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Planned Parenthood 'Frustrated' After Komen Foundation Pulls Funding

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- Millions of women may not be able to get breast screenings because of a funding fight involving a leading breast cancer charity and Planned Parenthood.

There has been disappointment over a decision by Susan G. Komen for the Cure to pull its funding of Planned Parenthood's breast health programs nationwide.

Planned Parenthood officials believe the charity caved in to the anti-abortion lobby.

"I'm very frustrated and disappointed,"  JoAnn Smith, the CEO of Planned Parenthood of Nassau County, told CBS 2's Carolyn Gusoff on Wednesday. "Unfortunately, Komen has been pressured by a very small, but vocal group of people who are anti-abortion."

The Komen foundation said that is not true and that funding decisions evolve and are based on standards of excellence.

"Our grant-making decisions are not about politics...Any efforts to make this political or leverage it for fundraising purposes would be a disservice to women," the organization said in a statement.

But millions of women served by Planned Parenthood's breast health programs could now miss out on life-saving screening and education.

Komen donates $700,000 a year to Planned Parenthood. Nassau County gets nearly $100,000 of that. The money runs "Sisters United in Health" outreach for minority women, who have higher rates of death from breast cancer because of late screening.

"It'll be harder for them to get help because breast screenings -- they are expensive," said Angelica Medina.

"If we don't have the funding, the program can't go forward," Smith added.

Planned Parenthood officials in Nassau say they're not at war with the Komen organization because it's been a longtime partner. They are, however, appealing to the breast cancer charity to rethink its decision.

The Susan G. Komen organization says it will work to ensure that there's no interruption in services for women who need breast health services.

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