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Susan G. Komen for the Cure funds 17 Planned Parenthood grants

April 13, 2012|By Amina Khan, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
  • Pasadena firefighter engineer Robert Sepulveda, right, gets a high-five from Lisa Derderian, Pasadena Fire Department emergency management coordinator, after walking a lap around the Rose Bowl to raise awareness of breast cancer and women's cancer research. Susan G. Komen for the Cure will be funding at least 17 Planned Parenthood affiliates, reports say.
Pasadena firefighter engineer Robert Sepulveda, right, gets a high-five… (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times )

After a tumultous and short-lived breakup between the two nonprofits in February, Susan G. Komen for the Cure is sending grant money Planned Parenthood’s way.

At least 17 Planned Parenthood affiliates will be receiving funding from their local Komen organizations, according to a report out in the Washington Post.

The move comes as the breast cancer foundation continues to reforge ties after an unsuccessful attempt to stop funding the sexual and reproductive healthcare provider’s breast-health services.

Last month, Komen founder Nancy Brinker sent a letter to Congress apologizing for “mistakes that ultimately raised questions in the community about our commitment to the mission of saving lives,” she wrote.

Komen has for several years provided funding to Planned Parenthood for breast cancer screening and other breast health services, as The Times reported when the controversy first broke.

Critics of the Komen decision saw this as a thinly veiled political move, pointing to the hiring of Karen Handel, a former secretary of state in Georgia and a Republican activist with a strong anti-abortion stance who was an outspoken critic of Planned Parenthood. 

But Komen said its decision to de-fund Planned Parenthood was born out of a new policy that would prohibit them from supporting any organization under governmental investigation. Planned Parenthood had been subject to an inquiry by congressional Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.).

The decision sparked public outcry, and even local Komen affiliates expressed their opposition to the move; California’s seven local affiliates wrote a letter stating, “Affiliates will not rest until this issue is resolved.... We want to assure all Californians that we will do whatever it takes to do what is right for the health of women and men in California.”

Donations flowed into Planned Parenthood; within days of the decision being made public, Komen had reversed itself.

The total amount of the 17 grants being awarded is still being worked out, according to the Washington Post report. Not all Planned Parenthood affiliates who applied received grants, officials said: Six were turned down, generally because of a lack of local Komen funding. More grants may be awarded because not all of them award grants based on the fiscal year beginning April 1.

Representatives from Komen and Planned Parenthood’s national offices could not be reached for comment.

Follow me on Twitter @aminawrite.

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