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MV Planned Parenthood Spared from Komen Cut

The Susan G. Komen Foundation planned grant cuts to Planned Parenthood 'mischaracterized,' they say.

The breast cancer-screening budget at the Planned Parenthood site in Mountain View will not be affected after the recent announcement by the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

The Komen foundation, a breast cancer research and advocacy organization, told the Associated Press on Tuesday that a new internal policy prevented them from giving grants to groups  "under government investigation." The decision affected Planned Parenthood, a national sexual and reproductive healthcare provider, who came under political fire in September 2011 for using public funds for abortions.

However, the local Planned Parenthood Mar Monte affiliate at 225 San Antonio and all the centers in Santa Clara, San Mateo, Santa Cruz and Monterey counties will not experience cuts to their breast screening, according to spokeswoman Lupe Rodriguez.

"Our health centers have different funding sources and will be able to continue to provide breast and cervical screenings," she said.

Around the country, Komen’s cuts will affect 19 Planned Parenthood programs. This brings to an end five years of a partnership that helped provide nearly 170,000 clinical breast exams and 6,400 mammograms.

"We are alarmed and saddened that the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation appears to have succumbed to political pressure," said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. "Our greatest desire is for Komen to reconsider this policy and recommit to the partnership on which so many women count."

To mitigate the negative response, the Komen foundation issued a statement to what they called a "mischaracterized" reaction to their granting process.

Komen explained that after an investment of $93 million in 2011 that provided 700,000 breast health screenings and diagnostic procedures, they tightened their performance criteria for grantees and consequently organizations like Planned Parenthood were no longer grant eligible.

"We regret that these new policies have impacted some longstanding grantees, such as Planned Parenthood, but want to be absolutely clear that our grant-making decisions are not about politics," the statement said.

But that's not a shared sentiment in Washington, D.C.

Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (D-Palo Alto) weighed in, along with 17 other women members of the California Democratic Congressional Delegation, against the foundation's decisions.

"As the largest number of women legislators in Congress, we have come together to express our concern and displeasure over Susan G. Komen’s decision," said Eshoo. "Caving to a Congressional right-wing witch hunt won’t just hurt Planned Parenthood, it sets back women’s health."

Though Planned Parenthood attempted to quell fear that free or reduced cost screenings would continue through the help of emergency funding from the Amy and Lee Fikes Foundation, they informed news outlets that in 24 hours they raised $650,000—more than they had received from Komen in 2011.

During the fiscal year July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011, the Mountain View center screened 2,022 for free or at a reduced cost. Overall in Silicon Valley, more than 16,000 women received screenings.

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