Catholic Diocese in Indiana, Wants Komen Race Boycott Over Abortion Ties

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 26, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Catholic Diocese in Indiana, Wants Komen Race Boycott Over Abortion Ties Email this article
Printer friendly page

RSS Newsfeed

by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 26
, 2008

Lafayette, Indiana ( — Another Catholic diocese has gone on record as urging Catholics and local parishes to boycott the Komen Race for the Cure because of its ties to abortion. Komen affiliates across the nation have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to Planned Parenthood and the group has denied the abortion-breast cancer link.

The Catholic Diocese of Lafayette wants local parishioners to boycott the April race in Indianapolis expected to draw 40,000 people.

The diocese includes 63 churches in 24 counties and a statement obtained explains the rationale behind the decision.

“Due to its policy allowing affiliates to offer financial support to abortion providing facilities, its
endorsement of embryonic stem cell research, and the continued denial that abortion may well lead to the development of breast cancer, it is not appropriate for Catholics to participate," the diocese said.

"A portion of their proceeds is given to Planned Parenthood for breast exams and to educate women in their clinics," it added.

"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," it concluded.

Rather than supporting Komen, the diocese asked Catholics to donate their time and money to local hospitals and other groups that provide beast cancer screenings and medical care.

Dana Curish, executive director of Komen Indianapolis, tried to assuage the concerns in an interview with WTHR-TV.

"We do not fund Planned Parenthood and there’s no affiliate in Indiana that funds Planned Parenthood," she said.

However, Susan G. Komen for the Cure spokeswoman Rebecca Gibson has previously confirmed that 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.

Earlier this month, the St. Louis Archdiocese asked people to boycott the event.

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 –