Komen, Planned Parenthood and Catholic Ethicists = A Very Bad Heartache

Judie Brown
September 24, 2010
Reproduced with Permission

One day last month a friend sent me a copy of a letter she had received from Eric Winer, the chief scientific advisor for Susan G. Komen for the Cure. The letter, dated March, 2009, is among the most enigmatic I have ever read. The mystery that I found in Mr. Winer's words comes about because it appears that he has forgotten what it means to truly strive to protect the health and welfare of women, but has chosen a different path that excuses the Komen relationship with Planned Parenthood while, at the same time, ignoring clinical evidence that abortion can lead to breast cancer.

In his letter, Winer tells the reader that the criticism that his organization receives from its associations with Planned Parenthood is unfounded. He comes to this conclusion because, in his view, there is only one health care facility in some communities for poor, uninsured or underinsured women to receive screening, education and treatment for breast cancer - and that facility is Planned Parenthood. Winer appears convinced that, without partnering with Planned Parenthood, Komen would be doing a disservice to the poor in certain communities. Not only that, but there is also the argument that the funds Komen disburses are restricted.

The Orange County Register reported on the Komen/Planned Parenthood connection and those restricted funds, quoting a local Komen representative, Sonia Aujla, who wrote in an email, "The bottom line is that all of our community grants are restricted and closely monitored to provide vital breast health education, screening and treatment services for underserved women."

I suppose we should be convinced that, because the funds are "restricted and closely monitored," we have no grounds to worry that Planned Parenthood staff would take advantage of the situation. But it is obvious that for every dollar Komen donates to Planned Parenthood, another dollar from another source is freed up to promote and perform abortion.

In his letter, Winer mentioned the relationship that Komen has with two Catholic ethicists, Ron Hamel, Ph.D. and Michael Panicola, Ph.D. These men, according to Winer, "examined the moral implications of our funding decision. They concluded that it was morally permissible for the church to be involved with Komen in light of its funding agreements with Planned Parenthood."

The Hamel/Panicola opinion, published on the now infamous, pro-Obama Care Catholic Health Association's web site, is really a piece of work. It is the typical mumbo-jumbo that one might expect from a perspective that evades the truth of what an alliance between Planned Parenthood and Susan G. Komen for the Cure portends for the health and welfare of women and their preborn babies.

Hamel and Panicola opinion, "The fact that some Komen affiliates, at times, provide funding to Planned Parenthood specifically and solely for breast health services cannot on the face of it be construed as wrongdoing." To justify their support for the Komen/Planned Parenthood alliance, these Catholic ethicists explain to the reader that Catholics and the Church herself have an obligation to sit with those who are in error and help them see, as Christ did, the error in their ways. While such a viewpoint is certainly commendable, it does not get to the heart of the problem in this case. Planned Parenthood is engaged in full time wrongdoing and Komen is turning a blind eye to the truth, thereby weaving its own web of deceit. Christ did not sit with wrongdoers in order to help them continue their evil ways, but rather he used the opportunity to teach them that the way to salvation required that they cease their wrongdoing.

Ignoring the facts and continuing to raise funds for a charity that is dismissive of truth is not helping Planned Parenthood toward Christ and the truth. Rather, it is enabling the wrongs to continue.

Let us not forget that Komen's Winer has also dismissed the proven link between abortion and breast cancer even though there are many studies and clinical professionals who agree, including Angela Lanfranchi, M.D., who writes in a Breast Cancer Prevention Institute brochure, "The later in pregnancy an abortion is done, the higher the risk of breast cancer as the more Type 1 and 2 lobules will have formed. Induced abortion leaves a woman with more places for breast cancer to start."

There is a huge problem with the alliance that has been forged between Komen and Planned Parenthood. It is our recommendation that people steer clear of Komen fundraisers and choose instead to address the facts about the link between abortion and breast cancer. By doing so we would be following Christ who teaches in John 8:32, "The truth will make you free."