Komen Cut Funds to Planned Parenthood Under Pressure from Catholic BishopsPosted: March 15, 2012
According to a Reuters story published this afternoon, the decision by the Susan G. Komen for the Cure to end the charity’s donations to Planned Parenthood for breast cancer screening came in response to Bishops in several states ordered Catholic churches and schools not to donate to Komen. Yet, at the same time, Catholic Church-run organizations receive millions in funds from the breast cancer charity.
The earliest signs of discord came in 2005, when South Carolina’s Catholic diocese pulled out of the local Komen fundraiser. It was followed over the next four years by individual dioceses in Arizona, Indiana, Florida, Missouri and other states, where bishops either spoke out against Komen or took steps to stem donations to the charity, mainly because of its Planned Parenthood link.
The momentum picked up in 2011 when top Ohio clerics met in Columbus. High on their agenda was the question of whether the state’s nine dioceses should participate in Komen fundraisers.
Eleven Ohio Bishops agreed to ban all donations to Komen from the state’s Catholic schools and churches.
No Planned Parenthood clinics in Ohio receive Komen money. But the bishops decided that diocese funds should no longer benefit the charity, for fear that money sent from local Komen affiliates to the Dallas headquarters could wind up in Planned Parenthood’s coffers or help fund research on stem cells collected from human fetuses, according to church officials….
The Ohio bishops would soon be joined by the North Dakota Catholic Conference, which cautioned its nearly 190,000 parishioners against donating to Komen. The charity’s officials in California also say they received their first request in two decades to meet with Catholic bishops, who expressed concern about Planned Parenthood but took no action.
According to Reuters, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops hasn’t been officially involved in these decisions, because they are made at the local level, but
Observers say the local bishops’ focus on Komen and other social issues reflects a larger conservative shift within the American church since New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan became chairman of the Conference in November 2010.
Under Dolan’s leadership, the conference last year set up a new ad hoc committee on religious liberty to oppose government policies that conflict with church teachings on abortion, contraception and gay marriage.
So now we know. When the Tea Party candidates swept into Congress in 2010, Dolan saw an opportunity to step up attacks on abortion, contraception, and therefore on women’s health generally. Yet at the same time, Catholic hospitals and universities accept millions in donations from Komen. These are the same organizations that are opposing the Obama administration’s ruling that health insurance plans must cover contraception without co-pays.
What a tangled web! But the one thing we know for sure is that the Catholic Bishops are using every available avenue to pursue their war on women.