A bit of good news midst the gloom: A federal judge temporarily blocked the Obama administration Monday from using federal dollars to fund expanded human embryonic stem cell research (FoxNews.com).
[Updates at the bottom of this article as of 8:31pm CDT AD 9-30-2009 shows alternatives –other than Komen– for fundraising activities related to Breast Cancer research that are Pro-Life in their outlook]
The Susan G. Komen for the Cure (Komen) is an organization that funds breast cancer research. This noble effort by Komen to save the lives of both women and men who are afflicted with breast cancer is tainted by their funding of abortion via Planned Parenthood.
Each year Catholics and most other Christians raise their concerns about supporting Komen specifically because Komen donates money to Planned Parenthood. Catholics and most other Christians unknowingly assist Komen in their fundraising efforts which goes against the teachings of Jesus as stated in the Fifth Commandment of “You shall not kill”.
Due to this criticism attributed to Komen in funding abortion, Komen released an open letter in March 2009 concerning their relationship with Planned Parenthood. In this open letter they defended their donations to Planned Parenthood raising three (3) reasons why it is acceptable to continue to donate money to Komen even though they provide funding to abort innocent unborn children.
I will address their open letter with their three (3) reasons here:
It has become an oft repeated trope of Catholics who are on the left or the self-consciously-unclassifiable portions of the American political spectrum that the pro-life movement has suffered a catastrophic loss of credibility because of its association with the Republican Party, and thence with the Iraq War and the use of torture on Al Qaeda detainees. Until the pro-life movement distances itself from the Republican Party and all of the pro-life leadership who have defended the Iraq War and/or the use of “enhanced interrogation techniques” on detainees, the argument goes, the pro-life movement will have no moral authority and will be the laughing stock of enlightened Catholics everywhere.
Regardless of what one thinks about the Iraq War and torture (myself, I continue to support the former but oppose the latter) I’m not sure that this claim works very well. Further, I think that those who make it often fail to recognize the extent to which it cuts both ways.
As arguments raged over Obama’s executive order to provide federal funding for embryonic stem cell research a few weeks ago, the administration’s pro-life defenders emphasized that this was only a small incremental step beyond the Bush administration policy and that the Obama administration would be very careful in examining the ethical issues and most especially would not allow the production of cloned embryos.
The problem is that, as shown by an extended debate between Doug Kmiec and Robert P. George on the US News “God & Country” blog, current policy far from banning cloning, will encourage it. (HT: Mary Meets Dolly, one of the best resources for serious Catholics on genetics related ethical and scientific issues.)
Obama’s statement was:
And we will ensure that our government never opens the door to the use of cloning for human reproduction. It is dangerous, profoundly wrong, and has no place in our society, or any society.