Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Pink Link

Every October, the nation turns pink. Friends and neighbors wear pink ribbons, NFL players wear pink shoes. Even the White House reflects pink flood lights onto its exterior in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

We in the Catholic community also know October as Respect Life Month. It seems these two life-saving efforts should go hand-in-hand right? Not so fast.

In general, the color pink raises awareness for breast cancer – a worthy cause. But the biggest beneficiary of pink-related events is Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the nation’s largest breast cancer charity. Some of you might even support Komen in your charitable giving. And why not? Breast cancer is a tragic disease that far too many women battle every year in the U.S. It’s a worthy cause to support. Unfortunately, just not through Komen.

Why “unfortunately?” Komen financially supports the nation’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood (PP). How can that be? Why would a life-affirming organization like Komen financially support a death-peddling organization like PP? Komen refutes the claim that they directly support abortion, but let me give you the details.

According to the Bioethics Defense Fund ( Komen has a policy of explicitly allowing its state affiliates to give monetary grants to abortion providing facilities. Not all state affiliates give grants to PP using the 75% of the funds that they raise in a state. However, each state affiliate must forward at least 25% 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 PP, thus the money goes into a pool to be potentially distributed to PP.

Komen gave over $3 million to PP between 2003 and 2008 (though the amount is insignificant). So why does Komen give funds to an abortion giant? They claim they give the money as grants for breast exams. There are two problems with this claim. Number 1: It doesn’t matter what you give money to PP for. The dollars are fungible and it just frees up money for them to use on abortions and other operating costs to keep their doors open. Number 2: PP is a level 1 breast center. It is only allowed to perform manual exams. Despite its implications - it DOES NOT PROVIDE MAMMOGRAMS!

Desperate following the House of Representatives’ recent vote to defund the organization, PP CEO Cecile Richards used the claim that the organization should continue to receive federal funding based on their breast health services. “If this bill ever becomes law, millions of women in this country are going to lose their health care access, not to abortion services, to basic family planning – you know, mammograms, cancer screenings, cervical cancer,” she said.

But the truth is that PP does NOT provide breast exams. They simply provide referrals for breast exams – the same type of referral you can get from you primary care doctor, urgent care center, free clinic or GYN.

Pro-life blogger Jill Stanek did some research and found that not a single PP in America performs mammograms. PP’s own website says, “Ask your local health care provider, health department, or staff at your local Planned Parenthood center about where you can get a mammogram in your area.” [emphasis mine]

Aside from the fact that PP does not provide mammograms, Komen continues to ignore the ominous fact that abortion is the #1 avoidable cause of the very disease they’re fighting. It doesn’t make sense that they’re financially abetting an organization that contributes to the tragic rise in breast cancer.

From the Abortion/Breast Cancer Coalition (

“The breasts grow considerably during pregnancy while under the influence of high levels of the hormone estrogen, a known carcinogen. Estrogen causes the woman's normal and cancer-vulnerable breast lobules to multiply. If she has an abortion, she's left with more places for cancers to start in her breasts. If she has a baby, then other pregnancy hormones mature her breast lobules into cancer-resistant lobules during the last months of pregnancy. She's left with more cancer-resistant tissue than she had before she became pregnant.”

It’s heartbreaking that an otherwise very worthy organization could negate all of the good work that they do by funding an organization that exterminates 332,278 unborn children per year. And this is a fact that, as Christians, we cannot ignore. We cannot overlook the evil that is perpetuated through this partnership by using the false justification that we’re doing a “greater good” by funding breast cancer research. In this situation, there is no greater good. The ends do not justify the means. The murder of over 300,000 innocents does not justify a few mammogram referrals.

Fortunately there are alternative organizations that do beneficial work for the same cause through morally acceptable means. If you’re currently a Komen supporter and would like to divert your funds to an ethical breast cancer research organization, please consider the National Breast Cancer Foundation ( and the Breast Cancer Prevention Institute (

Also, please keep in mind that Susan G. Komen for the Cure is far from the only disease-research organization that funds morally objectionable groups. Many well-known disease advocate groups support Planned Parenthood as well as embryonic stem cell research. Just to name a few: The American Cancer Society (including Relay for Life), Alzheimer’s Association, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association and American Lung Association. For a comprehensive list of organizations, their positions on life issues, and alternative options, please visit

-- Nicole Collins, President of Delaware Right to Life

Stories from the sidewalk...

The Fall 40 Days for Life Vigil for fall is in full swing -- Monday is Day 6. This time, the Wilmington 40 Days team is concentrating not so much in our own ability to fill the schedule for forty days, but relying rather on the Holy Spirit to recruit as we dedicate our time to prayer and vigiling. We are seeing the fruits already. Friday at 1:00pm as we got ready to leave Planned Parenthood for the day, we had only two people signed up for the following day. But Saturday, 21 people showed up to pray and vigil in witness to the value of unborn human life!
We made a long line at the edge of the sidewalk, and prayed and sang from booklets assembled by Pat Radell just 24 hours before the vigil began. The booklets help focus our attention on prayer, song, and the peaceful, prayerful presence that we want to bring to our efforts for the unborn babies and their mothers.
We saw tears on Saturday. A woman and her 14-year-old daughter came out of Planned Parenthood looking distraught. The woman was in tears. I approached her as gently as possible and asked if I could help. She said that her daughter was five months pregnant and that Planned Parenthood couldn't do anything to "get rid of it." They had given her a referral number, but she was hoping that this could all be settled today.
I spent about 20 minutes with them, offering encouragement and help for the young lady to carry her baby to term. I won't try to describe the conversation - it was heartbreaking all around. They are Christians, who attend church, but didn't think their pastor could help. We prayed together, asking the Lord's grace and help. I felt a growing sense of helplessness as the older woman kept repeating, "She's only 14. I don't want her to ruin her life." Adoption was not an option, she said, -- "I don't want people looking down on her."

=== UPDATE ====
I am writing this from the Elsmere Library, in route from Wilmington to my physical therapy appointment, and wanting to get this message out before I get back to my own computer at home.
Lawanda is the name of the woman whose 14-year old daughter is 5 months pregnant. We were at prayer this morning in front of Planned Parenthood when to our surprise, Lawanda returned, but looking for us! She hoped she would find us there, and asked if I had the information about adoption that I had talked about!
I offered to take her on the spot to A Door of Hope, but she had errands to run and her daughter was not with her. I confess that I was rattled, and perhaps the Enemy was clouding my mind a bit, because I couldn't find any of the excellent information that I carry with me, and Lawanda's gentleman driver seemed impatient. I told her how very glad I was to see her. I said she had been very much on my heart all weekend and that I had been praying for her and her daughter. Her eyes filled with tears and she seemed genuinely touched, and thanked me. I gave her two brochures, neither of which was my "prime" material, but both of which had phone numbers that could help. I gave her my card, and urged her to call the numbers on the brochures, and to call me if she had any difficulty finding the help she needed.
Please offer prayers for Lawanda, her daughter, and the child that is five months in the womb and growing every minute as her mom, grandmom and family discern what to do. All of us 40 Days vigilers prayed, right there on the sidewalk, agreeing to ask the Father in Jesus' name for the life of that child, that He send grace and hope to the child's grandmother, and the child's mother -- who is only in middle school! -- to find the courage to give the beautiful gift of life to that growing child.
Pray with us, please.
-Rae Stabosz and the 40 Days for Life Wilmington Vigilers
If you would like to get involved with 40 Days for Life here in Delaware please check out their website.

For any questions or concerns you may have email Pat Radell at

Look for more Stories from the Sidewalk coming soon!!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Mission Accomplished. Delaware Right to Life Interviews Maria Cahill~ Miss Delaware 2011

Miss Delaware to Speak at Delaware Right to Life Annual Banquet on Tuesday, October 11th.

Maria Cahill is not your typical Miss Delaware. Underneath the glittery dresses, and beautiful smile is a girl who is down-to- earth, motivated and hard core. Maria is determined to refine the “pageant girl image” by proving that your favorite meal can be a Big Mac from McDonald’s (don’t forget the large fry!), and you don’t have to think twice before playing video games with your brothers . She could care less if she broke a nail; but most importantly she could care less what people think of the principles she stands for and the causes she is passionate about. Where is the golden rule that if you are a young, beautiful, confident woman in the spotlight you must either conceal your conservative values or pump your fist high for “women’s rights”. Well, it’s her body, her choice, and she has chosen to stand for life.

Maria Cahill who is the second oldest of seven kids, has always been passionate about the pro-life movement. “It came from growing up in a household where the value of life was respected no matter what the case. I became even more involved when I met women that were contemplating abortion. Seeing the pain in their eyes and hearing them talk about the fact that they believed that there was no other way out was heart wrenching; and honestly made me want to make a difference”.

Standing firm amidst today’s opposition is not an easy task, though. Shocking right? No, but one would hope that in a society that promotes the “liberation of women”, a young woman would be free to speak her mind on one of the biggest controversies that has enveloped her generation. “Thinking of the lives that will be lost, and how these children have not had the opportunity to make a name for themselves”, only compels her even more to be a voice for voiceless, when so many are trying to shut her up. “One of my mottos is, “it is better to be hated for who you are than to be loved for who you are not””. In turn, she hopes to use her crown “to draw attention to the things that [she] is passionate about” and inspire others who may be holding back from getting involved in the pro-life movement. “Stick up for what you believe in, no matter what the case.”

Maria is proud to be a voice for a movement that she has stood for all her life, and honored that the Miss Delaware organization would give her the opportunity to publically share her beliefs. “I have heard that because I am in the public eye, I have no right to speak about the pro-life movement. I feel the total opposite. There is a crown on my head for a reason. I am trying to save innocent lives and if it takes a crown for people to maybe consider this issue a little further, then my mission has been accomplished.”

-Jessica Ferraro

Media Coordinator for Delaware Right to Life