Atlanta, Ga., Oct 9, 2012 / 03:04 am
The Archdiocese of Atlanta recently sent a memo to its parishes announcing they are to end support for Susan G. Komen for the Cure over the organization's ties with Planned Parenthood.
"The Archdiocese of Atlanta is concerned about the protection of human life, especially the precious unborn lives of babies," archdiocesan communications director, Pat Chivers, told CNA Oct. 8.
"It's our opportunity to teach about the dignity of all human beings, and the protection for unborn babies, and this is the teaching of the Catholic Church."
The memo was issued to all archdiocesan entities Oct. 1 in response to requests from parishes.
As October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Komen is using the upcoming weeks to raise its profile and to fundraise. As part of its local efforts, the organization will have a "Worship in Pink Weekend" in Atlanta, asking churches to have their parishioners wear pink to honor survivors and to promote early detection.
In an Oct. 8 interview, Chivers said that the memo was released to meet the needs of local parishes, as many "were asking 'Can we go ahead with this Worship in Pink Weekend?'"
In response to the archdiocesan statement, the CEO of Planned Parenthood Southeast argued that the timing of the memo "feels mean-spirited."
However, Chivers said that instead participating in the weekend, Atlanta parishes are going to promote their own "breast cancer awareness activities," which include garnering support for two organizations titled the Breast Cancer Prevention Institute and the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer.
The decision fosters Catholic identity, Chivers said, "because we're actually having an opportunity to speak out in support of human life and that we are encouraging parishes and individuals to participate in breast cancer awareness activities, but not with Komen, because they support Planned Parenthood."
While the memo acknowledged Komen's beneficial work with regard to breast cancer education, it took issue with it's support for "the nation's largest provider and promoter of abortion."
"Until recently, donations to the greater Atlanta affiliate of the Komen fund did not constitute a direct cooperation with evil, because none of the money they raised went to Planned Parenthood."
However, the memo stated, the local Komen branch "was involved in recent events which had the Komen fund initially ceasing all assistance to Planned Parenthood and then reversing itself."
"According to news reports and Facebook postings by Komen Atlanta, they worked behind the scenes to encourage the national Komen office to resume funding for Planned Parenthood," which "is an occasion for scandal."
In February Komen has announced it would cease support for Planned Parenthood; the abortion provider attacked the organization, and within two days its decision was reversed.
The story of Komen's decisions was highlighted by Karen Handel, former Vice President of Public Policy for the group. She left in light of the controversy, and wrote a book released Sept. 11 titled "Planned Bullyhood: The Truth about the Funding Battle with Susan G. Komen for the Cure."