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Two U.S. Dioceses Continue to Discourage Support for Komen Breast Cancer Foundation

LifeSiteNews.com

By Michael Baggot

March 31, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The St. Louis and Lafayette dioceses recently reaffirmed their opposition to support for Susan G. Komen for the Cure, despite the Little Rock diocese’s decision to retract previous discouragement of Komen funding. 

  Both dioceses cited Komen local affiliates’ funding of Planned Parenthood, the group’s denial of the connection between abortion and breast cancer, and the organization’s endorsement of embryonic stem cell research as grounds for continuing to discourage support for Komen.

"Donors cannot control how an organization designates its funds. Therefore, money donated for a specific service, i.e. breast health care, directly frees up funds to support other areas of an organization’s agenda, i.e. contraceptive services, ‘safe’ sex education and abortion services," read the Lafayette statement.

"Rather than supporting any Komen fundraising, Catholics are encouraged to direct donations to local Catholic hospitals that provide breast cancer services including detection, treatment, research and patient support groups."

  In line with the Lafayette diocese advice, the most recent statement on Komen from the St. Louis diocese concludes with contact information for local hospitals that offer breast cancer services, but do not have any funding connections with PP.

  In a March 6 position paper, Monsignor J. Gaston Herbert, Little Rock diocesan administrator, explained that he had previously opposed Komen funding due to information that the national Komen Foundation gave grants to PP.  Discovering that the national foundation did not give grants to PP changed Monsignor Herbert’s position.

"The reality is that the national Komen foundation does NOT give grants to Planned Parenthood - and, therefore, money given to Komen in Arkansas does NOT, even indirectly, fund abortion. Thus, my major reason for releasing the position statement was NOT valid," explained Herbert.

"The position statement issued on February 7 was based upon unintentional error. To let that statement stand would be an act of injustice.   With apologies to Komen, to those fighting breast cancer and to the survivors, to the Catholic clergy and faithful who were embarrassed by this mistaken policy, I rescind the position statement in its entirety," wrote Monsignor Herbert.

  Douglas R. Scott, Jr., president of Life Decisions International criticized Monsignor Herbert’s apology, "The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation allows its chapters to fund Planned Parenthood and several of them do so. The Diocese of Little Rock has essentially said it is acceptable to be associated with a group that funds an abortion-committing goliath so long as local dollars are not going to the group. This kind of disconnect is exactly what Komen officials were hoping to achieve and they clearly succeeded."

  While neither the national Komen foundation, nor the local Arkansas chapter to which diocesan funds are given directly fund PP, Komen national does support other local chapters that directly fund PP. 

  Scott argued that Komen’s parent organization could forbid its local affiliates from supporting PP, but have not done so. 

  In a February 4 statement, Monsignor Herbert also criticized Komen for denying a link between abortion and breast cancer. 

  Affirming the connection between abortion and breast cancer, the February statement quoted pro-abortionist, Dr. Janet Daling, who wrote, "I would have loved to have found no association between breast cancer and abortion, but our research is rock solid, and our data is accurate. It’s not a matter of believing, it’s a matter of what is."

  Monsignor Herbert’s March apology, however, rejected any connection between abortion and breast cancer.  "The preponderance of scientific research states that no such link exists, but there is a minority opinion that insists that such a link exists," wrote Herbert.

  The Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer argues otherwise. The group notes that a high number of undifferentiated breast cells develop during the increased estrogen levels of the first trimester of pregnancy.  The placental lactogen and other hormones that develop in later stages of pregnancy transform the undifferentiated cells into milk-producing tissue.

  Breast cancer tends to develop in the undifferentiated cells.  Because abortion cuts short the natural specialization of the breast cells, women undergoing abortions are left with a high number of the cells most likely to become cancerous (see http://www.abortionbreastcancer.com/abc.html).

"To dismiss that link is irresponsible," said Christina Heddell, the St. Louis Diocese’s Respect Life Director.

"Komen perpetuates the breast cancer epidemic by giving funds to Planned Parenthood.  As a seller of hormonal contraceptives and abortions, Planned Parenthood is the primary cause of the breast cancer epidemic," added Karen Malec, spokeswoman for the Coalition of Abortion/Breast Cancer.
 
  Monsignor Herbert’s February statement and the current St. Louis and Lafayette statements also oppose Komen funding on the grounds that the organization endorses embryonic stem cell research. 

  Monsignor Herbert’s March position paper stated that the Komen Foundation does not fund embryonic stem cell research.  Rebecca Gibson, a spokeswoman for Komen, told the Associated Press that the Komen Foundation supports adult stem cell research, but does not fund embryonic stem cell research.

  In March, Monsignor Herbert added that his February position paper "was not issued as a mandate but as a position paper. Any individual Catholic, Catholic parish or school, and Catholic organization within the Diocese of Little Rock is free to make their own decision as to whether to support Susan G. Komen for the Cure."

  See previous related LifeSiteNews coverage:

  Catholic Diocese of Little Rock Flip Flops - Now Okays Funding Group which Supports Planned Parenthood
  http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/mar/08031103.html

  Read the Lafayette statement against Komen support:
  http://www.dioceseoflafayette.org/offices/pofl/images/Komen%20response.pdf

  Read the St. Louis Diocese’s most recent statement against Komen funding:
  http://www.archstl.org/respectlife/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=71&Itemid=197

  Read the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer’s praise for Lafayette’s statement (with important links on the abortion/breast cancer connection)
  http://www.abortionbreastcancer.com/press_releases/080331

  Read the March 6 Little Rock Position paper on Komen funding:
  http://www.dolr.org/offices/respectlifekomenstatement.php

  Read Life Decisions International’s response to Monsignor’s March apology:
  http://www.fightpp.org/show.cfm?page=press&action=display&ID=138

  Read alarming facts about Komen’s connection to PP:
  http://www.lifeissues.org/AbortionBreastcancer/komen/fact_sheet.pdf

  Contact the Little Rock Respect Life Office by visiting its website:
  http://www.dolr.org/offices/respectlife.php

  Learn about the connection between abortion and breast cancer:
  http://www.abortionbreastcancer.com/start/

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