A cancer-awareness Bible is being removed from bookshelves at stores around the country. The holy text was scrapped from major retailers' product roster following revelations that the Susan G. Komen Foundation, a breast cancer-awareness non-profit that was poised to benefit from the book's sale, has financial connections to Planned Parenthood.
Over the years, Planned Parenthood has been a target among many evangelicals and conservatives, who stand opposed to the organization's willingness to provide abortions. The Bible was published by B&H Publishing group (a division of LifeWay Christian Resources), which claimed that it would donate $1 from the sale of each book to the Komen Foundation, CNN reports.
Questions about Planned Parenthood's connection to the foundation have emerged before. The Blaze previously reported that Komen gave more than $500,000 to the organization in 2010. In June 2011, Komen tackled questions about its association with Planned Parenthood in a letter posted on the foundation's web site. It reads, in part:
The decision to fund any breast health and screening program is based on a thorough assessment of a community’s breast health needs and resources. In some areas of the U.S., our affiliates have determined a Planned Parenthood clinic to be the best or only local place where women can receive breast health care.
In all cases, Komen funding is used exclusively to provide breast cancer programs, including clinical breast exams conducted by trained medical personnel. [...]
Under no circumstances are Komen funds used to fund abortions or other non-breast services, and any service provider shown to violate those rules would be immediately terminated from the Komen grant program.
This explanation, though, wasn't enough to stem criticism. Apparently LifeWay decided to stop selling the books once it realized the connection between Komen and Planned Parenthood. In a statement, the Christian company called the sale of the Bible "a mistake." The Tenessean has more about the dilemma:
The Bible had been in stores since October. Controversy over it began last week after pro-life websites such as Bound4Life.com and Lifenews.com began complaining.
They cited a report from the Stafford, Va.-based American Life League, which showed that local affiliates of Komen had granted hundreds of thousands of dollars to Planned Parenthood affiliates.
“The sign might as well read, ‘Buy a Bible and support abortion!’ ” wrote Susan Tyrrell of the Bound4Life blog.
"When our leadership discovered the overwhelming concern that some of Komen's affiliates were giving funds to Planned Parenthood, we began the arduous process of withdrawing this Bible from the market," wrote LifeWay's President and CEO Thom S. Rainer.
"Though we have assurances that Komen's funds are used only for breast cancer screening and awareness, it is not in keeping with LifeWay's core values to have even an indirect relationship with Planned Parenthood," he continued.
In October 2011, Komen released an information sheet claiming that there's no scientific connection between abortion and breast cancer (something that may also cause angst among the pro-life community).
Editor's Note: This version of the story has been updated to reflect some emerging facts. According to a LifeWay Christian Resources representative, the Bible was never sold in LifeWay Christian Stores. Previously, the AP, CNN, USA Today, WORLD Magazine and The Blaze, among other outlets, wrote that it was carried by the store chain. Instead, the books were sold through mass retailers like Walmart -- and were published by B&H Publishing group (a division of LifeWay Christian Resources).
(H/T: CNN Belief Blog)