TOLEDO, Ohio, July 13, 2011 ( – An Ohio bishop on Tuesday defended his decision not to fund the Susan G. Komen Foundation, citing its support of Planned Parenthood and openness to funding embryonic stem cell research.

“It is not morally acceptable to destroy one human life, even in its embryonic stage, in order to save another human life,” Bishop Leonard P. Blair of Toledo explained in a July 5th letter.

The bishop said that the breast cancer advocacy foundation’s policies do not exclude embryonic stem cell research, though he and the other Ohio bishops do not believe that they are currently involved in such research.

“They are open to embryonic stem cell research, and may very well fund such research in the future,” he wrote.  “They are also contributors to Planned Parenthood, which, though it may claim to provide needed medical services to poor women, is also the largest provider of abortions in our country.”

In 2010 a spokesman for Komen revealed that 122 Komen affiliates had contributed a total of $733,303 to Planned Parenthood the previous year.

As a result, the bishop directed that fundraising for breast cancer in the diocese, including through the schools, be given to the local Mercy Cancer Centers.

Representatives of Komen’s Northwest Ohio affiliate told the Toledo Blade they were “extremely disappointed” with the bishop’s decision, and insisted their local group has never given money to Planned Parenthood.

But a spokesperson for the national Komen Foundation confirmed the bishop’s concerns, telling the Toledo Blade that their policies “do not preclude” the possibility of funding embryonic stem cell research.

“If we received a request to fund such research, we would weigh it very carefully, as we do all of our research proposals, for its likelihood to have a positive impact on breast cancer research and treatment,” said senior communications writer Andrea Rader.

In a July 12th clarification, the Diocese of Toledo refuted suggestions that they had instituted a “ban” on funding Komen.

“Individual Catholics who want to contribute to Komen locally can continue to do so on the basis of Komen’s assurance that no local funds go to Planned Parenthood or to embryonic stem cell research,” they wrote.  “However, there are some who in good faith continue to have misgivings about Komen’s association with Planned Parenthood and its openness to embryonic stem cell research.”

In ending funding for Komen, Bishop Blair joins other Catholic bishops across the country.  Archbishop Dennis Schnurr did so in February after meeting with the organization.