*LifeNews.com Note: Hannah Carter is the director of education for Georgia Right to Life, a statewide pro-life group. This opinion column originally appeared on the GRTL blog web site.
Like many families, my grandmother and great-grandmother both had breast cancer. The issue of wanting to fight what harms your family or friends is noble. So when I tell people that I do not support Susan G. Komen an organization that exists to “fight breast cancer”, I normally get the look of one: why would you abandon your family or two: oh there goes one of those extremist.However, my reasons are not that extreme, but rather principled.I'm sure many of you reading this article have also been confronted with the issue of if I ‘m pro-life then how can I support an organization that supports the nation’s leading abortion provider. Hopefully, the following principles can shed some light on how to respond sympathetically, yet firm with why you cannot wear pink, or join the race, or all the various ways that Susan G. Komen is supported.Principle # 1 Don't give to organizations that promote the shedding of innocent blood.If this were a list of commandments, we could start with Thou Shall Not Kill. However, Proverbs 6:17 states that one of the seven things God hates are hands that shed innocent blood.Unfortunately, Susan G. Komen has given over $3 million dollars between 2003 and 2008 to Planned Parenthood which is the nation’s leading abortion provider.While Susan G. Komen makes claims that these grants go for breast exams, once the funds go to Planned Parenthood they are fungible. For example, you can throw two twenty dollar bills into a purse one from a friend and one from your own account, but when you go to pay the light bill you use both.The same is true with Planned Parenthood’s money it receives from Komen. Whenever someone applies for a grant they can say that while this $5,000 is going to breast cancer research, 20 percent of that money is going to pay for administrative costs like keeping the lights on and paying rent. So in essence, the money that people are raising to fight breast cancer is also going to keep the lights on at Planned Parenthood.According to the 2008 Annual Report from Planned Parenthood, breast cancer services decreased by 4% and abortion procedures increased by 6%. In 2008, Susan G. Komen gave $731,000 to Planned Parenthood.Principle # 2 Know and Recognize the Risk Factors for the Disease You are Trying to Prevent.There are certain risks that can increase an individual’s chance of getting breast cancer. While Susan G. Komen says that they believe in knowing your risk factors, they have repeatedly denied the link between breast cancer and one of the greatest avoidable risk factors, abortion.According to Dr. Angela Lanfranchi, “29 out of 38 worldwide epidemiological studies show an increased risk of breast cancer of approximately 30% among women who have had an abortion.”When a woman has an abortion she interrupts the natural process of estrogen production and breast development. When a woman first becomes pregnant her body produces a Type 1 carcinogen, cancer causing agent, estrogen in order to nourish and provide for the baby. If the mother has her child, her body stops producing as much estrogen and her breasts mature. However, if that process is interrupted, the estrogen production continues and her breasts stay in an immature state, making them more susceptible to breast cancer.Groups like Susan G. Komen acknowledge that the level of exposure to estrogen throughout a woman’s lifetime is one of the greatest predictors for breast cancer. Sadly, they do not acknowledge that the increased exposure to estrogen after an abortion could increase risks of breast cancer as well. For an organization whose primary goal is “to have a world without breast cancer”, you would think they would try to let women know of all the risk factors for breast cancer, especially those that are preventable like abortion.Recently, in an article by Jill Stanek, pro-life author and blogger, asked a very thought-provoking question, “Is it really “morally permissible” to cause breast cancer in one room if screening for it in the next?”Stanek also noted in her article that recently that the ties between Planned Parenthood and Susan G. Komen are running deeper and deeper. See an excerpt below from Stanek’s article:Three days ago a diligent pro-lifer in Washington state discovered on Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest’s IRS 990 forms that it has held a 12.5 percent share in Metro Centre, a mall in Peoria, Ill., since 2006. PPGNW is Washington’s largest abortion provider. (It is also currently under investigation for Medicaid fraud.) Metro Centre is owned by Eric Brinker. Eric Brinker is the son of Nancy Goodman Brinker, the founder of SGK.
Eric also sits on SGK’s board. Eric was a stand-up guy and responded to most of my initial questions. He explained in an e-mail, “This share represents a minority, non-operating interest in the business which they inherited from one of the original shareholders, a resident of Peoria. I, Eric Brinker, have controlling interest in Metro Centre.” But when I pursued follow-up questions, Eric wrote he was no longer available. So there is much still unanswered. Why didn't PPGNW cash in its inheritance? Why didn't Eric buy? If the share was willed, it was worth something. The real-estate market was thriving in 2006. It appears both partners are OK with this now four-year-old business partnership.In essence, Planned Parenthood and Susan G. Komen’s nephew own a mall together.The bottom line is that Susan G. Komen is not accomplishing its mission every time it gives to Planned Parenthood.Every time a woman has an abortion and part of the money to fund that center staying open came from Komen, they are putting women at a greater risk for breast cancer.Every organization no matter how noble the cause they claim to represent seems to be needs to be held accountable.The question is will you?