Susan Michelle Tyrrell

Is Komen stopping funding Planned Parenthood?: maybe, but let’s wait and see

Susan Michelle Tyrrell
By Susan Michelle Tyrrell
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December 5, 2011 (Bound4Life.org) - Life Decisions International (LDI) has done a valuable service to the pro-life community by spending its time and resources to expose those corporations that fund Planned Parenthood. It publishes a list of corporations and also includes a “dishonorable mentions” portion in which it lists the names of charitable organizations which support abortion in some way: but a recent announcement must cause us to pause and wait for a conclusion before acting.

One of the most prominent names on the “dishonorable mention” list was removed briefly last week, but with no clear explanation of why. The Susan G. Komen Foundation has been funding Planned Parenthood through many of its affiliates for several years. Despite research that links abortion to breast cancer, Komen has discounted this and continued to fund the abortion provider. While the breast cancer organization says that it only donates money for cancer screenings, we know that that’s an impossible task because funds are fungible - that is, easily movable and interchanged. If we give Planned Parenthood money for one thing, it simply frees up other money designated toward that thing for more abortions. Thus, it’s been without excuse that Komen has funded the abortion giant.

Without much explanation LDI announced Thursday night that it had removed Komen—at least temporarily:

Corporations are added to The Boycott List if they refuse to stop funding Planned Parenthood. Corporations may be removed from The Boycott List if they: 1) agree to make the pro-abortion group ineligible for donations in the future; or 2) have not funded Planned Parenthood for at least five years.

Then LDI explains this:

The Susan G. Komen Foundation was placed in this section because it has allowed affiliates to make grants to Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood received nearly $700,000 from Komen affiliates this year alone. The Foundation has recently informed us that Planned Parenthood is now ineligible for grants because it is under investigation by the U.S. government and several state governments.

The press release goes on to explain the background that when AT&T stopped funding Planned Parenthood in 1990 it was publicly targeted by its president then as having “caved in to anti-choice extremists” and of “catering to a close-minded minority intolerant of differing ideas…” LDI says it subsequently changed its policy to avoid corporations being targeted this way by not publicizing openly why they stopped funding Planned Parenthood.

LDI says:

Unfortunately, there is actually one more downside to the new policy. In keeping with our promise to corporate leaders we cannot discuss the reason(s) why an entity was removed from The Boycott List. We yield instead to the individual corporations/organizations and we will never dispute what they say. This means no one outside of our national headquarters will know the whole story behind changes made to The Boycott List. But we can assure every pro-life activist—especially LDI Partners—that changes are made only when we are 100 percent sure it is the right thing to do. We know this is somewhat frustrating. But please keep in mind that if the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation deserved to be included in The Boycott List, it would still be there. Our standards, faithfulness and commitment are both clear and consistently applied. Moreover, integrity is the most important aspect of our work. Therefore, there is reason to celebrate. Just do not do it too loudly.

If there truly were reason to celebrate, I would have liked to know more. Abortion thrives on secrecy; we need truth.  It would be with great rejoicing that I honored Komen for removing its funds from the abortion giant, but so far we can’t conclude this. While LDI’s initial report said because of investigations Planned Parenthood was ineligible for grants, the same week this story ran in Orange County, CA, which includes the list of recipients of Komen grants. Komen of Orange County confirmed that it gave grants to Planned Parenthood Friday morning, after Komen apparently said Planned Parenthood was no longer eligible to receive them. According to Komen:

“A representative from Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernardino Counties was in attendance this morning [Friday] to accept two grants; one from the Komen Fund for Breast Health Care and another Community Grant for its “Breast Health Program.” We hope you were able to join us to enjoy the presentation and great keynote discussion with Susan G. Komen for the Cure.” -Elizabeth Thompson, president, Susan G. Komen for the Cure

(You can also see Planned Parenthood listed on KomenOC’s blog here.)

I want to celebrate, but I don’t want to celebrate prematurely or falsely. So far, we’ve seen no evidence from Komen that it will cease funding Planned Parenthood, and, in fact, the day after the initial announcement ran, it funded Planned Parenthood again, so we can’t yet consider it “clean.” Also, we have to remember that if the only reason to cease funding is that Planned Parenthood is under investigation, that doesn’t mean it won’t receive grants already applied for or that it won’t again.

When Komen announces it has stopped funding Planned Parenthood once and for all, then we should celebrate. If we get statements from other pro-life groups who also investigate this matter, such as Texas Right to Life, which produced Pink Ribbon Scandal and called for Komen to stop, let’s celebrate. Until then, we should be cautious. In fact, Rachel Bohannon who is managing the petition to Komen to stop Planned Parenthood funding in the Texas Right to Life Pink Ribbon scandal says:

To my knowledge, Komen’s most recent statements regarding PP can be found here:  We’re planning to forge ahead with our petition and efforts to get the mainstream media involved

Abortion funding is serious business, allowing Planned Parenthood to build big centers and kill little babies. We should remain cautious on all fronts.  Meanwhile, a day after its press release, LDI issued this statement:

The Komen matter is on hold until we investigate the recent allegations that it is involved in supporting embryonic stem cell research.

LDI has not recanted its statement on Komen funding, and perhaps indeed is there change forthcoming, but until we hear it from Komen that they no longer support Planned Parenthood or embryonic stem cell research, the only pro-life action we can take is to continue to send money for breast cancer research to other outlets. For breast cancer providers who do not fund abortion, see the bottom of this link.

Reprinted with permission from Bound4Life.com


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African denounces Western elites pushing population control in his country

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By Ben Johnson

An op-ed in one of the leading publications in Uganda has denounced the promotion of IUD use and other long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) in the nation as a colonialist form of population control.

An article published in New Vision, which bills itself as “Uganda's leading daily,” and which was posted online after being translated into broken English, contradicts the frequent claim that there is a desperate cry from Africans and brown people generally to provide the “unmet need” for contraception in the Third World.

Programs to convince African women to use the IUD or other forms of contraception “are projects of multibillion international agencies distributing them under the guise of helping the poor countries to control birth rates,” Stephen Wabomba wrote.

The use of the IUD leads to an increase in “the spread of STIs/HIV/AIDS, infections or increased rates of Pelvic Infection Diseases (PID),” and other maladies, he said. The IUD, which is inserted into the uterus and may work for years at a time, offers no protection against sexually transmitted diseases and often does not prevent fertilization.

Western governments and NGOs are very much “aware of the side effect[s] but still force them on us through sensational marketing strategies by claiming that there is unmet need” for contraception “in Uganda,” he wrote.

He instead suggested the use of Natural Family Planning methods as the “best alternative” for married couples, as well as increased “funding of chastity and abstinence education in Uganda.”

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He called on every citizen of Uganda “to stand up and be counted as a lover of life” and become a “protector of the voiceless and defenseless unborn children being aborted every day.”

Wabomba is heeding his own advice by acting as director of the Pregnancy Help Center in Jinja, the second largest city in Uganda. The town of 87,000 is perched on the shores of Lake Victoria.


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Guilherme Ferreira Araújo

UN tells Chile and Peru to legalize abortion

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By Guilherme Ferreira Araújo

On July 7 and 8, the United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHCR) discussed Chile’s abortion laws and issued a report asking for liberalization of those laws.

According to the report, Chile “should establish exceptions to the general prohibition of abortion, contemplating therapeutic abortion and in those cases in which the pregnancy is a consequence of a rape or incest.”

Chile is one of the few countries that prohibits abortion in all cases.  So far, the country has managed to stand against internal and external pressure to legalize abortion.

But during her campaign, President Michele Bachelet promised to make the legalization of abortion a priority.  Indeed, last May she stated that her intention was to reopen the debate so that the government could approve therapeutic abortion before the end of this year.  The U.N. report also said that Chile “should make sure that reproductive health services are accessible to all women and adolescents."

One of the reasons the UN is using to pressure Chile’s government to change their abortion laws is the high number of clandestine abortions allegedly taking place in Chile. The UNHRC points to “official data” showing 150,000 annual clandestine abortions. However, not only is it impossible to corroborate that figure, but other sources show that this number could be exaggerated by a factor of 10.  According to an article published in the Chilean news publication, Chile B, the annual number of clandestine abortions in Chile may vary between 8,270 and 20,675.

Inflating the number of illegal abortions and maternal mortality is a common tactic of the pro-abortion movement’s effort to legalize the deadly practice. Dr. Bernard Nathanson, founder of the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL), famously admitted the tactic after becoming pro-life.

“We claimed that between five and ten thousand women a year died of botched abortions,” he said. "The actual figure was closer to 200 to 300 and we also claimed that there were a million illegal abortions a year in the United States and the actual figure was close to 200,000. So, we were guilty of massive deception."

Chile has also been used as a prime example that legalized abortion does not reduce maternal mortality.

A study published in 2012 by Plos One Institute found that since 1989 when Chile banned abortion, there has been an annual decrease in maternal death. That study, and others compiled and published by the Chilean MELISA Institute strongly challenge the myth that abortion is safe or even necessary to increase maternal health.

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Notwithstanding the empirical data, the United Nations is also hard at work to pressure Chile’s neighbor to the North, Peru, to liberalize its own abortion laws.  In the case of Peru it is the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) that has issued the report, not the UNHRC.  CEDAW representatives examined Peru’s case on July 1 and suggested that Peru should legalize abortion in case of rape and severe abnormalities of the unborn child.

The organism suggested that the government eliminate all laws that punish women who abort and asked that Peru “urgently” adopt a law to fight violence against women, a notion often used as a euphemism for legalizing abortion.  

The CEDAW commission presented the conclusions of the report on July 22 and put special emphasis on the abortion issue. This happens despite the strong opposition to abortion in Peru. A recent survey showed that 79 percent of Peruvians support the Catholic Church’s position on abortion.

The CEDAW pressure on Peru is not new. In 2011, after the UN sanctioned Peru for denying an abortion to a teenager, Carlos Polo, Director of the Population Research Institute’s Latin American office, stated that the UN organism doesn’t have the right to force Peru to approve abortion.


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People ask me all the time, “How do you live with your past?” My answer is silly, but it is a true story. Youtube screenshot
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I helped so many women abort their babies. Now how do I live with that?

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By Abby Johnson
Abby Johnson business card Planned Parenthood

I have many memories of my time with Planned Parenthood. I spent eight years of my life there. Some memories are good, some are not. But they are contained in my mind. It’s easy to forget them. I have forgotten so much about my time there in just four and a half short years. 

I found my old business card the other day. That is a tangible memory for me. It made me think of the day that I heard I had been promoted to direct the clinic. I was so happy…hugging and jumping up and down with my supervisor. She was so proud of me.

I thought about the day I moved everything into my new, big office. I put pro-choice stickers all over my file cabinet. I called my parents to share the news. They were, of course, proud of me, but hated my work. I can’t imagine how conflicted they were in their minds and hearts. Human resources sent me my new paperwork. There was my new title, my new and amazing salary. 

A few days later, my new business cards came. I remember putting them in my new business card holder on my desk. I filled up the business card holder that I kept in my purse. I had already become used to hearing myself say my new title.

I was proud of myself. I was proud of the hard work I had put in to earn that new title. I worked so many hours, sacrificed so much time from my family. But I knew it would be worth it. And now I had the job title to prove it.

I remember proudly passing out my new business cards to anyone that would take one. Being pro-choice was not just a movement to me; it was a lifestyle. I wholeheartedly embraced that lifestyle and loved being a part of it. 

These tangible reminders that I occasionally find are sometimes hard to work through. I remember receiving the records from my medication abortion. That tangible reminder of my past was difficult to manage. I look at my “Employee of the Year” award that I received from Planned Parenthood and think back to the night I received it. I ended up putting that old award on my desk as a reminder of where I came from and how much my life has changed. Seeing that plaque no longer brings back those tangible memories. 

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One of the reasons I was so taken aback when finding my old business card was not just because it was a reminder of how proud I had been to run an abortion clinic…something I find deplorable now. It was because of the things I took part in while I had that big title.

The memories of handing women small monetary checks in order to pay for their silence after we had left them with a serious infection after their abortion. The memories of watching women bleed out on our abortion table and being instructed not to call the ambulance because we didn’t want to let the pro-lifers know that we had a medical emergency. The memories I have of “joking” about the babies that died in our facility by abortion. The memories I have of training our abortion facility employees on the “normalcy” of abortion and how to convince women that abortion is the best choice for them.

Part of being a former abortion clinic worker is learning how to deal with your past sin. It may be the lady who came to your clinic for an abortion that you bump into at the store. It could be standing in front of your former abortion facility and remembering all of the damage your words and actions did to so many women. It could be finding that old business card that reminds you of the pride you felt when you became the director of an abortion facility. 

People ask me all the time, “How do you live with your past?” My answer is silly, but it is a true story. 

One day I was watching the kid’s movie “Kung Fu Panda” with my daughter. In the film there is a wise, old tortoise named Oogway. He is talking to one of his students who is frustrated with his current situation. Oogway asks his student, “Do you know why today is called the present? Because it is a gift.”

That little line by an animated tortoise hit me like a ton of bricks. Today is a gift. There is absolutely nothing we can do with our past. And there is very little we can do to control our future. We live NOW. We serve NOW. We choose to move on from our past NOW. 

I don’t know what your past sins are. And I don’t know how frequently you are reminded of them. But as someone who has to face their past sins on pretty much a daily basis, I can tell you that you can be free from their burden. Being reminded of your past doesn’t mean that you have to live with constant grief. It simply means that you have been given the opportunity to transform your past into something positive…maybe you can help others make different choices than you did, maybe you can help others heal from the same struggles that you lived through. I don’t know what you are being called to do, but as the saying goes, “God can turn our mess into a message.” 

Carrying around past burdens doesn’t help us in any way. Know that you can be forgiven. Accept that forgiveness. Use your life to help others. The present is indeed a gift.

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