St. Louis Archdiocese Opposes Komen Race Involvement Over Abortion Link

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 14, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

St. Louis Archdiocese Opposes Komen Race Involvement Over Abortion Link Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 14
, 2008

St. Louis, MO ( — Despite a decision by the Little Rock Catholic Diocese to withdraw its objections to the Komen Race for the Cure event, the St. Louis Archdiocese is still asking pro-life people to boycott the event. That’s because Komen denies the link between abortion and breast cancer and its affiliates have funded Planned Parenthood.

A week ago, the priest who is the interim leader of the Little Rock Diocese said he met with Komen officials and felt he could withdraw his objections.

But the Respect Life Apostolate in the St. Louis archdiocese has issued a statement against the event during each of the last two years and renewed its objections this week.

The Archdiocese acknowledged the "beneficial work" Komen does to assist women with breast cancer and help other avoid it.

However, it said the work is tainted by the fact that Komen affiliates in over a dozen states have made grants to Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion business. Those donations free up funds for abortions, the Respect Life office explained.

Catholic officials also issued their concern with its support for embryonic stem cell research that destroys human life and expressed its opposition to Komen’s denial of the abortion-breast cancer link.

"To dismiss that link is irresponsible," Respect Life Director Christina Heddell said.

Susan G. Komen for the Cure spokeswoman Rebecca Gibson told the Associated Press the Archdiocese is wrong on the stem cell research argument and said Komen funds adult stem cells not embryonic ones.

She also indicated Komen follows the guidelines of the National Institutes of Health and National Cancer Institute, which say abortion has no link to breast cancer. However, both agencies have been accused of making political rather than scientific determinations.

Gibson previously confirmed Komen affiliates gave grants to Planned Parenthood in 2007.

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

Other Catholic diocesan groups have also issued concerns about Komen and its Planned Parenthood grants and abortion-breast cancer link denial.

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 –