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Thursday, February 02, 2012

I'm Not Quite Getting This

I see a campaign going around on Facebook to "de-fund the Komen Foundation," because of this situation.

So wait a second... because the Komen Foundation de-funded Planned Parenthood's cancer screening, we should now de-fund all of the other cancer screening they still do support?! Wouldn't that be doing the exact same thing you are mad at them for doing: de-funding some cancer screening for political reasons?

9 comments:

  1. 1. Not if you put those same dollars to work supporting cancer screening through other channels.

    2. There's also a "self-defense" aspect to the anti-Komen campaign that was not a component of Komen's initial action. To wit: Komen started it.

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  2. Jim:

    1) Komen will presumably be giving the dollars for cancer screening they formerly gave to Planned Parenthood to some other cancer screening venue as well.

    2) From the point of view of all of those dead babies, Planned Parenthood started it.

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  3. 1. Maybe. Regionally, there are places where ONLY Planned Parenthood does those screenings. But that's immaterial. If anti-Komen campaigners channel the same net dollars to cancer screening, the boycott has no net impact on cancer-screening donations. A Komen boycott does not make a reduction in cancer-screening dollars inevitable.

    2. This is a separate argument: "Komen's action is justified because abortion is so wrong that it outweighs any harm done by withdrawing support for Planned Parenthood's cancer-screening operations. Therefore rather than oppose Komen's action, you should support it." Your initial argument was, "Your response to Komen is logically inconsistent with your objection to Komen's action." The second argument has the advantage of not collapsing into an argument over the morality of abortion itself, but the disadvantage of being incorrect on multiple levels. :)

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  4. But Jim, Komen's move did not either make a net reduction in cancer screening dollars. So then what is to object to about it?

    Well, the REAL objection is that somebody is publicly suggesting that there just might be something wrong with abortion. The boycotters have ZERO interest in net cancer screening dollars: this is only a cover story. (And I'm just exposing their faulty logic: I also knew before I wrote this post that neither Komen's move nor the boycotters were changing net cancer screening funding. But that is what they are supposedly objecting to.)

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  5. "Your response to Komen is logically inconsistent with your objection to Komen's action."

    And so it is. You have not shown otherwise.

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  6. Look at it this way, Jim: if the boycotters real interest was in cancer prevention, they would have to ask:

    1) Will Komen now make less efficient use of its cancer dollars?

    and

    2) Can I ameliorate that situation by de-funding them?

    Do you really think a single boycotter has investigated either question?

    No, they said, "What?! Someone is implying abortion is bad?! Get them!"

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  7. Rereads original post.

    Okay, I think I see part of the disconnect.

    I initially read it as taking for granted that each action - Komen's and the boycotters' - reduced net cancer-screening support. IOW, "You say Komen's action is wrong because it WILL REDUCE the amount of cancer screening available, for political reasons. But your chosen remedy WILL ALSO REDUCE the amount of cancer screening available, for political reasons. Isn't that the exact same thing you're accusing Komen of?"

    I read it that way because Komen opponents are acting out of a sincere belief that Komen's actions WILL REDUCE the amount of cancer screening available. (This sincere belief could be wrong. But it's not a priori wrong. Komen can do other things with that same pot of money; money it shifts to other providers of cancer screening may neverthless lead to regional or SES -based shortages.)

    But I see that your post can be read as assuming that all both sides are doing is shifting equal dollars among the same pool of providers with an aggregate result of no change in cancer-screening done.

    Was this latter interpretation what you intended?

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  8. Ah. Thanks for the clarification.

    So in an alternative world where Komen opponents believe that Komen's action causes no net reduction in breast-cancer screening, this becomes a question of how morally symmetrical the two stages of t;t-for-tat are. IOW, is 'tat' the "exact same thing" (in your phrasing) as 't;t?'

    (Masking because I have no idea how Blogger's comment traps work these days. Kind of funny, given the subject.)

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