    * SGK creates a new rule that says nonprofit organizations currently under any kind of investigation are not valid recipients for funding

    * An avowed anti-choice republican Congressman uses the “disturbing evidence” of the aforesaid completely manufactured scandal to call for an investigation into Planned Parenthood. (warning: Links to a rabidly anti-choice right-wing blog; mind your braincells)

    * SGK cites their newly manufactured rule and defunds Planned Parenthood, insisting that this is purely routine,not in any way a political decision of any sort whatsoever, and all the above is purely coincidental.

    I’m partially outraged at the defunding and partially insulted by the barefaced excuse they manufactured around it. Just how ignorant do they think people are?

  282. PrivateIron – to back up mythago here, they aren’t the only Judeo- I know that objects to “Judeo-Christianity.” The term was invented to describe Jewish converts to Christianity – “Jews for Jesus” – and although it was indeed popularised by liberals in the 1930s to fight anti-Semitism, I don’t think anyone can argue that its use in the past 20 years – possibly 60 – has been inclusive and PC. It makes invisible the Jewish intellectual tradition by bundling it in with Christianity, which is always on top.

    I did some poking around and found a good article by Shalom Goldman on the term – http://www.religiondispatches.org/archive/politics/3984/what_do_we_mean_by_%E2%80%98judeo-christian%E2%80%99_/

    The fact that someone else might object to the term because it excludes the largest of the three Abrahamic traditions doesn’t make the term more correcter. Justifying it by pointing out objections on “both sides” is another example of the Golden Mean Fallacy.

  283. PrivateIron, your concern is duly noted. Have a cookie.

    Also, are you really going to berate the Jew for taking exception when the American Christian tries, inaccurately, to appropriate Jewish tradition to bolster a personal philosophy? Really? Unless you want to present evidence that mythago is wrong about hir own religion, I think you might want to consider rethinking that last paragraph.

  284. Well, well, well….

    Komen has put out still ANOTHER story (how many in the past three days) that they’re restoring funding to Planned Parenthood.

    Sorry, they’re still weasels. All they say is that Komen will fund the $250K that had already been committed for 2012. It does not say that they will fund new grants to Planned Parenthood, not will reinstitute the grants pulled from stem cell research at Johns Hopkins. It does not say ANYTHING about their craven opposition to funding cancer treatment for poor women.

  285. And Judaeo-Christian came into vogue as an inclusive, PC term to acknowledge the connection to Judaism and not expropriate that Deity to Christianity exclusively.

    This is flat-out false.

    This isn’t about getting into anyone’s head; I do believe that Brad meant no ill by the phrase. But in the context of this discussion, Brad attempted lend authority to a particular view of abortion by incorrectly ascribing it not only to a given faith, but to a long religious tradition stretching back millenia. Of course it’s not even accurate as to the Christian view of abortion, but that’s another matter.

    I’m not following your argument that if somebody makes a flat-out wrong factual statement that misconstrues one’s faith, then it’s only OK to say “dude, wrong info there, check your facts” if you agree with that person on all other issues.

  286. Although I’m not in the market to buy e-books right now, I thought I’d offer my own experience of having to use alternative methods to get a breast cancer screening.
    My partner lost her job last year and with it went our insurance. We made the conscious decision to not pay the medical COBRA because we could not afford it; we’re both unemployed. I got online and started talking to my friends to get an idea of how to stitch together some sort of health safety net and that helped. I was also lucky enough to have had my annual mammogram about two weeks before we lost coverage. Our primary care physician, when she heard we lost our coverage, told us how to access the county system (Alameda County, CA) to get our needs met but you have to be patient -there’s a lot of paperwork involved (getting together your proof of income and living situation) and you also have to let go of any feelings you’ve got about your income or lack thereof because depending on how much you have will determine what you will be paying (or not).
    Since we’re both over 40, we can get annual mammograms and pap smears for free; there’s a pot of money in our county just for that. Women under 40 will get the pap smears for free. I don’t think they start the screening mammograms until you’re 35.
    But here’s the thing, unless you know that the programs exist in the first place, you won’t know to go there. I even looked on the county health care website and it took some digging to find out about the programs we’re now a part of. And that’s with both of us being fairly well educated and Internet savvy.
    If you’re not persistent and have some idea of the kind of questions you need to ask, it can be daunting and I’m sure for some, discouraging. Make no mistake, the county system is overloaded; I see that every time I pass through the emergency room on my way to the clinic I need to get to. But they are doing the best they can and I give them a lot of credit for it.

  287. Thanks, John. This whole mess shows how public opinion can change things for the better. I have all your books in solid form, but will make a contribution.

  288. I have all of your books already, so I just sent $25 direct to PP. I send PP money on the regular, anyway, because they provide VITAL services for women who might not otherwise have access.

    We were broke as a joke and uninsured when I fell pregnant seven months into our marriage. After the “Well, what are we going to do?” talk, we went to PP. For the next 9 months, I got top notch prenatal care that wasn’t going to render us bankrupt. Twenty years later, Elder Monster still gives me just as much joy as he did when he was wee. Being born healthy thanks to good prenatal care undoubtedly has a lot to do with that.

  289. I already made a direct donation to Planned Parenthood right after the news broke. I just purchased one of your books, also. I’m a longtime fan of Whatever and your books have been on my to-be-read list for far too long.
    PP was there for me when I needed low-cost health care. I’m happy that I’m in a position now that I can support them. This is a lovely thing you’re doing. Thank you.

  290. @ PrivateIron

    And Judaeo-Christian came into vogue as an inclusive, PC term to acknowledge the connection to Judaism and not expropriate that Deity to Christianity exclusively.

    Okay, so perhaps to some Jews and Christians it’s connotations are positive. Why not reserve it for use in those individuals’ company? Brad was talking with mythago, who didn’t respond with something like OMG, that’s so offense but rather more along the lines of please don’t do what comes off as interpreting for me my religion’s zeitgeist on abortion, because I find that offensive. That hardly seems to me like picking a fight. If someone takes exception to a term I use, I stop using it when I want to have constructive conversations with them (unless they flame me, in which case I ignore them for both our benefits). The purpose of conversation (for me, at least) is to try to achieve some measure of mutual understanding, not a siege mentality around specific terms because I don’t like what they mean to the person(s) I’m trying to engage.

    Just my 2 cents.

    @ Jackie G.

    But here’s the thing, unless you know that the programs exist in the first place, you won’t know to go there. I even looked on the county health care website and it took some digging to find out about the programs we’re now a part of. And that’s with both of us being fairly well educated and Internet savvy.
    If you’re not persistent and have some idea of the kind of questions you need to ask, it can be daunting and I’m sure for some, discouraging. Make no mistake, the county system is overloaded; I see that every time I pass through the emergency room on my way to the clinic I need to get to.

    One shudders to think how they would cope if all who needed it could readily find out about it and navigate the bureaucracy.

    @ Rens

    Aaaand another smoking gun for people who still insist that we should give Komen the benefit of the doubt:

    I don’t think we – by which I mean those of us who have a problem with giving money to and buying the brands of an organization unwilling to aid PP – should give them the benefit of the doubt. But I think there is merit in giving them a chance to alter their practices before deciding that no matter what they do in the future it can never make up for this moment of rank ass-hattery on their part. Basically, I want to judge them on their actions instead of the personalities of the bigwigs currently helming Komen.

    That said, the more I learn about their practices in the past, the less impressed I am, to put it mildly. Ordinarily I use the online resources of charity watchdogs before I send donations their way, but the only money I’ve ever given Komen was through purchasing pink ribbon loot. This thread had provided a wealth of interesting info.

    If it was simply that they weren’t passing donations on to PP, I’d forgo donating to them, but, given a choice between buying a pink ribbon product or buying a product where none of the proceeds went to charity, I’d still buy the pink ribbon product, because better to have some of that money I’m spending anyway go to a cancer research foundation who doesn’t fund everyone I’d like them to, than none of it go to charity at all. I’m rather less enthusiastic about facilitating their frivolous lawsuits. In the end, I care a lot more about where my money goes than who’s getting it there.

  291. I’m just indecisive today. I guess I’ll buy a few ebooks for my Kindle AND make a contribution to Planned Parenthood. Now, where’d I put my credit card?

  292. I saw you were keeping the fundraiser up, so what the hey. As an added bonus, I rather like verbiage along the lines of “You just bought ‘An election’”.

  293. I found this via Tamora Pierce’s blog. I have never read your books; now I have three on my Kindle. :) Thank you for doing this.

  294. John love your books – i found them to be especially relevant to me since this soldier (well no longer active now) had a pacemaker inserted and felt like i was on my way to becoming part of the CDF. (Probably will have a brainmaker too one day to deal with my migraines)

    I’m a little saddened by your stance. I think this Komen story is a red herring anway as we all know what kind of business PP is in. I’m just a simple irish solidier boy so i thought i would use this post from the milblog “This Ain’t Hell” on the Army’s attempt to silence Catholic chaplains:

    “I’m pretty sure that God [whatever name your God uses] doesn’t want us to have abortions (what with Him being known as The Creator and everything), but I object to government sponsorship of abortions on completely secular Constitutional grounds, specifically, the fifth amendment which says “No person shall be…deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law…” and there’s no due process involved in abortions. So the religion thing aside, it’s unconstitutional for the government to sponsor the killing of the unborn. (See http://thisainthell.us/blog/?p=28605 )”

  295. @ dnice

    So the religion thing aside, it’s unconstitutional for the government to sponsor the killing of the unborn.

    This presupposes that the unborn are distinct persons. Some believe they are, others do not. Hence the impasse. I believe they are not. We are not going to change each others’ minds.

    However, purely for the sake of argument, let us suppose they are. Could a mother be constitutionally forced to carry a child to term if the pregnancy was imposed on her without her consent? Imagine a hospital where a woman carrying her unborn infant died in the first trimester from complications, and another woman, this one perfectly healthy and not at all pregnant, happened to be downstairs in another ward getting her annual physical. Her blood type happens to match the just-deceased mother. Would it be constitutional to force the second woman to become a surrogate mother? If service is involuntary, it’s not service, it’s slavery.

  296. I haven’t read all the comments but I would imagine that the SGK Foundation is withdrawing funding in response to research that shows having an abortion greatly increases the risk of breast cancer. It would be pretty hypocritical of the Foundation to ignore this research and continue to suppport “women’s health” by contributing to FPA.

  297. Nicola:

    I’m sure you’ve got a cite (with appropriate scientific research) for that claim about cancer. Right?

  298. “Imagine” is about the right word here. It’s not all that surprising, but nonetheless disappointing, how many people happy about the original decision are willing to fabricate reasons that SGK withdrew and then restored funding. One would think that if SGK believed abortion caused breast cancer, or that PP was misusing its grant funds, that SGK would have said so.

  299. One would think that if SGK believed abortion caused breast cancer, or that PP was misusing its grant funds, that SGK would have said so.

    I believe Komen out righted stated in 2009 that there was no link on their website.

    ALthough, I’m not sure why that would have stopped them from saying that NOW, given their current two step they’ve been doing in the PR front.

  300. As Allen Hunter posted earlier in this thread:

    There was a statement made by SGK in 2009 as to why they funded Planned Parenthood. It has been deleted from the site, but persists in the forums here (http://apps.komen.org/Forums/tm.aspx?m=200701&high=planned+parenthood) in a post by “Komen Moderator”

    “…and while Komen Affiliates provide funds to pay for screening, education and treatment programs in dozens of communities, in some areas, the only place that poor, uninsured or under-insured women can receive these services are through programs run by Planned Parenthood.

    These facilities serve rural women, poor women, Native American women, women of color, and the un- and under-insured. As part of our financial arrangements, we monitor our grantees twice a year to be sure they are spending the money in line with our agreements, and we are assured that Planned Parenthood uses these funds only for breast health education, screening and treatment programs. ”

  301. Sorry, John. I know I said I’d drop it. All I can say in my weak-ass defense is that I have a low silence threshold for spurious “constitutional” arguments. Won’t happen again.

  302. Just found you via Pat Rothfuss – this is an amazingly cool thing to do! I’ve always wanted to read your stuff – now you’ve given me the perfect reason to buy three of your books. Thank you!

  303. To clarify: the two paragraphs relate to two different things: the first to the abortion issue and the second on the Judaeo Christian aside. The second was probably wrong to raise in the first place (for a number of reasons) and I was unaware of the negative connotations of that particular phrase; so I apologize. On the other hand, there has to be some sort of gloss for western monotheistic traditions; so what words are accceptable? (And there is such a tradition and at times you have to be able to refer to it without a qualifying paragraph or footnote for complete contextualization.)

    Mythago conflated the two paragraphs and re-reading them, I still don’t see the basis for her confusion. On the other hand, I should have realized that Brad and Mythago like mud wrestling each other and not stepped into the pit. A plague on both their houses, but keep supporting Planned Parenthood.

  304. I confess, I have never read any of your work. Other writers I admire have mentioned you many times but I have always been too lazy to check you out. This is going to change today. I look forward to the awesome that is John Scalzi. By the way, I am a low income disabled woman who depended on PP for many years for health care and contraception(a pregnancy would have endangered my life) I am grateful that they were an available option for me.

  305. Also new to your work, Mr Scalzi. I have, however, shared this on my facebook. Hopefully I am not the only person who thinks being classy is reason enough to pick up one of your books.

    As a note, it is a shame that I missed your fundraiser, I guess you AND PP are going to get some money :) Bring on Old Man’s War!

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