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Health Care / HEALTH CARE

Congress Weighs in on Komen Dispute

The White House is bathed in pink light for breast cancer awareness on Monday, Oct. 3, 2011.(Chet Susslin)

photo of Maggie Fox
February 2, 2012

More than two dozen democratic senators have weighed in on the flap over a breast cancer charity's decision to stop funding Planned Parenthood clinics.

Susan G. Komen for the Cure, one of the highest-profile breast cancer charities in the United States, is under attack after reports it decided to stop funding Planned Parenthood clinics. Planned Parenthood says the decision was unexpected and linked to its support for abortion rights; Komen founder Nancy Brinker denies this.

At last count, 26 senators have signed the latter asking Brinker to reconsider.  

 

"We write to express our disappointment with Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s decision to cut funding for breast cancer prevention, screening, and education at Planned Parenthood health centers. This troubling decision threatens to reduce access to necessary, life-saving services," the letter reads.

"We urge Komen to reconsider its decision," adds the letter, signed by Sens. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md.,  Patty Murray, D-Wash., Mark Begich, D-Alaska, Max Baucus, D-Mont., and others

"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 letter adds. "We earnestly hope that you will put women’s health before partisan politics."

On the House side, Rep. Mike Honda, D-Calif., was organizing a letter. "It is my sincere hope that the years of life-saving work that this organization has encouraged is not undone by this one ill-advised action. We must ask – in the strongest possible terms – that Susan G. Komen reconsider its decision, as the bravery of millions of survivors everywhere demands the same kind of bravery exhibited by the Komen Foundation," Honda said in a Facebook posting.

New York Rep. Nita Lowey didn't wait. “Allowing a sham political ‘investigation’ to derail widespread support for breast cancer research, as well as survivors, their families, and millions of other Americans would be a tragedy," Lowey wrote in her own letter.

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