[Updates at the bottom of this article as of 8:31pm CDT AD 9-30-2009 shows alternatives –other than Komen– for fundraising activities related to Breast Cancer research that are Pro-Life in their outlook]
The Susan G. Komen for the Cure (Komen) is an organization that funds breast cancer research. This noble effort by Komen to save the lives of both women and men who are afflicted with breast cancer is tainted by their funding of abortion via Planned Parenthood.
Each year Catholics and most other Christians raise their concerns about supporting Komen specifically because Komen donates money to Planned Parenthood. Catholics and most other Christians unknowingly assist Komen in their fundraising efforts which goes against the teachings of Jesus as stated in the Fifth Commandment of “You shall not kill”.
Due to this criticism attributed to Komen in funding abortion, Komen released an open letter in March 2009 concerning their relationship with Planned Parenthood. In this open letter they defended their donations to Planned Parenthood raising three (3) reasons why it is acceptable to continue to donate money to Komen even though they provide funding to abort innocent unborn children.
I will address their open letter with their three (3) reasons here:
1. Komen does so much good that it’s ok to fund abortions. The good outweigh the bad.
It’s absurd to suggest that we should support Komen because they do so much good, even if we disagree with their involvement with Planned Parenthood. There are many other cancer charities which do no get involved with Planned Parenthood and do not actively support embryonic stem cell research (ESCR). The Holy See has made similar decisions with regard to UNICEF and Amnesty International.
The means do not justify the ends.
If you want a philosophical explanation concerning Natural Law and the Principle of Double Effect click here.
2. Two dissident Catholic ethicists provide cover to participate in Komen.
Ron Hamel, Ph.D., and Michael Panicola, Ph.D. are theologians with a focus on defending forbidden research and treatments, they are involved with the Catholic Health Association USA which is endorsing and defending ObamaCare. They have come out in support of ESCR as long as the Catholic researcher doesn’t personally slaughter the unborn to extract the cells.
Pope Benedict XVI released an instruction, ie, a teaching from the Magisterium, addressing this specific issue of abortion and ESCR in Dignitas Personae (DP 23) the deliberate and direct killing, by whatever means it is carried out, of a human being in the initial phase of his or her existence, extending from conception to birth. Therefore, the use of means of interception and contragestation fall within the sin of abortion and are gravely immoral. Furthermore, when there is certainty that an abortion has resulted, there are serious penalties in canon law.”
Basically Hamel and Panicola are not the Catholic Church when it comes to her teachings. We as Catholics abide by what Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, and the Magisterium teaches. Hamel and Panicola are making themselves out to be a parallel magisterium that does not exist anywhere in the Catholic Church.
3. No evidence between breast cancer and abortion or birth control pills.
There are strong links between abortion and breast cancer, especially when involving young women who have never given birth to a child, there’s also some indicators that birth control pills are a problem as well (note that hormone therapy for the treatment of menopause has been banned because of the breast cancer link, it seems a short leap to birth control pills). Part of the problem is that groups like Komen seek to suppress this research because of their political views on abortion and birth control. Also, even if abortion didn’t cause breast cancer it does cause the death of an unborn child, so this argument should not really carry any weight for Catholics.
I hope this addresses the concerns of Catholics and other Christians in not supporting the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, regardless of how much good they do, the putting to death of innocent unborn children can never be justified.
(Biretta Tips: Matt McDonald and Karen Richards)
Update I: The following three (3) organizations are excellent alternatives for fundraising activities related to Breast Cancer research that are Pro-Life in their outlook: