The Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation announced Wednesday that it will no longer fund breast cancer prevention, screenings and education at Planned Parenthood health centers.
Pat Hurd, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Virginia, which has clinics in Virginia Beach and Hampton, expressed his disappointment in the decision: "As a health care provider to more than 10,000 women in our community, Planned Parenthood is a trusted leader in helping women identify breast cancer early. ... Victims of cancer could care less about people's politics." (It's generally accepted that the withdrawal of funds is due to pressure from anti-abortion activists.)
In 2010, the Southeastern Virginia affiliate started a wide-reaching breast health education campaign, thanks to an $18,000 grant from Susan G. Komen. More than 200 young women were taught how to dobreast self-exams, the importance of clinical exams and how to lower their risk for breast cancer. Through education sessions and outreach, it reached more than 5,000 additional women with materials and printed information; through a radio public education campaign in Spanish, it reached another 100,000 women multiple times.
Over the past five years, Planned Parenthood health centers, with Komen program funding, have provided nearly 170,000 clinical breast exams out of the more than 4 million performed nationally at PP; as well as more than 6,400 mammogram referrals out of 70,000.
More than 90 percent of of Planned Parenthood services are preventive in nature, including cancer screenings, birth control, testing and treatment of STDs, breast health services, Pap tests, and sexual health education and information.
Local clinics are at: 403 Yale Drive, Hampton, 826-2079; 515 Newtown Road, Virginia Beach, 499-7526.
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