Komen Announces Plans to Fund 17 Planned Parenthood Affiliates

Earlier this year the Susan G. Komen Foundation for the Cure announced they would no longer contribute to Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion provider, after it was revealed they were the subject of a government inquiry. But after caving to intense pressure, the group reversed their decision and now plans to financially support at least 17 PP affiliates in 2012.

Komen, which is based in Dallas, Texas, funded 18 affiliates in 2011 for a total of around $680,000. The grants were intended for breast cancer. However, Planned Parenthood does not provide the screenings and has to refer women to other health care providers.

Officials from Komen are disputing the fact that politics played a role in the foundation's decision to fund the group, saying instead the issue was women's health.

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"We know that people have been upset and concerned about recent events," Komen spokeswoman Leslie Aun told The Washington Post. "We acknowledged our missteps and apologized. People need to know that we have not and never will walk away from women in need. There is no one filling the gap in services that way that Komen is."

Officials from Planned Parenthood could not be reached for comment.

Still, the controversy has damaged Komen's "Race for the Cure" fundraising efforts since the uproar began.

The March 25 Komen race in Southern Arizona was short 7,267 participants of their goal of 11,000. The event also failed to meet their fundraising goal of $700,000 by over $100,000.

Another race in Indianapolis scheduled for next week is also expected to be at least 10,000 short of last year's 37,500 participants.

"The issues relating to Planned Parenthood have certainly had an impact on some races, there is no doubt about that," Aun confirmed.

The controversy surrounding Komen and Planned Parenthood fully erupted after several members of Congress who support the abortion provider began to pressure Komen to continue its funding.

Critics also said the decision was the result of Karen Handel, the former Georgia Secretary of State and GOP candidate for governor who landed a position with Komen. Handel is known for her strong opposition to abortion and resigned soon after the decision was made to reinstate funding.

Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.), who chairs the House Energy and Commerce Committee, has been investigating Planned Parenthood for fraud, waste and sex trafficking.

Additionally, the GOP presumed presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, has publicly stated he will keep federal funds from flowing to Planned Parenthood if elected.

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