Komen’s Choice

The people who have urged Komen to stop supporting Planned Parenthood aren’t opposed to breast-cancer screenings; they’re opposed to other services Planned Parenthood provides, which include contraception and abortion. But a campaign to sever the ties between a foundation that’s raising money to find a cure for breast cancer and a health-care provider that advocates for reproductive rights exposes more than a division over contraception and abortion. It exposes a gruesome truth about politics in this country.

In American politics, women’s bodies are not bodies, but parts. People like to talk about some parts more than others. Embryos and fetuses are the most charged subject in American political discourse. Saying the word “cervix” was the beginning of Rick Perry’s end. In politics, breasts are easier to talk about. I first understood this a few years ago, when I was offered, at an otherwise very ordinary restaurant, a cupcake frosted to look like a breast, with a nipple made of piped pink icing. It was called a “breast-cancer cupcake,” and proceeds went to the Race for the Cure.

– In today’s Daily Comment, Jill Lepore writes about the announcement on Tuesday that Susan G. Komen for the Cure will no longer support Planned Parenthood:

Had a great 3.2 mile run tonight. Best time so far – about 27 minutes. I don’t know if any of you are a fan of Planet Money, but it’s a stellar podcast. Super easy to understand. The latest episode was on the App Store economy and it featured Marco Arment, who created one of my favorite apps on the planet, Instapaper. Highly recommend the podcast and the app.