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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Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signs the state's Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
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Indiana faces backlash as it becomes 20th state to protect religious liberty

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By Ben Johnson

INDIANAPOLIS, IN, March 27, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – On Thursday, Indiana became the 20th state to prevent the government from forcing people of faith to violate their religious beliefs in business or the public square.

Gov. Mike Pence signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (SB 101) into law, saying the freedom of religion is a preeminent American value.

“The Constitution of the United States and the Indiana Constitution both provide strong recognition of the freedom of religion, but today, many people of faith feel their religious liberty is under attack by government action,” Pence said.

Gov. Pence, a possible dark horse candidate for president in 2016, cited court cases brought by religious organizations and employers, including Catholic universities, against the HHS mandate. “One need look no further than the recent litigation concerning the Affordable Care Act. A private business and our own University of Notre Dame had to file lawsuits challenging provisions that required them to offer insurance coverage in violation of their religious views.”

The new law could also prevent Christian business owners from being compelled to bake a cake or take photographs of a same-sex "marriage" ceremony, if doing so violates their faith. In recent years, business owners have seen an increased level of prosecution for denying such services, despite their religious and moral beliefs.

The state's pro-life organization applauded Pence for his stance. "Indiana's pro-life community is grateful to Gov. Mike Pence for signing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law,” said Indiana Right to Life's president and CEO Mike Fichter. “This bill will give pro-lifers a necessary legal recourse if they are pressured to support abortion against their deeply-held religious beliefs.”

“RFRA is an important bill to protect the religious freedom of Hoosiers who believe the right to life comes from God, not government,” he said.

The state RFRA is based on the federal bill introduced by Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY, and signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1993. The Supreme Court cited the federal law when it ruled that Hobby Lobby had the right to refuse to fund abortion-inducing drugs, if doing so violated its owners' sincerely held religious beliefs.

In signing the measure – similar to the one Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed – Pence and the state of Indiana have faced a torrent of venom from opponents of the bill, who claim it grants a “right to discriminate” and raises the spectre of segregation.

"They've basically said, as long as your religion tells you to, it's OK to discriminate against people," said Sarah Warbelow, legal director of the Human Rights Campaign, a national homosexual pressure group.

The Disciples of Christ, a liberal Protestant denomination based in the state capital, has said it will move its 2017 annual convention if the RFRA became state law. The NCAA warned the bill's adoption “might affect future events” in the Hoosier state.

Pence denied such concerns, saying, "This bill is not about discrimination, and if I thought it legalized discrimination in any way I would've vetoed it."

The bill's supporters say that, under the Obama administration, it is Christians who are most likely to suffer discrimination.

"Originally RFRA laws were intended to protect small religious groups from undue burdens on practicing their faith in public life,” said Mark Tooley, president of the Institute on Religion and Democracy. “It was not imagined there would come a day when laws might seek to jail or financially destroy nuns, rabbis or Christian camp counselors who prefer to abstain from the next wave of sexual and gender experimentation. And there's always a next wave.”

The bill's supporters note that it does not end the government's right to coerce people of faith into violating their conscience in every situation. However, it requires that doing so has to serve a compelling government interest and the government must use the least restrictive means possible. “There will be times when a state or federal government can show it has a compelling reason for burdening religious expression – to ensure public safety, for instance,” said Sarah Torre, an expert at the Heritage Foundation. “But Religious Freedom Restoration Acts set a high bar for the government to meet in order to restrict religious freedom.”

Restricting the ability of government to interfere in people's private decisions, especially their religious decisions, is the very purpose of the Constitution, its supporters say.

"Religious freedom is the cornerstone of all liberty for all people,” Tooley said. “Deny or reduce it, and there are no ultimate limits on the state's power to coerce."

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Fight pornography. Beat pornography. And join the ranks of those who support their fellow men and women still fighting.
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Porn is transforming our men from protectors into predators. Fight back.

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By Jonathon van Maren

Since I’ve gotten involved in anti-pornography work, I’ve met countless men who struggle, fight, or have beaten pornography. Each person seems to deal with the guilt and shame that accompanies porn use in a different way—some deny that it’s “all that bad,” others pretend that they could “stop whenever they want,” many insist that “everyone is doing it,” and most, when pressed, admit to a deep sense of self-loathing.

One worry surfaces often in conversation: What do my past or current struggles with pornography say about me as a man? Can I ever move past this and have a meaningful and fulfilling relationship?

I want to address this question just briefly, since I’ve encountered it so many times.

First, however, I’ve written before how I at times dislike the language of “struggling” with pornography or pornography “addiction,” not because they aren’t accurate but because too often they are used as an excuse rather than an explanation. It is true, many do in fact “struggle” with what can legitimately be considered an addiction, but when this language is used to describe an interminable battle with no end (and I’ve met dozens of men for whom this is the case), then I prefer we use terminology like “fighting my porn habit.” A semantic debate, certainly, but one I think is important. We need to stop struggling with porn and start fighting it.

Secondly, pornography does do devastating things to one’s sense of masculinity. We know this. Pornography enslaves men by the millions, perverting their role as protector and defender of the more vulnerable and turning them into sexual cannibals, consuming those they see on-screen to satisfy their sexual appetites.

What often starts as mere curiosity or an accidental encounter can turn into something that invades the mind and twists even the most basic attractions. I’ve met porn users who can’t believe the types of things they want to watch. They haven’t simply been using porn. Porn has actively reshaped them into something they don’t recognize and don’t like. 

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Porn is this generation’s great assault on masculinity and the role of men in society. It is essential that we win this battle for the sake of society’s survival. Contrary to what the gender-bending and family-morphing progressive elites claim, good husbands and good fathers and good church leaders are necessary for a healthy society. But pornography is destroying marriages, creating distant and disconnected fathers, and, metaphoricaclly castrating men, hindering their ability and desire to make a positive difference in the society around us.

So, with this sobering set of facts in mind let’s return to the question: what do pornography struggles, past and present, say about a man?

The proper way to respond is with everything that is good about masculinity. We have to fight pornography as men have fought countless evils throughout the ages. We need to fight pornography to protect women, and wives, and children, and our society at large. This is how pornography threatens society, by castrating men, and turning them from protectors into predators. Rooting out the evil in our own lives allows us to better fulfill the role we are called to perform in the lives of others. Battling our own demons enables us to battle the wider cultural demons. Every day without porn is another bit of virtue built. Virtue is not something you’re born with. Virtues are habits that you build. And one day without porn is the first step towards the virtue of being porn-free.

Many men ask me if men who have had past porn addictions are cut out for being in a relationship or working in the pro-life movement or in other areas where we are called to protect and defend the weak and vulnerable. And the answer to that is an unequivocal yes. Our society needs men who know what it means to fight battles and win. Our society needs men who can say that they fought porn and they beat porn, because their families and their friends were too important to risk. Our society needs men who rose to the challenge that the evils of their generation threw at them, and became better men as the result. And our society needs men who can help their friends and their sons and those around them fight the plague of pornography and free themselves from it, too—and who can understand better and offer encouragement more relevant than someone who has fought and been freed themselves?

So the answer to men is yes. Fight pornography. Beat pornography. And join the ranks of those who support their fellow men and women still fighting. Lend them support and encouragement. We cannot change the fact that porn has left an enormous path of destruction in its wake. But we can change the fact that too many people aren’t fighting it. We can change our own involvement. And we can rise to the challenge and face this threat to masculinity with all that is good about masculinity.

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Red Alert!

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By John-Henry Westen

I don’t like having to do this, but we have always found it best to be totally upfront with our readers: our Spring fundraising campaign is now worrying us! 

You see, with just 6 days remaining, we have only raised 30% of our goal, with $125,000 still left to raise. That is a long ways to go yet.

We have no choice but to reach our minimum goal of $175,000 if we are going to be able to continue serving the 5+ million readers who rely on us every month for investigative and groundbreaking news reports on life, faith and family issues.

Every year, LifeSite readership continues to grow by leaps and bounds. This year, we are again experiencing record-breaking interest, with over 6 million people visiting our website last month alone!

This unprecedented growth in turn creates its own demand for increased staff and resources, as we struggle to serve these millions of new readers.

And especially keep this in mind. As many more people read LifeSite, our mission of bringing about cultural change gets boosted. Our ultimate goal has always been to educate and activate the public to take well-informed, needed actions.

Another upside to our huge growth in readers is that it should be that much easier to reach our goal. To put it simply: if each person who read this one email donated whatever they could (even just $10) we would easily surpass our goal! 

Today, I hope you will join the many heroes who keep this ship afloat, and enable us to proclaim the truth through our reporting to tens of millions of people every year!

Your donations to LifeSite cause major things to happen! We see that every day and it is very exciting. Please join with us in making a cultural impact with a donation of ANY AMOUNT right now. 

You can also donate by phone or mail. We would love to hear from you!

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