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Breast cancer charity ends Planned Parenthood funding

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Wed, 1 Feb 2012 01:53 AM
Author: Reuters
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Jan 31 (Reuters) - Planned Parenthood said on Tuesday that the leading U.S. breast-cancer charity would no longer provide new funding to the group, which performs abortions and other services at clinics around the country.

In a statement, Planned Parenthood said the Susan G. Komen Foundation had "succumbed to political pressure" from anti-abortion groups in cutting the funding.

Komen had begun notifying local Planned Parenthood affiliates that their breast cancer prevention programs will no longer be eligible for new grants from the charity, it said.

Planned Parenthood said Komen had not responded to requests to meet and talk about the decision to cut the funding, which it said had helped thousands of women in rural and underserved communities get breast health education, screenings, and mammogram referrals.

But it said the Komen Foundation had been "repeatedly threatened" in recent years by anti-abortion groups upset with its affiliation with Planned Parenthood.

The Komen Foundation, best-known for the Race for the Cure fundraisers it sponsors around the country each year, did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Reuters.

The foundation said it raised more than $1.9 billion for breast cancer research and programs and has affiliates in more than 100 U.S. cities and 50 countries. Its symbol - the pink ribbon - is widely recognized.

Planned Parenthood said Komen's funding had helped pay for 170,000 of the more than 4 million clinical breast exams the group had performed over the past five years, as well as more than 6,400 of the 70,000 mammogram referrals it has made during that time.

Planned Parenthood has come under attack by lawmakers in several states over the past year, including North Carolina, Indiana and Kansas, who have attempted to block any government funding of the group.

In Kansas, county prosecutors outside Kansas City are pressing criminal charges against Planned Parenthood, alleging the group failed to maintain required paperwork related to the abortions it provided.

Under current law, Planned Parenthood cannot use federal funds to provide abortions though it receives federal money to provide family aid to low-income women. (Reporting by James Kelleher; Editing by Greg McCune)

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