By Natasha Brown and Pat Loeb
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) –– The Susan G. Komen organization has come in for criticism from liberal groups and lawmakers, after its decision to stop its contributions to Planned Parenthood because of its policy of not funding organizations that are under investigation, which Planned Parenthood is. The local komen affiliate is troubled by the decision.
Komen Philadelphia CEO Elaine Grobman declined to speak on tape but she sent KYW an email saying the local affiliate is in discussion with the national headquarters because, in her words, “like many of our supporters (we are) concerned about these (policy) changes.”
Many supporters see it as a political decision designed to punish Planned Parenthood for providing abortions. Local breast cancer survivor Terry Gillen predicts a backlash.
“I think it was shameful and I’m already hearing from many, many friends and people who previously supported them that they will not give money to Komen.”
Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania is not immediately affected because it does not get money from Komen, but president Dayle Steinberg says it has heard from many outraged women.
“They know that the real victims of these kinds of decisions are the thousands and thousands of women who rely on these services.”
California Senator Barbara Boxer joined two-dozen senators, including Senators Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez of New Jersey and senator Chris Coons of Delaware in sending a letter to Komen urging it to reconsider.
“It certainly is hurting the women across this country and that’s what so sad. Women who count on these screenings,” said Senator Boxer.
Eyewitness News spoke with several Philadelphia residents to get their reactions to the decision.
“Unfortunately we live in a world where not everyone has insurance or can get the same benefits as people who do have insurance, then if this is the only way for them to get mammograms, they should continue doing it,” said Hagit Arwas.
“Everything is political if it involves people it involves politics so yes of course it’s political,” said Deborah Long of Center City.