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Schakowsky: Komen Bowed To Political Pressure In Cut To Planned Parenthood

UPDATED 02/03/12 12:05 p.m.

WASHINGTON (CBS) -- U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) is expressing extreme disappointment with the decision by the Susan G. Komen Foundation to stop funding cancer screening provided by Planned Parenthood.

As WBBM Newsradio's John Cody reports, CBS News says the breast cancer charity has been angrily criticized since this past Tuesday, when Planned Parenthood announced the foundation had elected to pull hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of funding that went toward breast cancer screenings and preventative education.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio's John Cody reports


A published report Friday said the Komen Foundation had reversed its decision and issued an apology, but the charity insisted that its reasons for cutting funding to Planned Parenthood were not political.

"Our original desire was to fulfill our fiduciary duty to our donors by not funding grant applications made by organizations under investigation," the Komen Foundation said in a statement published in the Dallas Morning News. "We will amend the criteria to make clear that disqualifying investigations must be criminal and conclusive in nature and not political."

But Schakowsky says the Komen Foundation clearly bowed to political pressure.

"Planned Parenthood has certainly done something about it. In 24 hours, they have now raised $650,000, which is nearly enough to fill in where Susan G. Komen left them," she said.

Schakowsky says she was not proposing of predicting any Congressional action about the Komen Foundation decision, but ads she believes, on balance, that Planned Parenthood may be the winner.

Prior to the reversal of the decision, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg pledged up to $250,000 from his personal fortune to Planned Parenthoood. Bloomberg says politics have no place in health care.

Until Friady, the Komen Foundation defended the decision, pointing, as it did in its apology statement, to a new standard in its grant allocation process as the motivation. The standard prohibits Komen from giving to organizations that are under investigation by local, state or federal authorities, CBS News reported.

Planned Parenthood has been targeted by Republicans in Congress for several years because it provides abortion services in addition to other women's health procedures while receiving government support, CBS News reported. But the government support cannot be used to fund abortions; only other procedures.

Shakowsky says she is on the oversight committee supposedly investigating Planned Parenthood, and knows personally that the investigations against the organziation are a witch hunt. She says they have found nothing wrong, and will never find anything wrong, with use of federal dollars by Planned Parenthood .

Shcakowsky asserts Planned Parenthood is scrupulous about making sure that federal dollars never go to support abortion services which it does provide.

So far, three top Komen officials have resigned over the issue.

The Komen Foundation is the world's leading breast cancer charity, and raises millions of dollars each year in its "Race for the Cure."

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