Komen defunds Planned Parenthood

It seemed to take a long time to get public admission that the breast cancer awareness giant was even giving funds to the abortion giant. Once they did, they tried to focus on the good they intended it to do, and discounted the potential harm. Now, there’s no denial.

Susan G. Komen for the Cure has pulled its funding of Planned Parenthood. The story is spreading quickly.

Here’s what the Washington Post had to say.

The Associated Press reports that Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the nation’s leading breast-cancer charity, will cut off its funding to Planned Parenthood affiliates, where the foundation has traditionally paid for preventive screening services.

According to the AP, the move will mean “a cutoff of hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants, mainly for breast exams.”Planned Parenthood confirms that Komen is the first, and only, organization to cut off funding since the Congress began debating the issue in earnest last winter.

Komen said it could not continue to fund Planned Parenthood because it has adopted new guidelines that bar it from funding organizations under congressional investigation. The House oversight and investigations subcommittee announced in the fall an investigation into Planned Parenthood’s funding.

It’s not exactly a connection to the ‘abortion breast cancer link’, but it’s a leap in the right direction.

And it’s another occasion to repeat what breast cancer expert Dr. Angela Lanfranchi told me years ago, and recently again on radio…that seeking to cure breast cancer is well and good, but more attention should focus on preventing it. As she does at the Breast Cancer Prevention Institute.

Good step for Komen.

Pink ribbons everywhere

They’ve been evident lately on most major league baseball and football teams. And their advertising. They’re so ubiquitous, those pink ribbons are seemingly on most products in the stores right now.

So I’m grocery shopping and every aisle features food products that have somehow worked the pink ribbon onto its packaging. In fact, nearly every aisle I turn the cart into has a special display of these products to catch shoppers’ attention. Caught mine, because I write about this every year at this time. And interview people on radio in between Octobers…

I stop at one display and really look at it. ‘Okay, I’ll pay the attention you ask for. What is it you’re promoting?’ I think…

The signs all say the same thing. ‘Breast Cancer Awareness Month’. I looked at that and wondered, what does that mean?

Okay, we’re aware. But being aware of this dreaded disease is just the beginning, as it is with any form of cancer or any other affliction.

What needs an awareness campaign is the link of breast cancer to abortion.

A microbiologist says there are so many published studies confirming the link between induced abortion and breast cancer that he plans to publish one every day on his blog until he’s mentioned them all. It will take Dr. Gerard Nadal so many weeks to cover them all, the blogging will continue until early next year.

Nadal, who has a has a PhD in Molecular Microbiology from St John’s University in New York, has spent 16 years teaching science, most recently at Manhattan College.

He will report on one abortion-breast cancer study daily until he has exhausted all of the abortion-breast cancer studies and he anticipates he may be reporting on these studies as late as January or February of 2011.

“Today begins the inexorable presentation of the scientific literature on the abortion/breast cancer link,” Nadal writes. “Women’s lives depend on us getting the truth out to them. In short order we’ll generate plenty of pros armed with the simple truth of science!”

Yes, let’s have awareness.

Planned Parenthood’s political power

There’s a lot in the news about contraception and health care and Planned Parenthood right now. And a lot more that should be.

The scope of this is staggering.

Let’s go through just a few of the many stories.

Contraceptives are now recommended to be required in health care law.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is praising a recommendation from the Institute of Medicine that insurance companies be required to offer free contraceptives to all women in a report she called ” historic,” suggesting she may make the recommendation an official policy.

The prospect of free, government-ordered contraceptives and even agents to induce abortion, has ignited a national debate. Some are clearly pleased.

Many are clearly not.

After the Institute of Medicine (IOM) this week publicly backed government-mandated birth control coverage, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is standing in the breach against what would prove a massive victory for abortion giant Planned Parenthood…

“Pregnancy is not a disease, and fertility is not a pathological condition to be suppressed by any means technically possible,” said Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Tuesday.

Like other conservative leaders, the USCCB pro-life chairman noted that the mandate would violate the conscience rights of Americans morally opposed to birth control, and objected to coverage of “emergency contraception” such as ella, a chemical functionally identical to the abortion drug RU-486.

But the cardinal’s challenge did not stop there: DiNardo noted that the IOM report was so radical as to have indicated interest in recommending full abortion coverage as well. The report stated that, “despite the health and well-being benefits to some women,” abortion was outside of the project’s scope given federal legal restrictions.

“But most Americans surely see that abortion is not healthy or therapeutic for unborn children, and has physical and mental health risks for women which can be extremely serious,” wrote the cardinal, who noted the celebration of Planned Parenthood, “the single largest abortion provider in the United States,” over the report.

“I can only conclude that there is an ideology at work in these recommendations that goes beyond any objective assessment of the health needs of women and children,” he said.

That’s an understatement.

Let’s go back to some coverups by federal agencies for the abortion industry. Like this one that would have been called famous had it been reported by the media.

Though it did get reported.

Less than two months since the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force issued new guidelines recommending against routine mammograms for women in their forties, a second breast cancer scandal involving a U.S. government panel of experts has come to light which has implications for healthcare reform.

An April 2009 study by Jessica Dolle et al. of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center examining the relationship between oral contraceptives (OCs) and triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) in women under age 45 contained an admission from U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI) researcher Louise Brinton and her colleagues (including Janet Daling) that abortion raises breast cancer risk by 40%.

(emphasis added)

“Although the study was published nine months ago,” observed Karen Malec, president of the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer, “the NCI, the American Cancer Society, Susan G. Komen for the Cure and other cancer fundraising businesses have made no efforts to reduce breast cancer rates by issuing nationwide warnings to women.”

Brinton was the chief organizer of the 2003 NCI workshop on the abortion-breast cancer link, which falsely assured women that the non-existence of the link was “well established.”

(emphasis added)

Brinton has been out of reach of the media since the 2009 report that abortion raises breast cancer risk by 40 percent. Even liberal pro-choice writers checking on this incongruity have found the NCI website to only answer inquiries by linking back to the faulty and biased 2003 report.

The founders of the Breast Cancer Prevention Institute have abundant resources on their site detailing the scientific studies and medical evidence linking contraceptives and abortion to breast cancer.

Which is why it’s crazy to think that the Susan G. Komen For the Cure Foundation would be linked in any way with Planned Parenthood. They ought to extend their considerable resources to researching prevention before a cure is necessary. But that would direct them back to Planned Parenthood…

Which is why some U.S. bishops have finally called on Catholic institutions to redirect their charitable contributions and fundraising for breast cancer prevention and cure to other organizations without any morally objectionable connections. Toledo Bishop Leonard Blair issued this letter, for instance. Here’s a snip:

For some time, moral questions have been raised from various quarters about the research funded by the Komen Foundation. The Bishops of Ohio have discussed this and have looked into the matter. As best we can determine, at present the Komen Foundation does not fund cancer research that employs embryonic stem cells. However, their policy does not exclude that possibility. They are open to embryonic stem cell research, and may very well fund such research in the future. 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.

But they got that way by being extremely industrious and aggressive in their lobbying and political activism. Which gets back to the top and latest news story in this cycle…

ABC link

Women who have had abortions are at higher risk for breast cancer, a fact denied by certain organizations and institutes for a long time. Now it’s ‘Breast Cancer Awareness’ month again, and all sorts of information is coming out…

Some experts in science and medicine have been working for nearly a decade to make their findings widely available and well-known to the public, but some organizations and institutes have a vested interest in spreading awareness of only some information, and it doesn’t include anything negative about abortion. Like the National Institutues of Health and the National Cancer Institute.

But it’s finding its way out, anyway. In places abortion activists don’t control. Like…Iran.

Researchers in Iran have published the results of a new study showing women who have an abortion face a 193% increased risk of breast cancer. On the other hand, women who carry a pregnancy to term find a lowered breast cancer risk compared with women who have never been pregnant.

The study folllows on the heels of new reports indicating Komen for the Cure gave $7.5 million to the Planned Parenthood abortion business in 2009.

The findings were reported in the April 3, 2010 issue of Medical Oncology but are coming to the public’s attention only now.

It’s about time.

The Iranian study came just before another research study conducted by scientists in Sri Lanka, which found women who had an abortion in the past were 242 percent more likely to contract breast cancer.

That study was published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology and found a 3.42 odds ratio against women having abortions compared with those who kept their baby.

Abortion was the most significant factor in the study on breast cancer risk and researchers found a significantly reduced risk associated with prolonged duration of breastfeeding a newborn…

Combined with the Iranian study and others from the U.S., China and Turkey, five studies in the last 18 months have shown abortion elevates breast cancer risk.

Which gets back to the significant point that the most prominent and highly visible organization actively promoting fundraising for breast cancer research is giving some of their funds to Planned Parenthood.

“No matter whether they are giving $500,000 a year to Planned Parenthood, or $5, people who respect the dignity of human life and are trying to save people with disease don’t want any part of their money going to an organization that is subsidizing an abortion provider,” Bioethics Defense Fund attorney Dorinda Bordlee told the news web site.

There’s a lot of “Pink Money” being dropped in buckets and cans and all sorts of creative collection sites right now. People want to feel good about that contribution, that takes due diligence. 

Here’s a solid place to start.

Pink October

The title for this post occurred to me before hearing or reading it anywhere. But seeing it written in an article linked below is what this is about in the first place….we’re seeing the same thing. They’re just about everywhere. And though mostly in the form of the emblematic pink ribbon, the campaign has also subsumed the color itself into the cause of promoting breast cancer awareness to the point where professional sports have turned out even more uniforms, hats, helmets, gloves, shoes, bats, and towels in (or accented by) the bright and vivid color pink. So is it working?

The answer depends on the intent in the first place, but it’s at least working on us in some way. I don’t know why but the image of neighborhood homes and properties TP’d and draped in white comes to mind, now that America as the extended neighborhood has been decked out and draped in pink. Many of the news sites I visit online have a pink ribbon on their banner logos, and the list goes on to food and drink manufacturers issuing special packaging for the month, merchandising featuring the ribbon and promising a percentage of the proceeds go for the ‘fight against breast cancer’, and so on…

More than one story is out there in print professing we have reached awareness fatigue.

Medical sociologist Gayle A. Sulik, author of the new book “Pink Ribbon Blues: How Breast Cancer Culture Undermines Women’s Health” (Oxford University Press), calls it “the rise of pink October.”

(see…it’s just too obvious)

“Pink ribbon paraphernalia saturate shopping malls, billboards, magazines, television and other entertainment venues,” she writes on her Web site. “The pervasiveness of the pink ribbon campaign leads many people to believe that the fight against breast cancer is progressing, when in truth it’s barely begun.”

Now this is something different. Critical analysis.

Pink activities are hardly restricted to October, but they are particularly prominent during the month: billboards promoting breast cancer awareness; media coverage of the latest advances in breast cancer detection and treatment; and races, walks, climbs and other events for breast cancer survivors that provide emotional uplift, a sense of community and an opportunity to raise money for the cause…

So how can the pink ribbon be objectionable? Among the first salvos against the pink ribbon was a 2001 article in Harper’s magazine entitled “Welcome to Cancerland,” written by the well-known feminist author Barbara Ehrenreich. Herself a breast cancer patient, Ms. Ehrenreich delivered a scathing attack on the kitsch and sentimentality that she believed pervaded breast cancer activism.

Others added to Ms. Ehrenreich’s arguments, notably the San Francisco-based group Breast Cancer Action, which in 2002 initiated a “Think Before You Pink” campaign. The organization’s main concern was that pharmaceutical companies that manufactured breast cancer treatments, plus other industries that promoted the pink ribbon for publicity purposes, produced toxic waste that poisoned the earth — and actually promoted breast cancer. Rather than being used to study the causes of breast cancer and how to prevent the disease, a large proportion of pink money, the group argued, has been used to pay for local screening and treatment programs and research into new, expensive biological agents that have had little impact on women’s survival from breast cancer.

It’s been used for more than that, and this part only begins to touch on it…

Ms. Sulik closely examines what she calls the “financial incentives that keep the war on breast cancer profitable.” She reports that the Susan G. Komen Foundation, which annually sponsors over 125 annual Races for the Cure and more than a dozen three-day, 60-mile walks, has close to 200 corporate partners, including many drug companies. These associations, she warns, are a potential conflict of interest…

As is the relationship between Susan G. Komen and Planned Parenthood, which I’ve written about before. It’s an odd and troubling relationship…

And one that contributors would want to know about…Pro-Life Wisconsin is out with some facts we should know.

“October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

“Pro-life citizens who are interested in fighting this deadly disease should be aware that Susan G. Komen for the Cure has a policy of explicitly allowing its state affiliates to give monetary grants to abortion-providing facilities…

“Not all state affiliates give grants to Planned Parenthood using the 75 percent of the funds that they raise in a state. However, each state affiliate must forward at least 25 percent of funds raised in their state to the Komen National office. These funds are under the discretion of a board that refuses to disassociate itself from Planned Parenthood…”

In March 2009, the Komen Foundation issued a letter about their relationship with Planned Parenthood, explaining their position and addressing concerns. They sound reasonable and comprehensive in representing their mission and their coverage. They claim that in some of the poorer areas, women can only obtain screening services through Planned Parenthood clinics, and state that they’ve been “assured that Planned Parenthood uses these funds only for breast health education, screening and treatment programs.” Supporters are asked to accept that assurance by Planned Parenthood.

But the letter raises a red flag for me when it addresses criticism that Komen for the Cure’s grants to Planned Parenthood are inappropriate because of the abortion-breast cancer link, the claim that women who have had abortions have a higher incidence of breast cancer. Komen refutes the claim as unsupported and contends there’s “no conclusive link between breast cancer and induced abortion…”

Not true. They have selectively ignored this evidence for years. In spite of the great work some organizations are doing on behalf of women’s health and well-being, the politics of the abortion movement still invade it on a fundamental level, and they don’t belong there.

Support breast cancer prevention of the soundest foundation for the whole health and dignity of women.