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Springfieldians take sides over Susan G. Komen for the Cure funding for Planned Parenthood

A national controversy erupted this week when the foundation pulled its donations to Planned Parenthood.

February 03, 2012|by Emily Wood, KY3 News | ewood@ky3.com

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Susan G. Komen for the Cure, a nonprofit foundation devoted to breast cancer research and treatment, announced Friday it is reversing its decision to eliminate grants it had been making to Planned Parenthood.  

"I'm just very thankful that they changed their mind," said Barbara Grier, a breast cancer survivor.

Grier was a single mom of four, 10 years ago, when she discovered a lump in her breast.  She said she was uninsured at the time and did not know where to go for medical help. 

"I started out at the breast center, and they referred me to the American Cancer Society, who referred me to Planned Parenthood," said Grier.

Grier said Planned Parenthood provided the funding and guidance she needed to make it through her treatments.  She is now cancer free. 

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Komen reversed its course on Friday morning after a flood of criticism on the Internet. 

A statement from the group said, in part:  "We want to apologize to the American public for recent decisions that cast doubt upon our commitment to our mission of saving women's lives."

Komen had adopted new criteria that would have excluded Planned Parenthood for future grants for breast-cancer screenings, because Planned Parenthood was under government investigation.  The investigation was launched by a Florida congressman at the urging of anti-abortion groups.

"It was our understanding Komen was going to funnel those funds to an organization that could provide a direct and immediate service," said Cindi Boston, chief executive officer of Pregnancy Care Center in Springfield.

Boston said she hoped groups other than Planned Parenthood would have received that funding from Komen.

"We're saddened by the decision to reinstate funding," Boston said.

The Komen funding decision affected Planned Parenthood centers around the country but not all of them.  Planned Parenthood locations in southwest Missouri, for example, do not currently receive Komen funding.

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