Differing perspective, a passion for pink

Elizabeth Spencer, Contributing Writer

Senior Elizabeth Spencer, shown above, stands with Blue Crew and their attempts to support a worthy cause, despite Planned Parenthood's efforts to do the same. Photo by Elizabeth Kerin.

For some people, when they see the color pink, they think of Planned Parenthood and Susan G. Komen. I, however, do not.

I am the daughter, niece and granddaughter of breast cancer survivors. I am well aware of breast cancer and its implications; between these three courageous role models in my life, they have survived cancer five times. Furthermore, I would not be alive and writing this piece today if it weren’t for the conviction of my parents, who made what they consider a “no brainer” decision back in July of 1993.

Just 12 weeks into her second pregnancy, my mother was diagnosed with Stage IV recurrent breast cancer (her first occurrence was in 1988, 10 months after my brother was born). Immediately, my parents sought the best advice in southern Texas. They were shocked at the initial responses of the medical professionals. The first two oncologists who they saw recommended aborting me. The radiologist suggested aborting me. The doctor that did the two amniocentesis procedures was astounded that my parents were proceeding with the pregnancy.

Due to their conviction and determination, and the tremendous grace of God, they finally found a group of physicians to help them maintain the pregnancy, and I am alive to tell the tale.

There can be no doubt that my parents are pro-life and that they’ve provided my brother and me a pro-life moral foundation. I would never stand behind an organization that promotes, supports or defends any part of Planned Parenthood, Susan G. Komen, or any other abortion-funding or pro-choice group.

Instead, I stand with Blue Crew: an organization that did not shy away from a challenge to raise awareness and money for a worthy cause that provides support for pro-life organizations that research this horrific disease and offer life-saving tests and procedures to those in need. Planned Parenthood hosted a Pink Out celebration the same day Blue Crew announced its Pink Out initiative. Fortunately, this untimely announcement did not stop Blue Crew from raising over $1,400 for the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

For some Catholics, the color pink and the iconic pink ribbon have negative connotations since many breast cancer awareness foundations help fund pro-choice organizations like Planned Parenthood. But perhaps instead of altogether changing the color and symbol associated with the disease, we can work to give them positive implications, by supporting more pro-life foundations such as the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

While the color pink is not in my personal color wheel, I wear it with pride during the month of October. And when I wear it, I do not think of Planned Parenthood or Susan G. Komen. I think of my beloved family members and the millions of men and women who have fought so courageously against this disease. Before anyone questions Blue Crew’s intentions with “pink-out” month, I ask them to reserve their criticism and consider who is being helped — courageous, pro-life women like my mother, aunt and grandmother.


  1. I’d just like to point out that your entire argument rests on the fact that you have had personal encounters with breast cancer and that you, personally, don’t associate “pink-out” with Komen or PP. I, for one, have had similar personal experiences with breast cancer, and I (along with most of the population) DO associate “pink-out” with PP (and I always have, even before the events of the past month). Because of my experiences with breast cancer and the effect it’s had on my life and the lives of my loved ones, I especially don’t support the imprudence with which blue crew has approached this cause. Not that it’s WRONG, just not the best idea, and we could probably do better.

  2. I have also been affected by breast cancer; however, in my case, she did not survive. Like senior said above, the point was not whether one person associates pink with Komen or PP but that the majority of people associate pink with them, including myself. Obviously breast cancer awareness is important, but as a Catholic school in a world where people are waiting for us to slip up and make a mistake, it is essential that we be careful about how we go about doing what we do. The original article was not criticizing Blue Crew for raising awareness and funds, but it asked us to question the means by which we went about it. Appearances ARE important, and we have to consider the impressions other people outside the UD bubble will get from our actions. It is one think to change the connotations of pink inside the bubble, but that won’t change the rest of society’s association of pink with Komen and PP.

  3. Dear “Senior,” I think you’re a bit ridiculous if that’s your true opinion.

    Pink has been associated with breast cancer for a very long time. Trying to protest it is a silly cause. Why not protest Planned Parenthoods USE of pink? The Blue Crew acted with no “imprudence” whatsoever. They acted to support Breast Cancer awareness, the color of which happens to be pink. Does Planned Parenthood blind you? Should they have such a hold on your life as to dictate what colors you can use? Please.

    To all here, from UD, president Keefe OPENLY talked about the student(s) to an audience of potential donors (WITHOUT naming names) that have protested Pink Outs, calling them absurd for thinking that supporting Breast Cancer awareness with pink is wrong. He asserted that supporting Planned Parenthood is wrong, but pink for cancer is a different story.

    I can’t believe this is an issue.


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