After the Planned Parenthood Catastrophe, Donations Are Down For Komen’s Race for the Cure

After a proposal to cut funding to Planned Parenthood sparked outrage in January, the Susan G. Komen breast cancer foundation is having trouble attracting donors.

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Rex C. Curry / AP

Protesters stand outside the Susan G. Komen for the Cure headquarters in Dallas, Texas on February 7, 2012.

It’s been a rough year so far for the Susan G. Komen Foundation. In January, the breast cancer organization announced it would suspend their funding of Planned Parenthood — a move that sparked a p.r. and political melee over whether Komen had made the move to appease anti-abortion groups. But after several high-level employees including vice president Karen Handel resigned, other political firestorms cropped up and many turned their eyes to another Planned Parenthood debacle: the media, it seemed, was over it. The campaigners, however, were not.

“The issues [relating to Planned Parenthood] have certainly had an impact [on some races], there’s no getting around that,” Leslie Aun, a national spokeswoman for Komen, told USA Today.

So just how much have the numbers dropped? USA Today offers us a sampling:

-In Indianapolis, 26,000 people are expected to register for the annual Race for the Cure walk on April 21st. Sounds great until you contrast it to last year’s numbers at 37,500. That’s a 30 percent drop in participation and Indiana’s Komen Center executive director said that fundraising was also down by 30 percent.

-In Southern Arizona, 7,200 marched in this year’s walk, down from last year’s 10,000. Fundraising had also dipped 30 percent.

-In southwest Florida, donations and registrations were down 15 percent.

Komen directors are quick to point out that in addition to the scandal, the economy be impacting participation. After all, it’s likely that people out of work aren’t prioritizing giving to charity. Unfortunately, a tumultuous economy could also be reminding people across the country how essential it is to have an organization dedicated to offering women affordable health care — whether or not you happen to be covered.

Fortunately, for both Planned Parenthood and Komen, the breast cancer organization seems committed to re-establishing a good relationship. At least 17 Planned Parenthood affiliates will be receiving funding, reports the Washington Post, which is the same number that received funding pre-scandal.

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