Komen Also Stops Funding Embryonic Stem Cell Research Centers

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 1, 2012   |   6:54PM   |   Washington, DC

In addition to stopping funding for the Planned Parenthood abortion business, Komen for the Cure has also quietly stopped funding embryonic stem cell research centers, another concern for pro-life advocates.

As LifeNews reported last July, Karen Malec of the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer spent time examining Komen’s 990 Forms for the IRS for 2010 and she found that Komen has active relationships with at least five research groups or educational facilities that engage in embryonic stem cell research, which requires the destruction of unborn children in their earliest days for stem cells that have yet to help any patients.

The return showed donations from Komen totaling $3.75 million to Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, $4.5 million to the University of Kansas Medical Center, $1 million to the U.S. National Cancer Institute, $1 million to the Society for Women’s Health Research, and $600,000 to Yale University. All of them have embryonic stem cell research programs.

On November 30, 2011, Komen quietly added a new statement to its web site stating that it does not support embryonic stem cell research but supports the kinds that do not involve the destruction of human life.

“Komen supports research on the isolation, derivation, production, and testing of stem cells that are capable of producing all or almost all of the cell types of the developing body and may result in improved understanding of or treatments for breast cancer, but are derived without creating a human embryo or destroying a human embryo,” Komen says. “A priority in our research funding is to quickly find and deliver effective treatments, especially for the most lethal forms of breast cancer, while seeking effective preventive strategies, enhanced screening methodologies, and solutions to disparities in breast cancer outcomes for diverse women.” [related]

Komen, in its listing of grants for 2011, lists two stem cell studies that do not involve the use of embryonic stem cells.

LifeNews talked with pro-life sources close to the Komen situation who confirmed Komen will categorically not fund any embryonic stem cell research and the purpose of the November 2011 statement is to inform grant seekers that Komen will not do so.

Komen’s funding for embryonic stem cell research centers was an issue for pro-life advocates. Recent statements from the Catholic Bishop of Toledo, the Most Reverend Leonard Blair, bring up both abortion and the potential of Komen indirectly supporting embryonic research as reasons for Catholics to have misgivings about the breast cancer group.

“They are open to embryonic stem cell research and may well fund such research in the future,” the bishop noted.

Meanwhile, as LifeNews reported, new Komen Vice President for public policy Karen Handel, a pro-life advocate for Georgia, also opposes embryonic stem cell research. She has been credited with being instrumental in helping stop the Planned Parenthood funding.

“I oppose embryonic stem cell research, which creates life solely for the purpose of destroying it. I do, however, strongly support adult stem cell research, which has produced numerous scientific achievements without terminating innocent lives in the process,” Handel said in 2010 as a candidate for the U.S. Senate.