WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Frank R. Lautenberg and Bob Menendez were joined by 24 of their Senate colleagues in calling on Nancy Brinker, Founder and CEO of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, to reconsider her organization’s decision to stop funding cancer screenings at Planned Parenthood.
“For the past five years, grants to local affiliates of Planned Parenthood have been an important part of Planned Parenthood’s work to protect women from breast cancer,” the Senators wrote. “Komen funding for Planned Parenthood has provided nearly 170,000 clinical breast exams and resulted in 6,400 referrals for mammograms.”
“It would be tragic if any woman—let alone thousands of women— lost access to these potentially life-saving screenings because of a politically motivated attack,” the Senators wrote.
According to a statement from the Komen Foundation, the decision to stop funding Planned Parenthood was made because of “more stringent eligibility standards” designed “to safeguard donor dollars.”
“We regret that these new policies have impacted some longstanding grantees, such as Planned Parenthood, but want to be absolutely clear that our grant-making decisions are not about politics,” said the statement from the Komen Foundation. “Throughout our 30 year history, our priority has always been and will continue to be the women we serve. As we move forward, we are working to ensure that there is no interruption or gaps in services for the women who need our support most in the fight against breast cancer.”
Komen grants provided Planned Parenthood with roughly $650,000 in funding for breast cancer prevention, screening, and education last year. Other donors have already made pledges that would nearly cover the shortfall.
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