Harding University, which found itself yesterday in the national media eye (and those of not a few unhappy women) for removing Race for the Cure items from the campus bookstore, has reversed itself. The pink gear — pens, coffee cups, picture frames and books sold to advance the breast cancer cure efforts of the Susan G. Komen Foundation — is on sale again, multiple sources are reporting.
A Harding administrator had ordered the items removed after a student complained that the Komen Foundation gives support to Planned Parenthood, which provides abortion among family planning and other women's health services including breast screening. Harding, in Searcy, is affiliated with the conservative Church of Christ. The Foundation does NOT, however, give Planned Parenthood money. Some affiliates — not the one in Arkansas — support the cancer screening activities of some Planned Parenthood organizations.
Students and staff at Harding who've been long supporters of the Race for the Cure were among those who objected to the decision.
I expect an official statement before long, but word has filtered out to the public. Meanwhile, campus moles report that the stuff is already sold out. All's well ....
UPDATE: The statement:
Recently, some members of the Harding University community were concerned that the Susan G. Komen Foundation was distributing funds to organizations that support or provide abortion services. Mel Sansom, vice president for finance at Harding University, agreed to remove two items that bore the Komen Foundation logo from Harding’s bookstore while researching this issue.
After further review, Mr. Sansom has learned that neither the National Susan G. Komen Foundation nor the Arkansas affiliate support groups that provide abortions. Therefore, the two items have been put back on the shelves for sale in the bookstore.
While talking with representatives from Harding today, Sherrye McBride, executive director of the Arkansas Affiliate of the Komen Foundation, said, “We have a history of working together with Harding, and we will work together in the future. We [the Komen Foundation] are only about breast health.”
Harding University has a long history of working to raise funds for breast cancer awareness and research, including working with the Komen Foundation through events such as Stroll for the Cure, an event sponsored by Harding Alumni Relations.