Breast cancer survivor torn over Komen condemnation

by: Diana Davis Updated:


ATLANTA - The Archdiocese of Atlanta has told Catholics to stop supporting the Susan G. Komen Foundation over its support of abortion provider Planned Parenthood. 
Channel 2 first reported the decision last week. Although Komen’s local branch did not give funding to Planned Parenthood, the archdiocese said it encouraged the national division of the breast cancer research organization to do so.

On Monday, Channel 2’s Diana Davis spoke with a breast cancer survivor who’s struggling to decide what to do. Debbie Colehower showed Davis pictures of her walking in last year's Susan G. Komen Atlanta three-day breast cancer fundraiser. She said it was a powerful experience.

“I really felt that I needed to do that for myself, for healing, to physically prove to myself that I could do it and to be a good example for my children,” she said.
Colehower, a practicing Catholic, told Davis she's still deciding if she should continue to support Komen due its controversy with the Catholic Church.

“You know, it’s hard. It’s a very hard decision, and I haven't made that decision yet,” Colehower said.
Archdiocese Atlanta representative Pat Chivers said, “We see any support of an abortion as evil.” 

She added, “That is an organization that is the largest supporter and promoter of abortions in the United States. Their activities are in direct opposition to the teaching to the Catholic Church about the sanctity of human life.”

Colehower said abortion is against her moral compass, but she’s also devoted to finding a cure for breast cancer.

“As a Catholic, I have to stay true my beliefs, and I want to do anything I can to help find a cure for breast cancer,” she said.

Though Komen Atlanta has never given money to Planned Parenthood, Chivers noted a post on the group’s Facebook page that said, "We hope that any investigation prohibiting Planned Parenthood from receiving future Komen grants is promptly resolved."

"That public support is an absolute scandal," Chivers said.

Davis reached out to Komen Atlanta for a statement on Monday, but a representative said they are working on one but would not have anything ready until Tuesday.