Wal-Mart Sells Bible Helping Planned Parenthood-Funding Komen

Opinion   |   Susan Michelle Tyrrell   |   Sep 11, 2012   |   10:21AM   |   Washington, DC

UPDATE: Earlier today (see complete blog below this text) we told you that even as Karen Handel’s expose on Planned Parenthood was released to the nation, Wal-Mart was still selling the Komen Bibles that created massive flame of the Komen/Planned Parenthood firestorm last year.

I called LifeWay to see if they had any comment or idea about the matter. All of American knew of the recall so I was doubtful this was an action on their end. Marty King from LifeWay called me today and issued us this this statement:

LifeWay Christian Resources recalled the Cancer Awareness Bibles last winter, and was not aware until this morning that apparently all of them had not been returned to us. We are investigating the situation with the intention of obtaining any supplies that remain in the marketplace.

Later, King followed up after some more examining of the situation and issued this follow up statement:

When LifeWay Christian Resources recalled the Cancer Awareness Bibles last winter, our retail partners made a good faith effort to return the Bibles to us. However, a small number of the Bibles that were inadvertently not returned were recently discovered by a supplier and re-posted on the website. We are working with the supplier to comply with our recall.

LifeWay already has apologized and recalled the Bibles, but as King notes, they all didn’t end up back at LifeWay. Whatever the reason was, it’s one that needs to be corrected by Wal-Mart. The link is still live as of this writing, and my own copy of the recalled Bible was shipped to me today, proving it’s in stock and has been available for an indeterminate amount of time.

Wal-Mart is a massive organization, of course, but even with my technically limited brain, I know that it’s not a difficult matter to remove a live link from a website even in the meantime. Wal-Mart needs to remove the link and ability to buy a recalled product, ship the Bibles back to LifeWay, and, issue refunds to anyone who purchased it after LifeWay pulled it.

The “pink Bible fiasco” detailed in Karen Handel’s new book about Planned Parenthood and the Susan G. Komen Foundation is the last thing I expected to encounter again when I sat down to do background writing for the story I would write on Planned Bullyhood.

But I found out, quite by accident, I could still buy a Bible and support Komen—whether with money or only in name, it’s hard to know at this point. Despite reports nine months ago, not every store has pulled the Bible that made headlines because it supported abortion by giving money to the organization that now most of America knows funds the nation’s largest abortion provider.

Few people don’t remember the flurry of activity last December when our original story ran that showed the Komen Bible. In her book Handel refers to it as “the last straw” in their “firestorm” of controversy. Within days, the CEO of LifeWay, Thom S. Rainer, issued this statement, which said in part:

“When our leadership discovered the overwhelming concern that some of Komen’s affiliates were giving funds to Planned Parenthood, we began the arduous process of withdrawing this Bible from the market. “Though we have assurances that Komen’s funds are used only for breast cancer screening and awareness, it is not in keeping with LifeWay’s core values to have even an indirect relationship with Planned Parenthood.”

While it was never stated what that “arduous process” involved, headlines worldwide declared that LifeWay “pulled” the Bible. Of course we all knew that getting every Bible back from every place it had been shipped, or at least pulling it from the shelves, would not happen within a day, but somehow finding it nine months later surprised me. Did Wal-Mart have a stock and just leave it on its website despite it being pulled? I hope Wal-Mart will answer these questions because the Bible is still ready for purchase.

I literally clicked on the link in my old story thinking I would get a picture of the Bible I could insert in my story. Instead I got this:

It took a moment for me to process what I was seeing. Surely that couldn’t be a live link for an order that made worldwide headlines last December for being pulled from shelves? Probably it was just left but if I tried to order it would be unavailable. Often links get left with just a note that it can’t be ordered. Calming myself down, I clicked through. And it kept going. And going. Eventually I knew I had to find out if I could really order this Bible that was pulled nine months ago, so I placed an order for it (obviously with the intention of canceling it and not accepting the item). As you can see, my order went through:

Still I wanted to be really sure. Wal-Mart doesn’t have a customer service phone number anymore, but it turns out it gives you and order hotline number after you place an order, so I called it. I said I really needed to be sure that the anticipated delivery time was accurate. I noted that sometimes websites say items are available but afterwards you find out it is back-ordered or something. She clicked through on her end in the order center, and told me:

“It would say delayed due to back order. It does show that the book is still in stock. I see no problems.”

I see a big problem. I see that it’s still possible to buy this abortion-supporting Bible, no matter whose fault it is. I talked with a colleague who pointed out that it’s possible all the money has changed hands already, that LifeWay took their loss last year and told Wal-Mart to pull them (as we know they did) and the Bibles are just in stock because someone was careless.



But since everyone from CNN to USA Today to the newspapers in London to the Middle Eastern Financial Network ran the story, it’s a stretch to grasp that Wal-Mart missed the memo. Nevertheless, even with that best case scenario, it’s still possible to buy a Bible that indirectly points to abortion with that big pink ribbon and the Komen name all over it. It’s still possible that the pro-life dear woman with breast cancer could be given the Bible and support Komen financially because she felt encouragement from the Bible, possibly not realizing what’s happened. I’ve learned that just because it’s all over the news doesn’t mean the average person knows about it. And another problem could exist for LifeWay. It’s still a B&H (LifeWay brand) on the name of the Bible being sold. This reflects on them as well, and could be a problem to consumers who don’t realize LifeWay pulled it but just find the Komen/Planned Parenthood tie. No matter what the story is, it’s still problematic for someone.

As Karen Handel’s expose on the Komen/Planned Parenthood funding scandal has been released now, it’s a tragic irony that this piece of that puzzle, cited in Handel’s book as being key in the funding fiasco, is still laying out in the open at your local Wal-Mart website. It gives life to the adage that once something is in print it’s there forever.

This morning the book has been shipped to me, so I guess if I weren’t returning it I could read the pink Bible alongside Planned Bullyhood. That’s an irony I never expected to see.

LifeNews Note:  Susan Michelle Tyrrell is the editor of Bound4Life’s blog.