Susan G. Komen for the Cure announced today that it’s cutting off grants to Planned Parenthood affliates across the country to provide breast cancer screenings, including breast exams and mammogram referrals.
Yes, Planned Parenthood provides cancer screenings and general gynecologic care, not just family planning services such as contraception and abortions.
Komen—which sponsors walks and races to raise money for breast cancer research—said it halted the grants because of a controversial investigation of Planned Parenthood by a Republican congressman, who claims the organization is using government funds for abortions, according to the Associated Press. Komen gave about $680,000 in funds to Planned Parenthood affiliates last year, but the seven Massachusetts centers didn’t receive any funding and won’t be directly affected.
The Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts expressed “deep disappointment” and blamed it on “anti-women’s health groups” that have launched boycotts of the well-known breast cancer charity for partnering with Planned Parenthood on cancer screenings.
Over the past five years, those Planned Parenthood health centers that received Komen program funding provided nearly 170,000 clinical breast exams out of the more than 4 million clinical breast exams performed nationwide at Planned Parenthood health centers; clinicians under the grants wrote more than 6,400 mammogram referrals out of 70,000 mammogram referrals issued from Planned Parenthood clinics.
“At a time when women’s health has been under attack, it’s a sad commentary that our two organizations won’t be working together since we both have similar missions,” Dianne Luby, president of the Massachusetts Planned Parenthood said in an interview. “Komen has appeared to succumbed to political pressure from a vocal minority and it leaves women in the lurch. We hope they’ll reconsider.”