Catholic Diocese Retracts Objection to Komen-Planned Parenthood Abortion Tie

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 7, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Catholic Diocese Retracts Objection to Komen-Planned Parenthood Abortion Tie Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 7
, 2008

Little Rock, AR ( — The Diocese of Little Rock has withdrawn its call for Catholics in Arkansas to not participate in the local Komen for a Cure events after a meeting with officials of the breast cancer group. The Catholic group says it feels confident now that local donations do not benefit Planned Parenthood, even though other Komen affiliates have done so.

As first reported in February, the Diocese of Little Rock asked parishes and schools within its jurisdiction to break their ties with Komen because of its involvement with the nation’s leading abortion business.

"Due to its policy allowing affiliates to offer financial support to abortion providing facilities" and "the continued denial that abortion may well lead to the development of breast cancer, the Respect Life Apostolate neither supports nor encourages participation in activities that benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure," the statement read.

Following the statement, Msgr. J. Gaston Hebert met with Komen officials and says he’s satisfied the local Komen group is not using the proceeds it generates from the events to fund Planned Parenthood.

“It is important that the stance of the Catholic Church always be based upon truth. The position statement issued on Feb. 7 was based upon unintentional error,” Hebert said. “To let that statement stand would be an act of injustice.”

Hebert also said the national Komen foundation does not give grants to Planned Parenthood, "Thus my major reason for releasing the position statement was not valid."

He issued an apology for the February statement and said that some Komen groups in other states giving money to the abortion business shouldn’t stop Catholics in Arkansas from supporting the group there.

After meeting with the representatives, Hebert said, "these are good people highly dedicated to the finding a cure for breast cancer and preserving life; this is their only goal."

However, AP reported on Friday that Rebecca Gibson, a spokeswoman for the Komen foundation, admitted Komen affiliates gave grants to Planned Parenthood in 2007.

She defended the grants to the abortion business saying they were not directly for abortions but were earmarked for breast screening and anti-cancer initiatives. Gibson added that they accounted for less than one percent of the Komen grants last year.

Some 19 of the 122 Komen affiliates made grants to Planned Parenthood last year, according to its own figures totaling about $374,253.

The Diocese of Little Rock wasn’t the first to issue complaints.

In November 2006, the Phoenix, Arizona diocese asked parishioners to tell Komen to stop giving money to Planned Parenthood.

"Some will argue the grant is earmarked for areas other than abortion or contraception, so the affiliation between the organizations is inconsequential," Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted said of the Komen grants to Planned Parenthood.

"But the sad reality is that the grant money now frees up Planned Parenthood funds for those other areas opposing life and counter to our Catholic faith," he explained.

In the Phoenix area, Komen, whose race netted it 40,000 people and $1.8 million, gave $25,000 to Planned Parenthood of Central and Northern Arizona.

The Komen grants to Planned Parenthood prompted medical research analyst and Hispanic outreach director Eve Sanchez Silver to resign from her leadership position within Komen.

Silver eventually had a meeting with Komen officials about their grants and abortion’s link with breast cancer.

"SGK officials did not appear to have knowledge of simple breast facts," Silver said in a statement received.

Silver explained that the breast is an organ that is not mature at birth and SGK officials appeared to be surprised to learn that the breast does not become fully mature until after 32 weeks of pregnancy.

As a result of that state of development, interruption of pregnancy via an abortion before 32 weeks leaves breast cells exposed to estrogen, which is highly carcinogenic.

She indicated the Komen representatives also appeared to be "more concerned about assisting women after they had contracted breast cancer, than informing them to avoid breast cancer risk by avoiding abortions and having [an] early, full term pregnancy."

"This is an appalling lack of concern for the women the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation is supposed to be helping," Silver added.

Related web sites:
Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation –
Eve Sanchez Silver –
National Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer –