ATLANTA — The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta has told its parishes, schools and other organizations to end their support for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure breast cancer charity over a lingering abortion dispute.
The directive from religious leaders came in a memo Monday. It criticized grants given by some Komen officials to Planned Parenthood to support breast screenings. Planned Parenthood also provides abortions, which are against Catholic religious teachings.
But that’s not the case in Atlanta. The local Komen affiliate told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that it has never given funding to Planned Parenthood Southeast.
“Komen Atlanta remains committed to ensuring that all women, especially the underserved, in our community have access to lifesaving breast cancer screening and support services,” the charity said in a statement. It did not directly mention the archdiocese’s policy. “Any decrease in support directly impacts our ability to serve these women.”
The archdiocese, which represents about one million Catholics in north Georgia, said Facebook postings by the local Komen affiliate caused church officials to believe it was “working behind the scenes” to encourage the national Komen office to resume funding for Planned Parenthood.” Those social media postings were several months old.
“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,” the archdiocese said.
Earlier this year, the Komen organization abandoned plans to eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood. The group changed course after a three-day furor from political leaders and Komen affiliates who criticized the policy change and suggested the charity’s leadership had bowed to anti-abortion pressure.