The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation had noble beginnings, launched by Nancy Goodman Brinker in response to a promise she made to her dying sister, Susan Goodman Komen, to do all she could to eradicate breast cancer. Komen succumbed to the disease in 1980 at age 36. Nancy went on to contract the disease herself and is now a survivor.
SGK has a noble mission, "to save lives and end breast cancer forever."
But for years pro-lifers have opposed contributing to SGK because it not only denies that induced abortions may cause breast cancer, it also bestows financial grants to Planned Parenthood affiliates.
Pro-lifers believe that for all the good SGK does, it shoots its mission in both feet by refusing to educate women about the abortion-breast cancer link while funding the United States' largest abortion provider.
Disregarding decades of worldwide studies concluding there is a link between abortion and breast cancer, logic alone says abortion increases the risk.
On its website, SGK acknowledges that childbearing protects women from breast cancer, and the more children a mother bears and the younger she begins bearing them the better. SGK also acknowledges breast-feeding protects against breast cancer.
But abortion blocks all those preventative measures.
Only last week a new study got lots of press that found breast cancer survivors lower their risk of dying by 42 percent simply by getting pregnant.
But abortion blocks that protection.
SGK acknowledges never having children increases a woman's risk of getting breast cancer, and delaying childbearing, particularly after age 35, also increases the risk.
And abortion increases the risk of both those risks.
It would seem logical that with all the controversy surrounding abortion's role in breast cancer, SGK would simply back away from involvement with it in any way if wanting to stay true to its mission "to save lives and end breast cancer forever."
That would include SGK's relationship with Planned Parenthood.
But SGK is not backing away. Between 2003 and 2008, SGK gave $3 million to Planned Parenthood. In Fiscal Year 2008 alone, Planned Parenthood got $805,000 from SGK.
Most recently added to the webpage, in March, was an open letter from SGK's chief scientific adviser quoting two Catholic ethicists who "concluded that it was morally permissible for the church to be involved with Komen in light of its funding agreements with Planned Parenthood ... specifically and solely for breast health services. ..."
SGK maintains there are certain places in the United States where Planned Parenthood is the sole provider of breast-cancer screening, education and treatment.
I don't believe it, but that is SGK's defense. Even if so, is it really "morally permissible" to cause breast cancer in one room if screening for it in the next?
Three days ago a diligent pro-lifer in Washington state discovered on Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest's IRS 990 forms that it has held a 12.5 percent share in Metro Centre, a mall in Peoria, Ill., since 2006.
PPGNW is Washington's largest abortion provider. (It is also currently under investigation for Medicaid fraud.)
Metro Centre is owned by Eric Brinker.
Eric Brinker is the son of Nancy Goodman Brinker, the founder of SGK. Eric also sits on SGK's board.
Eric was a stand-up guy and responded to most of my initial questions. He explained in an e-mail, "This share represents a minority, non-operating interest in the business which they inherited from one of the original shareholders, a resident of Peoria. I, Eric Brinker, have controlling interest in Metro Centre."
But when I pursued follow-up questions, Eric wrote he was no longer available.
So there is much still unanswered. Why didn't PPGNW cash in its inheritance? Why didn't Eric buy? If the share was willed, it was worth something. The real-estate market was thriving in 2006. It appears both partners are OK with this now four-year-old business partnership.
Eric wrote in his e-mail only "20 of Komen's 122 U.S. Affiliates fund breast-health services through local Planned Parenthood clinics." SGK states the total money given represents "less than one percent of the total granted by affiliates."
My question then is why bother? Why play with fire?
Whatever, the fact remains that the son of the founder of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, who is also a member of the board, owns a business – a mall – together with a Planned Parenthood affiliate.
The irony. Susan G. Komen's nephew is financially enabling an abortion business.
And condemning more women to develop breast cancer.