Pro-Life Group: Think Twice Before Joining Komen Race for Cure

State   Steven Ertelt   Jun 10, 2011   |   3:40PM    St. Louis, MO

A statewide pro-life group in Missouri has a message for pro-life residents considering participating in the upcoming Race for the Cure this weekend in St. Louis sponsored by the Komen foundation.

“Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women (after lung cancer).It isn’t an exaggeration to say that almost all of us know someone who has been affected by this devastating disease and want to do what we can to raise awareness and help find a cure,” Missouri Right to Life tells its members in an email today. “As the Susan G. Komen “Race for a Cure” makes its way into St. Louis, MO this weekend, pro-lifers should keep a few things in mind.”

The pro-life organization is concerned about public admissions by Komen officials saying its affiliates have provided grants to local Planned Parenthood abortion businesses for health care services. Komen spokesman John Hammarley, in an interview in late 2009, disclosed that 20 of Komen’s 122 affiliates have made donations to Planned Parenthood and, last year, those contributions totaled $731,303. The Komen spokesman also confirmed Komen affiliates contributed about $3.3 million to the abortion business from 2004-2009.

Missouri Right to Life says the grants are problematic because Planned Parenthood does so many abortions. And, while Komen officials argue the money was only used for breast cancer screenings, the group points out Planned Parenthood does fewer of those screenings but has increased the number of abortions.

“Though Komen’s grants were for breast health care services, Planned Parenthood (the largest single abortion provider in the country) stated in its 2007-2008 annual report that 31,729 fewer breast exams and 15,560 more abortions were provided in 2007 than in 2006,” it said. “Also, a recent undercover investigation of Planned Parenthood by the Los-Angeles based Live Action contradicts the claim that they perform mammograms.”

MRTL also says there is no guarantee the money is not used for abortions or staff or equipment related to them:  “Donors cannot control how an organization designates its funds. Therefore, money donated for a specific service, i.e. breast health care, directly frees up funds to support other areas of an organization’s agenda, i.e. abortion services.”

The Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation has long denied that abortion plays any role in elevating the risk for women of contracting the deadly disease. That’s despite a wealth of research over decades showing an average increased risk of about 40 percent for women having abortions compared to those who carry their pregnancy to term. That also concerns the pro-life group.

“It is highly ironic that the Komen would support an organization that is probably responsible for thousands of women’s deaths annually because of the link between abortion and breast cancer.  The Komen website dismisses the link, but many peer-reviewed scientific studies demonstrate the statistical correlation between a previous abortion and a much higher risk of breast cancer in the future,” MRTL says. “Recent studies include those of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Joel Brind, Ph.D., a professor of Endocrinology and founder of the Breast Cancer Prevention Institute, and the work of Dr. Janet Daling, a leading cancer epidemiologist. Daling, a pro-choice advocate, said, ‘I would have loved to have found no association between breast cancer and abortion, but our research is rock solid, and our data is accurate. It’s not a matter of believing, it’s a matter of what is.'”

MRTL is also disappointed that Komen endorses embryonic stem cell research — which relies on the destruction of unborn human life to obtain the stem cells, which have yet to cure any patients or even be tried in patients because of significant problems with causing tumors and immune system rejection issues. On the other hand, adult stem cells continue to cure or help patients facing more than 100 diseases or adverse medical conditions.

Komen endorses embryonic stem cell research (ESCR), which requires the destruction of embryonic human life, stating that, “embryonic stem cells are currently considered to have the most potential for use in the regeneration of diseased or injured tissues” for cancer stem cell research.

MRTL says the “destruction of human life at any stage of development is never morally acceptable and ESCR is also unnecessary since adult stem cell research has a proven record of cures and treatments.”

Ultimately, when it comes to Komen, Missouri Right to Life urges pro-life people to remember to promote the lives of both women and the unborn.

“The patients and families who are victims of this terrible illness remain in our prayers and we encourage all pro-lifers to focus on breast cancer awareness and prevention by spreading the word about and avoiding unnecessary risk factors like elective abortion and supporting some alternative organizations, like the Breast Cancer Prevention Institute, that are dedicated to breast cancer awareness without giving money to those who destroy life and endanger women,” it says.