The Susan G. Komen Foundation for the Cure, an organization devoted to breast cancer prevention, treatment, and research, announced Tuesday it would halt funding to Planned Parenthood. The Komen grants to Planned Parenthood had largely gone to support screenings and other tools to detect breast cancer.
The foundation stated they were cutting funding because Planned Parenthood is currently under a congressional investigation. Republican Rep. Cliff Stearns recently launched an investigation accusing Planned Parenthood of misusing public funds on abortions. "The main factor in the decision was a new rule adopted by Komen that prohibits grants to organizations being investigated by local, state or federal authorities," said a Komen spokesperson.
The move quickly drew criticism by women's health activists and breast cancer survivors alike, arguing that Planned Parenthood's cancer prevention and detection services are especially vital for lower-income women who have no other options. They assert that the congressional investigation is an excuse for the Susan G. Komen foundation to kowtow to anti-abortion activists.
In a statement, Planned Parenthood said, "We are alarmed and saddened that the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation appears to have succumbed to political pressure."
Furthermore, the Komen for the Cure Facebook and Twitter pages were barraged with angry comments. Said Laura Chapin, "If social media is any gauge, Komen's foolish decision may have irreparably damaged its brand--and more importantly, irreparably damaged the health of hundreds of thousands of women."
Not long after the story broke, the Komen foundation defended its actions in a statement, "While it is regrettable when changes in priorities and policies affect any of our grantees, such as a longstanding partner like Planned Parenthood, we must continue to evolve to best meet the needs of the women we serve and most fully advance our mission."
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