Christian publisher pulls 'Cancer Awareness Bible' over abortion concerns
LifeWay Christian Resources has pulled its “Cancer Awareness Bible” from Wal-Mart and other stores.
December 15th, 2011
08:49 AM ET

Christian publisher pulls 'Cancer Awareness Bible' over abortion concerns

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."

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Abortion • Belief • Bible • Christianity

soundoff (672 Responses)
  1. JennyTX

    Christian Conservatives show us once again what a mean-spirited, narrow-minded bunch of people they are.

    December 15, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
    • Vic Torrey

      "Mean spirited?"
      I am sure that there are "mean spirited" Christians.....And I personally am a a Christian (IAccording to my Lord's Definition-Check the Gospel of John and look for the references as to what He said "Born Again" Means)
      I want to apologize to you personally and all others of likemindedness postint on or reading this board/article/responses.
      "Mean spirited" Christians did not really get that from their Lord......
      "NARROW MINDED?" I don't know about other Christians but I kind of take that as a "Backwards Complement."
      According to Scripture it was Jesus Himself who expressed "narrow mindeness."
      "NO ONE comes to the Father (i.e. God Almighty, Heaven) except they come THROUGH Me."
      Also in the Gospels there's a reference to the effect of
      "MANY (Majority of folks?) are on the Broad Way to Destruction;
      Only a FEW are on the Narrow Way (Which leads to Heaven)......
      I personally strongly encourage to check these things out.....
      I don't think that either God or Jesus is a liar-

      December 15, 2011 at 6:53 pm |
    • Yo!

      "Vic Torrey"

      Nice job in proving Jenny's point! LMAO!

      December 15, 2011 at 6:55 pm |
    • Concerned

      Sorry Vic, as I see it,
      Jenny: 1,
      Vic Torrey: 0

      December 15, 2011 at 7:00 pm |
  2. Concerned

    I really, truly, utterly and completely despise Christians. (And all religious zealotry.
    This is just another example of how dictatorial and idiotic Christians are. Not "can be", ARE. Always.

    December 15, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  3. Mathew

    I am merely asking for both sides to try and understand each other. Anger and loathing will only deepen the gap between the secular and religious demographic in this country which I believe is not as wide as some believe. No one can conclusively state whether or not God or a god-like being exists. Rather than debate over points such as this, I believe we should cooperate to solve the problems the world currently faces.

    Thank you everyone.

    December 15, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
    • Richie

      Very sensible Christmasy viewpoint we all need more of this/that/and the Other.

      December 15, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
  4. skinnymulligan

    See it is a war on breast cancer christians!

    December 15, 2011 at 6:10 pm |
  5. Zon

    Stupid wingnuts.

    December 15, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
  6. Brynja

    Christians are not really known for their intelligence. This story, as any story with Chrisitans, makes me laugh at the sheer stupidity and fell like crying for all their heartless evil actions.

    December 15, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
    • Vic Torrey

      So then, Saving an innocent life is a heartless evil action? I

      December 15, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
    • Kate

      Christians may not be known for their intelligence, but I really don't think you should pride yourself to much on yours either.

      God Bless!!

      December 15, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  7. us1776

    Good riddens.

    Religion is the worst thing to ever happen to the human race.


    December 15, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
    • Vic Torrey

      Grab a phonebook dude (or look it up on the internet-the yellow pages?)
      How many hosptals have a religious name (major religion, named after a "saint" or a denomination?)
      Compare to how many "atheist" or listed antireligion groups?
      Do a Real Reality Checik (What IF?)
      Your car breaks down in a "questionable" or "rough" part of town late at night.
      Your cell phone is dead or not getting a signal; you have to walk to get help.
      Five guys come out of building and walk straight towards you;
      They have come out of a bar or a Bible study Group?
      Make a difference?
      In edition: Further postings down? "Ticked off about those people "judging" others?
      If you have read any of these postings and formed an opinion (i.e. judgment) either nay, or yeh-Guess WHO'S Judging?

      December 15, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
    • mary


      December 15, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
    • Yo!

      "Grab a phonebook dude (or look it up on the internet-the yellow pages?)
      How many hosptals have a religious name (major religion, named after a "saint" or a denomination?)
      Compare to how many "atheist" or listed antireligion groups?"

      Your spelling is giving you away again Herbie. LOL! DUH....it's wasn't till recently that you could voice your opinion against Christianity without restitution in society for it. It was politically correct to just agree with religious types...why...SHOW ME THE MONEY!

      December 15, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
  8. DMR

    It is fascinating watching the so-called Christian right prove they are neither.

    December 15, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
    • jon

      You are correct. A lot of "Christians" seem to hate everybody – except themselves of course. I know a lot of them personally. Great.

      December 15, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
  9. NJBob

    My sincerest hope for the 21st century is that people will embrace science and rational thought, and finally leave all this religious hogwash behind. I see , however, little reason for optimism.

    December 15, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
  10. Pat

    One foundation, which supports breast cancer awareness, research, and cures, gives another foundation money for breast cancer testing for poor women. But as a very small part of their business model that second foundation also does something else – fund abortions for poor women. So Christians get the first foundation's book removed? The end result – more women with breast cancer? That's what Christianity is about? Just asking.

    December 15, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
    • nympha

      Breast cancer awareness is strong and healthy and get's better every year. It's no one's fault if a woman decides not to see a doctor (and there are many low cost or no cost providers other than PP). It is highly unfair of you to accuse any individual's or organizations ethical choices of where their money goes as equal to cancer itself.

      December 15, 2011 at 6:02 pm |
  11. Jimbo1918

    People should look at reality. How can anti-abortion people, mostly anti-tax and anti-government conservative, want to ban abortion and at the same time do not want to take care of people who are poor, sick, handicapped, disabled and in great need for financial assistance. Do they really think church has the resource to take care of this class of people or they are willing to pay for it. Why don't they just adopt all unwanted children for change.

    December 15, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
  12. MatchlessG11

    I do read the Bible.
    Unfortunally it seem that you glance over it like a news paper.
    Or others are telling you what is in it.
    Maybe one should learn the command
    "thou shall not murder"
    That is one of the most important.

    December 15, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
    • AngieS

      Perhaps you need to read it, again. The commandment does NOT say "thou shalt not murder" it says "thou shalt not KILL". Something which "Christians" regularly engage in...

      December 15, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
    • Observer


      It actually says "thou shall not kill". It's in the same area of the Bible where God gives a long list of things we must kill people for.

      December 15, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
    • DrD

      so like all Chiristian you oppose the death penalty of course?

      December 15, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
  13. tom-ay

    you can stop abortion by having gay s=x instead

    December 15, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
  14. Canadian

    why did god (or in america.. jesus) create cancer in the first place?

    when we ask questions about god that don't make sense the only answer a christian has is "well the lord works in mysterious ways"

    this forces rational people to come up with very irrational answers.

    December 15, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
    • Chuck

      Cancer is a consequence of sin - not the individual's sin, but of mankind's sin.

      December 15, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
    • sockpuppet

      just because you use sound bites from movies does not make it Christianity in a nutshell. Try speaking to theologians or people who actually spend time studying the Bible, they have far better theories than "the lord works in mysterious ways"

      December 15, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
    • Do the Research

      Cancer is a biological disease. It acts like a virus...creates its own blood supply. We live in a toxic world. Please do not drag God into this!!

      December 15, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
    • brandon

      as a Christian, I have to say that your statement doesn't really make a whole lot of sense.

      I think the problem a lot of people who don't believe in God have with religion is that they don't follow the plot particularly well and then they complain when things don't make sense to them. Regardless fo whether or not you believe in the Bible as being the word fo God, it DOES make sense within it's own narrative.

      Asking questions like "why would God create cancer" disavows the biblical principal that God isn't nice. He didn't create the world for us to be comfortable. He's not into making you happy. God's character in the bible is a being who is much more interested in doing what's "right" than what SEEMS right to many, if not most, people.

      December 15, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
    • Canadian

      "Cancer is a consequence of mankind's sin" If that's not irrational, then I don't know what is! Can you christian theologians do any better?

      Im going to venture there will be some sort of tipping point where the supernatural gets involved. Supernatural=irrational.

      December 15, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
    • Canadian

      @brandon thats 100% psychological and 0% a "God" and by god I mean a magical force dreamed up by our Medieval ancestors.

      December 15, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
    • Jimmy D.

      Canadian, my question back to you, "Why not?"

      December 15, 2011 at 6:00 pm |
    • hausinbodieaudersauder

      this just gets me every time, people have too die of something, you name it their is alot of ways to take a dirt nap.But when someone who has not or will not read the Holy Bible thinks that God is actually up there deciding how we die,nope, its called free will, he let us loose and its on how we finish the course.But if you still dont get it,imagine no one ever died, or just died of old age,we would have been overpopulated a long time ago, and we probably would have starved too death.

      December 15, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
    • Concerned

      Anyone who starts their comment with "As a Christian..." has immediately announced their irrevelancy before attempting to make a single point. Thank you for saving me time.

      December 15, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  15. Do the Research

    Reading through these comments, I would like to add- This is not about Christians or bibles or ideology. Bottom line is this: people give to an organization that 'claims' to cure cancer... thinking that the money they give will go to...well, to research breast cancer! Seems pretty simple.

    Imagine all the medical industrial complexes that would suffer if there was actually a cure found. Think about that. All the drug companies, special cancer wings in hospitals, doctors, nurses, therapists of every variety. No need. And of course The Susan B Coleman foundation would be obsolete, and the $500,000./year + salary no more.
    Wont happen.
    Do the research.

    December 15, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
    • bk

      Seriously? obviously everyone would love to find a 'cure' for breast cancer. obviously, if you know anything about cancer research, or medical research you would know that cancer is a multifactorial disease– and there is never going to be a cancer 'cure'–rather just better at extending lives with therapies if we get good at fighting off breast cancer with new drugs (chemotherapy, monolconal antibodies, radiiation, immunotherapy, etc.). yes there are exceptions to a cure–as in HPV vaccince preventing cervical carcinoma via its prevention of human papilloma virus types 16 and 18. but the pathogenesis of cervical carcinoma is unique (as well as a handful of other cancers) And if we find a 'cure' as you say then we will have money to commit to other projects. dont make dumb comments.

      December 15, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
    • tb3326

      There were idiots that said the same thing about finding a cure for polio.

      December 15, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
    • bk

      polio is a virus–thus why cancers caused by viruses can be immunized against (ie HPV example or burkitts lymphoma, etc.) but cancer is NOT a virus, we can come up with better therapies that could better wipe out the cells (ie new monoclonal antibodues) and extend life and catch cancer earlier. but to say we are going to find a magic cure is not science fiction, merely fiction. saying we are going to come up with life extending therapies and getting better at catching the disease, and possibly curing many patients via therapy is one thing. but cancer strikes many different aspects of a cell, and has many different factors. polio is and was different and that was in a time where we knew exponentially less than today. i am a huge proponent of cancer research in general, i am just saying there are no cures on the horizon for cancer and anything you read that says otherwise is merely trying to get your attention. as i said there are merely better therapies that can hopefully eradicate in some people and new better methodologies for prevention and screening.

      polio is a virus–thus by focusing on how it is transmitted you can cure it with a vaccine. cancer is normal cell becoming malignant. so it is not so simple. a cancer vaccine or therapy could help fend off disease or decrease risk but it isnt something that can be cured like the original person seemed to be getting at.

      December 15, 2011 at 7:19 pm |
  16. haha

    So whats the interpretation of these lines.. "then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature"

    December 15, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
    • NJBob

      The interpretation is that it's BS! It's a story thought up by Stone Age ancestors around their camp fire.

      December 15, 2011 at 6:02 pm |
  17. j

    Wow, look at those poor persecuted Christians, being forced to carry and sell a book that gives part of its profits to a foundation that makes donations to an organization that the Christians don't like. They must be so brave to stand up being a part of the overwhelming majority.

    December 15, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  18. Sandra

    This is called "cutting off your nose in spite of your face". Pulling a book off the shelf because Planned Parenthood gets money from the Foundation for breast cancer screenings is petulant. So what if women who could actually use the information in the book that might save their lives die instead, right? As long as your petty, hidebound religious beliefs are adhered to.

    December 15, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
    • Bmann0006

      In spite of the face's protests the nose just had to be cut off.

      December 16, 2011 at 2:18 am |
    • johnfox

      Lol. You mean cutting off your nose to spite your face I assume. It's okay you sounded intelligent anyways so mission accomplished

      December 16, 2011 at 2:20 am |
  19. freeatlast

    Oh really, prayer works? just ask any amputee, u guys gotta drop the delusion

    December 15, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  20. Mathew

    Perhaps everyone posting should read this first:

    “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

    “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye."

    Matthew 7:1-5

    Not even Christian by the way.

    December 15, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
    • Mischa Latrova

      You're not a Christian? No kidding. Non-believers always cite this passage. Unfortunately, they don't understand it, so they can't apply it correctly.

      If you want to learn Bible verses, start with John 3:16. After you understand its meaning, then feel free to start citing Scripture.

      December 15, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
    • AngieS

      "Cast ye not your pearls before swine lest they trample them under foot and turn, again, and rend you". Don't listen to "Mischa". Everyone wants to pretend to know more than they do but only the truly self-righteous would brag about it.

      December 15, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
    • Mathew

      And Mischa, would you mind explaining how I am "misinterpreting" it's meaning? You'll notice that Jesus was a fan of constructive criticism as well.

      December 15, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
    • Jesus is God

      Man Mischa, get a grip. The dude's trying to stand up for Christians always getting picked on. Most people HATE that Christians like to spread the Gospel and then turn around and tell Christians what they should really believe. "Why are Christians always so pushy with their agenda!" Yeah, like non-believers don't get pushy about what they choose to believe. I'm sorry, Matthew, that this lady decided to lay into you. I appreciate that you were trying to add a little perspective into the mix. I am a Jesus loving proudly pushy Christian by the way.

      December 15, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
    • Observer

      Mischa Latrova,

      Please explain why it doesn't say what it says.

      December 15, 2011 at 6:02 pm |
    • Mischa Latrova

      @ Jesus is God and Mathew. Mathew, if I misunderstood the intent of your post, I apologize. However, it would seem to me that your post is saying the Christian publisher is wrong for "judging" Planned Parenthood. I am tired of people saying that taking a moral stance based on Christian values is the same as "judging" someone.

      December 15, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.