Susan G. Komen vs. Planned Parenthood: ''A witch hunt,'' says Planned Parenthood after funding cut

10:58 AM, Feb 2, 2012   |    comments
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Sarasota, Florida - It is a bad break-up between a powerful partnership.

The Susan G. Komen Foundation is cutting all financial ties to Planned Parenthood, which has seven clinics in fifteen counties in Florida.

Some suspect that it's due to the abortion services that Planned Parenthood offers.  In fact, people who are angry with this decision claim that the ultra-conservative new president of the country's leading breast cancer charity is to blame.

So far, no one from the Komen Foundation has gone on camera to comment in interviews.

However, a Komen spokesperson had this to say in a written statement: "We want to maintain a positive relationship with them. We're not making any judgment. We must continue to evolve to best and meet the needs of the women we serve and most fully advance our mission."

Barbara A. Zdravecky is the CEO of the Southwest and Central Florida office of Planned Parenthood in Sarasota.

Zdravecky addressed the media in a press conference Wednesday saying, "Planned parenthood is not going to stop. Planned Parenthood is providing more healthcare to women than any other group in the country. We will not stop. We're going to stand up for women's health. We're going to stand up for poor women's health and continue to provide the care that 97 percent of our services entail."

One in five women have utilized Planned Parenthood services in their lives, according to the iconic, nationwide organization. Planned Parenthood calls this "bullying" and a "witch hunt." 

Organizers maintain they're not just upset, they're devastated.

Today in Sarasota, Zdravecky said that 27,000 women were treated last year at their Sarasota clinic, and half of them received breast exams.

Planned Parenthood organizers say the majority of what they do is women's health care, offering low cost cancer screenings, breast exams, mammograms, contraception and STD testing. They say Komen should recognize how Planned Parenthood is saving lives.

Only three percent, according to Planned Parenthood, of what they do deals with abortion services.

Not all Planned Parenthood clinics are affected by this funding freeze. Some do not rely on grants from Komen.  There's only one in Florida that takes Komen funding, and it's in the Palm Beach-Miami area.

A private donor gave $250,000 to the Sarasota Planned Parenthood location to help the other clinics across the country struggling with the loss of funding.

According to Gina Kravitz, Executive Director Suncoast chapter of the Komen foundation, "Nothing's going to change about the number of women we are able to provide.  Our number one priority is to have screening programs in place in the six counties we serve.  Our grants will serve the same number of people."

Kravitz went on to say, "This was not a local decision."

Numerous people responded to the 10 News Facebook page saying they were going to pull their support and donations to Komen in the future.

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