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Nonprofits react: Dr. Susan Love says she's saddened by Komen decision

February 02, 2012|By Amina Khan, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
  • Dr. Susan Love (in black) surrounded by research volunteers at the launch of Love/Avon Army of Women venture pairing researchers with women during Breast Cancer Awareness month in 2008 on "The Today Show." Love said she was saddened by the Komen foundation's decision to pull grants for breast-health services from Planned Parenthood.
Dr. Susan Love (in black) surrounded by research volunteers at the launch… (Thomas Concordia / Dr. Susan…)

In the wake of Tuesday's announcement that the Susan G. Komen for the Cure will be ending grants for breast cancer screening and other breast-health services to Planned Parenthood, other women's health organizations have decried the move, calling it politically motivated and linking it to the abortion debate. 

"Pro-life should mean not just the lives of babies, but also the lives of women! This is not an either or situation," according to a statement released by the Doctor Susan Love Research Foundation, a Santa Monica-based breast-cancer research organization.

In an interview, the nonprofit’s president, Dr. Susan Love, said she was disappointed by the Komen foundation decision.

"I'm sad, because I really don't think it's a good idea to get politics involved," Love said. "Regardless of how you feel about the abortion issue, whether you're pro-choice or pro-life, it doesn’t really matter because it’s a separate issue. What Planned Parenthood is doing is giving [referrals for] mammograms and [providing] breast exams -- helping women who don't have access to that care."

Love’s own sister-in-law, Tina, 45, was one of those to benefit from Planned Parenthood’s breast-cancer screening some five years ago. Worried about a suspicious lump in her breast -- but lacking health insurance -- the Santa Barbara-based independent filmmaker ignored her suspicions until it grew even larger. She turned to Planned Parenthood for help. The lump indeed turned out to be cancer.

Tina Love, who underwent treatment and says she's now cancer-free, says she doesn't know what might have happened had Planned Parenthood’s screening services not been available. It's likely that, with no health insurance, she may never have caught the cancer at such an early stage. "I might have just brushed it off," she said. For her, Planned Parenthood  "really made a difference."

Follow me on Twitter @LAT_aminakhan.

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