Indiana Komen Breast Cancer Group Says Race Proceeds Won’t Support Abortion

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 1, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Indiana Komen Breast Cancer Group Says Race Proceeds Won’t Support Abortion Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 1
, 2008

Indianapolis, IN ( — On the heels of a request from the Catholic Diocese of Lafayette for parishioners to boycott the upcoming Komen Race for the Cure, race officials are seeking to reassure residents the proceeds from the event don’t support abortion. Some Komen affiliates have given donations to the abortion business Planned Parenthood.

The diocese has gone on record as urging Catholics and local parishes to boycott the Komen Race for the Cure because of the donations and because the group denies the abortion-breast cancer link.

The race in Indianapolis this month is expected to draw 40,000 participants, including a sizable number of people from northwestern Indiana.

“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.

Dana Curish, executive director of the Indianapolis Komen affiliate, told the Lafayette Journal-Courier on Tuesday that none of the money from the race will go to Planned Parenthood.

"I respect everyone’s faith, and I am a religious person myself," she said. "We just want to raise as much money as possible for breast cancer screenings."

But Curish also admitted the affiliate previously gave Planned Parenthood $4,000 in 2004 for screenings in three counties.

"We try to reach out and make sure all areas served by us have mammogram services," she told the newspaper.

Those donations make it impossible for pro-life Catholics to support the race, the diocese said in the statement it issued last month.

"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.

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.

Last 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 –