The Susan G. Komen Foundation is cutting funds to Planned Parenthood, sparking outcry from abortion rights advocates and praise from an anti-abortion group.
The major breast cancer research group cut funds after the organization came under increasing scrutiny from Congress over how it provides abortion services.
The Komen Foundation gave few details on the reasons behind the decision, citing "changes in priorities and policies" and a need to "fully advance [its] mission."
"It is critical to underscore that the women we serve remain our priority. We are working directly to ensure there is no interruption or gaps in services for women who need breast health screening and services,” the group said.
Nancy Brinker, Susan G. Komen's sister and the founder and CEO of the Komen Foundation, was a political appointee of the George W. Bush Administration, in which she served as U.S. Ambassador to Hungary and as Chief of Protocol.
Planned Parenthood, meanwhile, was clearly disappointed.
"We are alarmed and saddened that the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation appears to have succumbed to political pressure," that group said.As for the amount of funding cut, Planned Parenthood said the dollars from the Komen Foundation have largely paid for breast exams at local centers.
In the last five years, grants from the group have directly supported 170,000 screenings, comprising about 4 percent of the total exams performed at Planned Parenthood health centers nationwide, according to the group.
The family planning organization announced a recent "emergency fund" from a different group, the Amy and Lee Fikes' Foundation, that will go towards making up for lost funds from Komen. The gift totaled $250,000.
Planned Parenthood said Komen began notifying local affiliates recently that their breast cancer initiatives would not be eligible for new grants.
In a statement, the group said the foundation's leadership did not respond to requests to meet with Planned Parenthood officials about the decision.
In September, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce investigated Planned Parenthood's "compliance with federal restrictions on funding abortions."
In a letter sent to Planed Parenthood, the committee asked the group to provide information on how it segregates family planning from abortion services, as well as its policies on reporting cases of sexual abuse, rape and sex trafficking.
The committee also asked for all internal audit reports from 1998-2010.
Funding for Planned Parenthood came under the spotlight in April, when a GOP push to strip $317 million in federal funding for the group failed in an eleventh hour budget deal to avoid a federal government shutdown.