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Komen cuts Planned Parenthood funding

February 1, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
The Susan G. Komen Foundation for the Cure has been a leader in fighting breast cancer, but the charity is under fire for cutting its funding for Planned Parenthood, money that would be used for breast exams.

Planned Parenthood accuses Komen of succumbing to political pressure from anti-abortion activists. The organization said it stands to lose nearly $700,000 for breast exams.

The foundation cites Planned Parenthood being investigated by Congress as the reason, a probe launched by a conservative Republican into the organization's compliance with federal restrictions on funding abortions.

"We regret that these new policies have impacted some long-standing grantees, such as Planned Parenthood, but want to be absolutely clear that our grant-making decisions are not about politics," Komen said in a statement.

Komen incurred heated criticism from some members of Congress, numerous liberal advocacy groups and some newspaper editorial writers.

"Last year the Planned Parenthood organization as responsible for over 700,000 breast cancer screenings for women who are poor," said Rep. Jackie Speier (D-San Francisco).

However, the foundation was applauded by many conservative religious and anti-abortion groups that abhor Planned Parenthood for its role as the leading U.S. abortion provider.

"This is a very disappointing decision and frustrating because ultimately women and families that need care will be negatively impacted," said Celina Vasquez of Planned Parenthood Los Angeles.

Planned Parenthood said Wednesday that it received more than $400,000 from 6,000 donors in the 24 hours after news broke that its affiliates would be losing grants for breast screenings from the Susan G. Komen for the Cure breast-cancer foundation.

Planned Parenthood of San Bernardino and Orange Counties is one of two affiliates that will still receive funding from the Komen foundation.