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Breast cancer charity pulls funding to pro-choice foundation

America's leading breast-cancer charity, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, is halting its partnerships with Planned Parenthood affiliates in 2012

The Associated Press/The Associated Press

One of the world's largest breast cancer charities has decided to cut funding to Planned Parenthood, a surprise move that is creating a political firestorm and sparking an outcry among abortion advocates.

The Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation says it will no longer give money to Planned Parenthood. The reason? The foundation cites newly adopted rules that forbid it from donating funds to groups that are under investigation by the government.

Last year, a pro-life congressman launched an inquiry to determine if Planned Parenthood was using any government money to fund abortions, which is against the law in the U.S.

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But Planned Parenthood says the cash it receives from the breast cancer charity, which totals a few hundred thousand dollars each year, goes toward breast exams and other breast health services. Planned Parenthood officials told the Associated Press the Komen Foundation is bowing to political pressure and that's why it decided to cut off funding and that this decision will have a detrimental impact on the health of women.

Already, the story is lighting up social media sites, where users are clashing over the split of these two renowned organizations known for their dedication to women's health.

But it's also raising questions about what impact the Komen Foundation's decision could have in Canada. Last August, the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, which organizes the Run for the Cure, announced it was teaming up with the Komen Foundation to raise money and possibly collaborate on research, education, advocacy and awareness programs on both sides of the border.

Paul Cantin, director of communications at the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation's central office, says there are no policy links between it and the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Regardless, CBCF doesn't provide any funding to Planned Parenthood in Canada, he said.

The questions come only a few months after the Conservative government was in the spotlight over the decision to fund an international Planned Parenthood group, which provides abortions in developing countries around the world. Critics accused the government of succumbing to pressure from the pro-life movement.

While the government dragged its feet for months on making a decision, but it was revealed last year it will give $6 million to the International Planned Parenthood Federation, earmarked for countries where abortion is illegal.

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About the Author

Carly Weeks has been a journalist with The Globe and Mail since 2007.  She has reported on everything from federal politics to the high levels of sodium in the Canadian diet. More

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