Catholic Bishops in Ohio: Don’t Back Komen Over Abortion Ties

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 22, 2011   |   12:20PM   |   Columbus, OH

After a Catholic bishop in Ohio said he wanted to direct money in his diocese away from Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation over its ties to the Planned Parenthood abortion business, the rest of Ohio’s Catholic bishops are now on board.

As LifeNews reported, Most Reverend Leonard P. Blair, the Bishop of Toledo, Ohio, said numerous questions Catholic have raised about Komen prompted him and his fellow Ohio bishops to investigate and his conclusion is that Komen has Planned Parenthood connections and may support embryonic stem cell research.

Now, the Catholic Conference of Ohio has posted a statement from all of the Ohio Catholic bishops that directs Catholic parishes’ and schools’ fundraising efforts toward activities and organizations fully consistent with Catholic moral teaching. Their conclusion is that, while they support efforts to arrest breast cancer, they don’t believe Komen is the best recipient of funds from Ohio Catholics.

“The Bishops expressed strong, united support for research aimed at defeating breast cancer. However, some Catholic parishes and schools have inquired about lending institutional support to the fundraising efforts of Komen for the Cure. They raised concern about Komenʼs association with Planned Parenthood,” the new Ohio Catholic Conference statement says.

“In the Diocese of Cleveland and the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, diocesan officials met with local Komen affiliates. They researched whether contributions made to Komen for the Cure are put to uses that are consistent with church teaching,” the statement continues, saying they learned that “Komen affiliates have made financial contributions to Planned Parenthood in the past.”

“In addition, literature provided by Komen indicates that the national Komen for the Cure would not rule out supporting research that destroys human embryos in the battle against breast cancer,” the bishops added. While Komen has not funded such life-destroying research directly, Komen has given millions in grants to centers engaging in embryonic stem cell research.

“The Ohio Bishops reaffirmed the Churchʼs commitment to human life and health, and to the dignity of the human person at all stages of development. They expressed a common desire to avoid even indirect support for research involving human embryos,” the statement says.

The conclusion? Catholics should direct their money elsewhere instead of supporting Komen.

“The Ohio Bishops agreed to direct Catholic parishes and schools away from fundraising for Komen for the Cure and toward activities and organizations that are fully consistent with Catholic moral teaching,” the July 20 statement reads.

Paula Westwood, Executive Director, Right to Life of Greater Cincinnati, applauded the new statement, saying, “Komen’s support for embryonic stem cell research and ties some Komen affiliates across the country have with Planned Parenthood, the nation’s leading abortion provider, is not in keeping with Church teaching on respect for the dignity of the human person at all stages of human development. While united in support for good research to address breast cancer, upon investigation, the bishops have concluded that fundraising for the Susan G. Komen foundation does not meet this criteria.”

As reported last year, Komen spokesman John Hammarley confirmed 20 of Komen’s 122 affiliates have made donations to Planned Parenthood and, in 2009, those contributions totaled $731,303. The Komen spokesman also confirmed Komen affiliates contributed about $3.3 million to the abortion business from 2004-2009.