Last year, I ran my first 5K. At the end of May, I plan on running my first 15K. In between, I was considering running another 5K as a warm up to what will be a significantly more difficult run at the end of the month. As I looked for options in Charleston, WV, I noticed that the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure is set for the first part of May.
While it is good timing to have such a race, I do not plan on running the race, but I might change my mind.
Don’t get me wrong. The goals of the Komen foundation are laudable, noble, and necessary. My wife’s grandmother battled (and won) breast cancer twice. My own mother is a survivor of breast cancer. It’s an evil reminder of our fallen world. Watching a loved one fight that battle is heartbreaking. My mother began her treatment mere days before my oldest son was born. By God’s grace, not only did she get to meet my oldest son, but was present for the births of my other two boys.
For their work to fight breast cancer, I applaud the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Unfortunately, they may have lost my trust. Why? Komen appears to be investing in the abortion industry.
In the grand scheme of Planned Parenthood’s $2 billion budget, it’s not a big deal. According to one report:
Komen’s own figures show 20 of Komen’s 122 affiliates have made donations to Planned Parenthood and, last year, those contributions totaled $731,303. Komen spokesman John Hammarley also confirmed Komen affiliates contributed about $3.3 million to the abortion business from 2004-2009.
And, I understand the rationale – I really do – that Komen has given that money so that Planned Parenthood will provide needed – and life-saving – mammography services. But, as we have repeatedly pointed out, Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry does not provide mammograms! Planned Parenthood is, first and foremost, in the business of terminating children during pregnancy.
I am forced to invest a portion of my hard-earned dollars by the U.S. Government that provides more than $350,000,000 to the abortion industry. Likewise, the State of West Virginia will arrest me if I refuse to pay my portion of the more than $300,000 tax dollars that fund the abortion industry in West Virginia. While I am working to end those subsidies, I cannot in good conscience pay even a nominal race entrance fee, let alone raise money if even a portion of that money may make it to the abortion industry’s bank account.
Still, I want to be thorough. So, I looked up the number for the chapter president of the Susan G. Komen Foundation and gave her a call.
She was very kind and very candid with me. Clearly an articulate advocate for breast health, I was pleased to receive her unequivocal answer: Susan G. Komen Foundation of West Virginia does not provide grants or funding to the abortion industry. Period.
Yes, they give it to hospitals and research facilities, and some of those hospitals may have to, as a matter of medical practice (read = to save the lives of mothers in statistically rare and horribly painful, morally and ethically challenging situations), perform an abortion. That would probably be akin to a portion of your hospital bill funding abortion, it’s hard to avoid.
In fact, so strong was her apparent commitment that dollars given in West Virginia will not touch the abortion industry, she agreed with my suggestion that she make such a statement in her remarks ahead of the upcoming race. It will be interesting to see if she, indeed, follows through on that commitment. I have friends who are running that race. I’ll ask them to keep an ear out.
For you, dear reader, I hope you will be discerning. Clearly, there is some fire under all this smoke that has Komen and Planned Parenthood appearing linked. And, it is my hope that Komen will do everything in its power to clear that smoke once and for all. As I relayed to the kind lady locally, we in the pro-life community care about all of life – the pre-born and those affected by breast cancer – they all bear the image of God on their created lives. And, frankly, I think that is the view of the grand majority of West Virginians too.
Thankfully, at least for now, it seems, West Virginians may not be put in an ethical bind: stand for the life of the pre-born or fund abortion by standing for life against breast cancer.
About Jeremy Dys
Jeremy Dys is the FPCWV's President and General Counsel. In addition to his duties of providing strategic vision and leadership to the FPCWV, Dys is the chief lobbyist and spokesman. Dys is regularly featured in local, state, and national print, radio, and television outlets. He lives close to Charleston with his wife and growing family.