Why I won’t support Susan G. Komen for the Cure®

October is breast cancer awareness month.  For me this has never been a significant issue, nor has it been one that I ever spent a lot of time thinking about it.  It has become a significant issue in our family since our daughter’s birth mother passed away in April of 2009 from breast cancer.  And we have become friends with a family who knows all too well the angry face of cancer.  And so for them, we have become aware and opened our eyes to the need for research funding for this.  We have supported, and will continue to support organizations that fund this type of research…except for one.  Susan G. Komen for the Cure®.

I am pro life.  I’m not ashamed to say that I have learned through experience, forgiveness, grace and mercy, that abortion is never the right choice.  I cannot, and will not knowingly support any organization that funnels funding to an abortion mill.  Susan G. Komen for the Cure® does just that.  On their website, they state this:

“…while Komen Affiliates provide funds to pay for screening, education and treatment programs in dozens of communities, in some areas, the only place that poor, uninsured or under-insured women can receivve these services are through programs run by Planned Parenthood.

As long as there is a need for health care for these women, we will continue to fund the facilities that meet that need.”

Planned Parenthood, too, acknowledges funding from Susan G. Komen for the Cure®.  A quick scan of the internet reveals Boise and Austin area facilities that openly name Komen for funding.  I’m sure there are more, and I saw all I needed to see when I did that search.

Komen states that they audit the facilities where there money goes to insure it is used for the purposes stated by Komen.  And I’m sure they are well intended in that practice too.  But Planned Parenthood have become masters at hiding what they do.  Everyone knows that they provide abortions, and some other woman’s health care needs.  But I think what is important to remember is that their primary focus, the one that brings in the money for them, is abortion. Any service they provide to the community is done to justify their existence, and allow the horrific act of abortion to continue.   Here is part of an article about Abby Johnson, a former PP director,

“Johnson worked at the Planned Parenthood clinic in Bryan, Texas, for nine years, first as a volunteer and then as the director. Her duties included running the family planning and abortion programs. The clinic performed abortions two days a month.

Although she had originally been happy at her job, Johnson slowly grew to question “the motives of the organization,” she said, particularly because her superiors were “pushing clinics that did have an abortion program to bring in more money.”

So, here is my concern:  How can an organization that claims to provide health care, and potentially life saving diagnostic testing for women, have a primary goal of death to unborn children?  The contradiction here, to me, is clear.  How can you claim to want to save life, and take life away at the same time?  Susan G. Komen for the Cure® is funding an organization that is engaged in taking the lives of the very human beings that could someday have discovered the cure for the cancer that they are looking to extinguish!

My daughter is determined to raise awareness of breast cancer at the tender age of 9.  I will support her, and help her in any way that I can.  Most breast cancers are curable cancers if found early, and so yes, please, do what you can to support organizations that provide early screenings.  Drop a dollar now and then for breast cancer research.  But think carefully about what organizations you choose to associate your money with.  Do a little research for yourself, and make sure your dollars are going where you want them to go.  Because even the best intended donation can be lost in the sea of abortion.  Any monies donated to Komen that are funneled to Planned Parenthood only serve to prolong the existence of Planned Parenthood, and when you take away the front, the non-money making services (birth control, education, etc.) what you have is an abortion mill.  The last thing I ever want to do is to allow my daughter to think that it’s ok for anyone to have an abortion.  How can I allow her then to support it?

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Abortion re-visited

Several months ago I joined some people from our church and another local church in a silent march for life.  I’ve never, ever participated in an event like that before.  Honestly, it took some courage for me to do it.  There’s a big part of me that feels like a hypocrite when I think about events like that.

I have to believe that Paul, who committed acts of utter treachery against those who followed and believed in Jesus and then later became an evangelist for Jesus, at some point really thought himself a hypocrite.  He does write a little about his past, and does acknowledge himself as the least worthy, but what I really like about Paul is that he doesn’t make it the focal point of his testimony.  He uses not what he did, but what he became as the leverage behind his words.  He never says “I know what you are feeling because I’ve been there”, but rather, “I know what you can be because I became that.”  There is a distinct elevation in his life from what and who he was before meeting Jesus on the road to Damascus to who he became when Jesus transformed him.  He went from being arrogant and self-serving to being humble and tortured.  And yet he, more than any other leader in his time, had influence and respect…and he still does today. 

It’s intriguing to me that he didn’t use the line, “Look at me!  Look how bad I was, and how good I am now!  Jesus did this!”  That arrogance was removed from him.  I believe that he was not capable of bringing that kind of self-centered testimony to the people.  When a person speaks of themselves in that way, it really takes the focus from Jesus. 

Standing on a sidewalk along a busy street holding a sign saying abortion is wrong humbled me greatly.  No one reading that sign knew my past, or how I got to that sidewalk with that sign.  But it didn’t matter.  For that event, I was shown exactly what it was like to be like Paul; to speak out for Christ, knowing what I know in my head but not making it the focal point of my message.  The message stood on it’s own.  Abortion is wrong.  My experience led me to that moment,  but Christ allowed me to speak to the hearts of others without me clouding the issue.

Flowers Bloom in Spring

It’s been a while since I wrote anything.  But Easter is coming.  And I really want to share this.

I was compelled the last couple of years to bring flowers to church.  I brought 2 Easter Lilies and in each pot, I placed a small stuffed bunny.  I plan on doing the same thing again this year.  It’s my way of thanking God for the grace and forgiveness He has showered on me.  And the blessings that He has given me in the way of a little girl, and for the time being, a little boy.

My story started a long time ago when I made a decision to have an abortion.  That decision left me scared in many ways.  Then,  after dealing with a ruptured ectopic pregnancy,  I found my house and my heart empty…there were no children, there was no laughter, no scolding, no tickling, no bedtime prayers, no staying up late to finish homework.  I tried to fill that void in so many ways.  I cared for my dogs as if they were my children (they still are!) but that didn’t ease the longing for what I didn’t have.

I was broken.  I didn’t have a clue.

But God did.  And He waited for me.  When I finally gave myself over to Him, what I felt was love.  Forgiveness.  Grace.  Mercy.  No one, NO ONE, had ever shown me that…e.v.e.r.  All I ever knew was conditional.

I believe that the baby I aborted was a girl, and the baby I lost as a result of the ectopic pregnancy was a boy. I hold on to that belief because it allows me to recognize them as people, human beings that God created for a purpose.  Although they did not have the chance to live that purpose, I am allowing Him to use them through me for another purpose, a divine purpose designed by Him after I stepped off the path He had created for me.

And now, I am Mom to one child whom we adopted, and one child whom we are fostering.  One has a birthday right before Easter, and the other is right after Easter.  Just God’s way of punctuating life for me.   And when I put those Easter Lilies in the church this year, it will be for them too, one girl, and one boy.

E, C, I love you.  M, T, I love you.  Jesus, thank you.

One Christian’s Christian Response to the Vote on the Health Care Bill

Last night I watched in utter dismay as the United States House of Representatives approved the much debated health care reform bill by a vote of 220 to 215.  I went to bed fretting about this.  I adamantly oppose this bill for many reasons, but most notably the proposition that abortions could be paid for with taxpayer money.  This fact alone makes me want to see the whole thing sent back to the drawing board and re-written so that abortions cannot be covered by taxpayer monies, and that the provision for that can never be added in at a later date.  But that’s not what this post is about.  This post is about how this Christian has come to terms with what is going on in Washington D.C.

This morning in church, we heard a message on patience and suffering.  I went back to re-read some of the scripture in 1Peter chapter 2 and this is what I read:

13Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority,14or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right.

15For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men.

16Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God.

17Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.

18Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable.

19For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly.

20For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God.

It’s easy to get wrapped up in politics and be angry or pleased with the outcome of whatever the hot button issue of the day is.  It’s even easier to gloat when things go the way you want, or the way you think it should be.  We live in such a sports crazed world…it’s not a wonder we hoot and holler when we “win” something political.

The verse above spoke volumes to me, especially “Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority…”  It’s our duty, as Christians, to submit to whatever leadership is in place, regardless of whether we agree with the policies or not.  This pleases God, because all those in leadership are there because God placed them there.  And if while they are there, it causes me to suffer, or to be discontent, then I need to do so in silence.  Yes, I know, we live in the United States of America and I, too, have a voice.  And I exercise that voice.  I vote.  I debate the issues.  I learn about them to reach educated conclusions.  But once it’s all said and done, it then becomes time for me to sit down.  It becomes time for me to enter into a time of prayer for those that are in leadership.  It is NOT a time for me to complain, or to spew my anger, the venom of Satan.

I am in no way suggesting that as American Christians we should remain silent on issues we are passionate about.  But there comes a time when the talking, and the debating, and the arguing, and the anger and the gloating need to subside and the prayer needs to begin.

An Eye for an Eye

There is sad news today out of Wichita.  Dr. George Tiller was shot and killed at his church this morning while attending services.  I’m sickened.

tiller Don’t know Dr. Tiller?  Read on from CNN.com:

“Tiller was one of the few U.S. physicians who still performed late-term abortions. In 1993, he was shot and wounded through both arms outside his Wichita clinic. Shelley Shannon, an ardent foe of abortion, was convicted of attempted murder in the shooting and is currently serving a 20-year sentence in federal prison.”

“”He was continually harassed by abortion opponents for much of his career — his clinic was burned down, he was shot by a health center protester, and he was recently targeted for investigation only to be acquitted by a jury just a few months ago,” Planned Parenthood Federation President Cecile Richards said in a written statement.”

“In March, Tiller was acquitted of 19 counts of performing procedures unlawfully at his clinic. In 2008, a probe initiated by abortion opponents who petitioned state authorities to convene a grand jury ended without charges.”

I qualify myself as pro-life.  My own life experiences have shown me the value of human life to such a degree that I cannot and will not    support abortion for any reason.  But to kill the abortionist?  I don’t understand that.

So many pro-life advocates will claim that the bible says “An eye for an eye”.  Yup.  It does.  In the old testament.  Under the old law.  As a Christian, I believe that when Jesus died on the cross the veil was torn, the old law was torn with it and the new covenant was firmly in place.

I’m sorry for the loss of this man.  He, too, was made in God’s image and as such, is and was worthy of the love of Christ from all who count themselves among believers.  I don’t know where he will spend eternity.  God have mercy.

Tears

My heart is cracked.  I don’t want it to be broken again but there is a chance that could happen it has happened again.  On the outside, to everyone else, I know the right words, I appear strong and able.  In the quiet moments with myself I cry, I weep.  No one but God knows the agony in my heart.

Knowing that He knows the plan is not always enough.  I trust that He will protect me and be with me in my moments of need but still I am empty inside, longing for what I don’t have, sorrowful for what has been lost.  I rejoice in what I have.  I love what He has done for me, and who He has put in my life and yet….the tears fall into pools of self doubt and self pity; neither of which are from Him.

Somewhere there is a cry left unheard, a need left unmet.  I pray God will lead me to the cry, to the need.  That through Him and in His timing my cry too will be heard, and my need met.

Me then vs. Me now on abortion

I was thinking this morning about the fact that this is Sanctity of Life week.  Many many people, both pro life and pro choice feel passionately about the issue of abortion.  I have been on both sides of the fence, and I wondered how I would discuss the issue with myself from both sides.  Here’s my attempt.

Me then:
As far as I’m concerned, it’s MY body and I can do what ever I want with it.  If I choose to have an abortion, how can that have ANY impact on you?

Me now:
It may be your body but it’s not your life that you are ending.

Me then:
Well, it can’t survive without me anyway so it’s still part of my body.

Me now: 
It
has a heart beat.  It has hair, fingernails and it’s very own DNA.

Me then:
Men should really stay out of this debate.  When they can go through a pregnancy with all the hormone changes, physical changes, labor pains and stretch marks, THEN they have a right to tell me what to do and what not to do with my body.

Me now:
Men have every right and responsibility to enter into this debate:
James 1:27
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

Men were given this instruction; To look after the orphans and widows.  Those who cannot defend themselves….do not unborn fit into this category?

Me then:
I have the right to choose.  I was born with that right and NO one can take that away from me.  In this country, I have a right to make the choice, it’s part of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  You have no idea what it’s like for me.

Me now:
Yes, I do.  I had an abortion.  And I lost a pregnancy too.  I know the fear, the pain and the struggle of the crisis pregnancy.  I also know the pain that creeps up later when you don’t expect it.  And now I know how God feels about it, and how He feels about me.  I’m forgiven.  But I can’t just be silent now.  I have to, in some way, in some form, help someone else who has suffered what I have suffered, and in the process maybe help to prevent someone from suffering what I have suffered.

Pray not for the unborn, but for the undecided; that they will choose life for the unborn and for themselves.