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Christian bookstore pulls Bible from shelves, anti-abortion advocates celebrate

By Dan Merica, CNN
updated 7:35 AM EST, Thu December 15, 2011
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Lifeway said the sale of the Bible violated its core values
  • Funds from the sale of the Bible went to the Susan G. Komen Foundation
  • Komen gives money to Planned Parenhood for breast cancer screening
  • Decision to pull Bible wins praise from anti-abortion groups

Washington (CNN) -- LifeWay Christian Bookstores has removed a Bible from its shelves because the Bible helped raise money for the Susan G. Komen Foundation, which in turn "funds Planned Parenthood" breast cancer programs.

The Bible, which was published by B&H Publishing Group, was sold with the stipulation that $1 from the sale of each Bible would go to the Komen Foundation. The 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 they were donating to a foundation that also donated to Planned Parenthood, they released a statement stating they "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," stated a release by Thom S. Rainer, president and CEO of LifeWay. "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."

The issue had become a cause célèbre for anti-abortion advocates around the country, including the websites LifeNews.com and Bound4Life.com. After Lifeway Christian Bookstores announced they were removing the Bible, Steven Ertelt, the founder of the website, posted a call to action for his readers. "Take a few minutes to say thanks," read a post on the website.

Bound4Life issued a similar post. "Thank you, Mr. Rainer and LifeWay for doing the right thing," wrote Susan Tyrrell, editor of the website. "We can pray the controversy will bring more awareness to Komen's unwise giving practices."

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, concluded the release, "Komen will fund the facilities that can best meet those needs."

In light of the Bibles' removal, LifeWay has pledged to "continue to seek innovative ways that are in keeping with LifeWay's core values."

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