December 15th, 2011
08:49 AM ET
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story erroneously stated that Lifeway Christian Bookstores carried the “Cancer Awareness Bible.” The chain never carried that Bible.
By Dan Merica, CNN
Washington (CNN) - A Christian publisher is withdrawing copies of the "Breast Cancer Awareness Bible," from stores because the Bible helped raised money for the Susan G. Komen Foundation, which contributes to Planned Parenthood.
Many conservative Christian groups oppose Planned Parenthood because of its role as an abortion provider, though many of the group's services are not abortion-related.
The "Breast Cancer Awareness Bible" is described "as a way to place God's Word into the hands of those suffering through breast cancer." It was published by B&H Publishing Group - a division of LifeWay Christian Resources, which is owned by the Southern Baptist Convention - and was sold with the stipulation that $1 from the sale of each book would go to the Komen Foundation to support breast health education, screening and treatment programs.
LifeWay Christian Resources also owns LifeWay Christian Bookstores, but the stores never carried the "Cancer Awareness Bible." The book had been distributed to Walmart, K-Mart and other retailers, according to LifeWay Christian Resources.
The Komen Foundation says on its website it gives money to Planned Parenthood, stating that funds from the foundation go to "Planned Parenthood-sponsored breast cancer health programs."
When LifeWay realized it had partnered with an organization that donates to Planned Parenthood, the publisher released a statement saying that it had "made a mistake."
"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," said Thom S. Rainer, president and CEO of LifeWay, in a release.
"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 said.
This is not the first time the Komen Foundation has been questioned about its connection with Planned Parenthood.
The foundation issued a June 2011 statement that further clarified its association with "19 Planned Parenthood programs."
"In all cases, Komen funding is used exclusively to provide breast cancer programs, including clinical breast exams conducted by trained medical personnel," stated the release. "It's important to note that Komen will only make grants to non-profit organizations. As many mammography providers are for-profit entities, we are only to fund mammography services through grants made to local non-profit service providers."
As long as there are vulnerable communities in need, said the release, "Komen will fund the facilities that can best meet those needs."
The Komen Foundation issued a statement Thursday afternoon contending that there were "no dollars going to Planned Parenthood programs" from sales of the Bibles.
"LifeWay is a first-year partner that pledged $25,000 to Susan G. Komen for the Cure from sales of the pink-covered 'Here's Hope Breast Cancer Awareness Bible.' LifeWay and Komen for the Cure entered the partnership with the mutual hope that this Bible would have special meaning for women and their families during breast cancer treatment and recovery," the foundation said in its statement.
"We are sorry to hear that LifeWay has decided to end sales of the Bible, especially since proceeds from partnership were to support national breast cancer programs."
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