Catholic Bishop: Church Can’t Back Komen Because of Abortion

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 19, 2011   |   4:28PM   |   Columbus, OH

Bishop Frederick F. Campbell of Columbus, Ohio, is the latest Catholic bishop to instruct churches and schools that he oversees to not engage in fundraising for the Komen for the Cure organization because of its ties to Planned Parenthood.

In July, 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 connections to the Planned Parenthood abortion business and embryonic stem cell research. Bishop Blair said he wanted to direct money in his diocese away from Komen and towards other charities without the same concerns.

The Catholic bishops of Ohio, with the exception of Cleveland Bishop Richard Lennon, eventually released a statement 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.

Now, Campbell has moved ahead, according to the Columbus Dispatch newspaper, directing the schools and parishes in the diocese he oversees in central Ohio from helping Komen. Deacon Tom Berg Jr., vice chancellor of the diocese, told the newspaper the statement from the Ohio bishops “speaks for” Bishop Campbell and that no further statement would be released.

“The concern is that there has been documentation that other affiliates (of Komen, in other states) have donated to Planned Parenthood,” he said.

Megan Savage, director for community outreach for Komen in Ohio, told the Dispatch she is disappointed and said none of the chapters of Komen in Ohio have funded Planned Parenthood. However, some of the Ohio money raised locally goes to Komen nationally and it maintains a relationship with Planned Parenthood.

Bob Tayek of the Cleveland diocese, says Bishop Lennon is convinced Komen is not violating any Catholic teachings with its work in northeastern Ohio, and Lennon will continue to allow schools and churches there to raise funds for Komen.

“It’s not the official position as signed off by all of the bishops,” he said of the statement, the newspaper reported.

“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 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.

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.

Another problem for pro-life advocates is the fact that Planned Parenthood is reducing the number of breast cancer screenings while increasing its abortions.

According to the 2008 Annual Report from Planned Parenthood, breast cancer services decreased by 4% and abortion procedures increased by 6%.

The longtime ties between Komen and Planned Parenthood may have resulted in some backlash from the pro-life community. The Komen annual report reveals Komen brought in almost $22 million less, or 6% less, in 2009 than it made in 2008. That could be a result of the difficult economic times or may also come as a result of pro-life advocates increasingly boycotting Komen.

Meanwhile, the newest research on the link between abortion and breast cancer reveals abortion certainly plays a role in increasing the breast cancer risk.

A January 2010 study called abortion a “known risk factor” for breast cancer and cited a study conducted by the prestigious Janet Daling group of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.

Daling and her colleagues showed between a 20 and 50 percent increased breast cancer risk for women having abortions compare to those who carried their pregnancies to term.

And microbiologist Dr. Gerard Nadal, who has a PhD in Molecular Microbiology from St John’s University in New York, has spent 16 years teaching science, most recently at Manhattan College, has been profiling more than 100 studies on his blog showing abortion’s link to breast cancer.