Breast cancer charity Susan G. Komen for the Cure will stop providing grants to Planned Parenthood, a nonprofit women's organization that provides abortions as well as cancer screenings, birth control and other health care services.
The decision – which the Associated Press reported Tuesday was tied to a new Komen policy prohibiting grants to organizations under investigation – garnered praise and criticism Wednesday.
Planned Parenthood is the target of an investigation initiated by Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., to determine whether public money was improperly spent on abortions, according to the AP.
"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," Susan G. Komen for the Cure posted on its Facebook page Wednesday. "It is critical to underscore that the women we serve in communities remain our priority. We are working directly with Komen Affiliates to ensure there is no interruption or gaps in services for women who need breast health screening and services."
The move was expected to be a heavy hit to Planned Parenthood's breast health programs.
"Planned Parenthood said the Komen grants totaled roughly $680,000 last year and $580,000 the year before, going to at least 19 of its affiliates for breast-cancer screening and other breast-health services," according to the Associated Press.
However, Planned Parenthood Mid and South Michigan does not receive funding from Komen, President and CEO Lori Lamerand said of the Michigan group in an article on The Detroit News' website.
The breast cancer charity does put on two popular fundraising events locally each year: The Susan G. Komen Detroit Race for the Cure, scheduled for May 26, and the Susan G. Komen 3-Day, set for Aug. 17-19 in southeastern Michigan.
In response to Komen's funding decision, Planned Parenthood has established a Breast Health Emergency Fund with a $250,000 gift from Amy and Lee Fikes’ foundation to protect services for low-income women.
"The Komen-funded Planned Parenthood programs have helped thousands of women in rural and underserved communities get breast health education, screenings, and referrals for mammograms," according to a statement on the Planned Parenthood website.