Matt C. Abbott
Bishop Robert Lynch, Komen, and Planned Parenthood
By Matt C. Abbott
June 13, 2009

A reader alerted me to a June 7 post on the blog of Bishop Robert Lynch of the Diocese of St. Petersburg. Here's the portion of the bishop's post that raised my eyebrows (my emphasis in italics):

    '...I was impressed by [Nancy Brinker's] vision and captivated by what might be done if others would join in the effort against breast cancer. On occasion someone will mention that the Susan G. Komen Race for a Cure gives money to Planned Parenthood and they do. But the money is earmarked solely for mammograms and nothing else and is monitored closely for this. Some people spend a lot of time and energy shadow boxing with friends.

    'I learned more this afternoon about breast cancer than I have learned in the preceding 67 years. Several of my closest and dearest friends have suffered the uncertainty of it all and thanks to early detection and effective treatment they remain close and dear friends. It is highly likely that Susan Komen herself would be alive today if what we know and can do today were present in the mid-'60's when she died.

    'I am too old and fat to 'race' for the cure but I know that I will 'walk' for the cure when the opportunity presents itself. I invite all who read this to do the same.'

While it's certainly laudable to fight breast cancer, such a dismissive attitude with regard to Komen money going to the nation's largest abortion provider and promoter Planned Parenthood is, to say the least, troubling. Not to mention the subtle dig at pro-life activists.

Contrast Bishop Lynch's position to that of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, which has the following statement on its Web site (excerpted; to see the full statement, click here):

    'The Respect Life Apostolate of the Archdiocese of St. Louis acknowledges the beneficial work of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, formerly known as the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, in the area of breast cancer detection, prevention, research and treatment. Due to its policy allowing affiliates to offer financial support to abortion providing facilities and its endorsement of embryonic stem cell research, the Respect Life Apostolate neither supports nor encourages participation in activities that benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

    '1) This position is based on the following facts: Public records indicate that Susan G. Komen for the Cure ('Komen') affiliates in at least 13 states (Missouri is not among them) provided grants to local Planned Parenthood chapters for breast health care services in 2005.

    'Despite Komen donations for breast health care services, Planned Parenthood (the largest single abortion provider in the country) stated in its 2005-2006 annual report that 9,900 more abortions were performed and 81,500 fewer breast exams were provided in 2005 than in 2004.

    'Donors cannot control how an organization designates its funds. Therefore, money donated for a specific service, i.e. breast health care, directly frees up funds to support other areas of an organization's agenda, i.e. contraception services, 'safe' sex education and abortion services.

    '2) The Komen Web site dismisses the link between procured abortion and increased risk of breast cancer. However, the research of Joel Brind, Ph.D., a professor of Endocrinology and founder of the Breast Cancer Prevention Institute, and the work of Dr. Janet Daling, a leading cancer epidemiologist and pro-choice advocate, invalidate a dismissal of the link. Daling said, 'I would have loved to have found no association between breast cancer and abortion, but our research is rock solid, and our data is accurate. It's not a matter of believing, it's a matter of what is.' As part of a comprehensive search for the cure, Komen should be funding further studies on the link between breast cancer and abortion.

    '3) Komen endorses embryonic stem cell research that requires the destruction of embryonic human life, stating that, 'embryonic stem cells are currently considered to have the most potential for use in the regeneration of diseased or injured tissues' for cancer stem cell research. The destruction of human life at any stage of development is never morally acceptable. Embryonic stem cell research is also unnecessary since adult stem cell research has a proven record of cures and treatments.

    'Based on these documented facts, the Respect Life Apostolate (RLA) does not endorse Susan G. Komen for the Cure. The RLA encourages you to contact Susan G. Komen for the Cure ... and call for an end to all associations between Komen affiliates and Planned Parenthood, for funding of further studies on the link between breast cancer and abortion, and for an end to the endorsement of research that leads to the destruction of any human life. Our hope is that the Komen Foundation will focus all funds on research to find causes and cures for breast cancer and refuse to give financial or other support to any abortion provider or organization that promotes the destruction of human life....'

Of course, Bishop Lynch isn't exactly a stranger to controversy, as evidenced by this March 9, 2007 letter written by Bobby Schindler, brother of the late Terri Schiavo, and my March 29, 2007 column.

Related Web sites:

Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer

Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation

© Matt C. Abbott


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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Matt C. Abbott

Matt C. Abbott is a Catholic commentator with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication, media and theatre from Northeastern Illinois University. He also has an Associate in Applied Science degree in business management from Triton College. He's been interviewed on MSNBC, Bill Martinez Live, WOSU Radio in Ohio, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's 'Unsolved' podcast, WLS-TV (ABC) in Chicago, WMTV (NBC) and WISC-TV (CBS) in Madison, Wis., and has been quoted in The New York Times and the Chicago Tribune. He can be reached at

(Note: I welcome thoughtful feedback and story ideas. If you want our correspondence to remain confidential, please specify as such in your initial email to me. However, I reserve the right to forward and/or publish emails that are accusatory, insulting or threatening in nature, even if those emails are marked confidential. Also, if you give me permission to publish a quote of yours, please do not contact me at a later time to request that I delete your name. Only in limited circumstances will I quote anonymous sources. Thank you and God bless!)


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