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Planned Parenthood cancer screening drop angers many

FARGO -- A lot of women are mad at Susan G. Komen for the Cure, and some in the area are among them.

The organization known for its pink ribbon and determination to help end breast cancer has decided to stop giving money to Planned Parenthood for breast cancer exams and breast health services.

Prairie Rose Seminole, a coordinator at Native American Center Project in Fargo, said Planned Parenthood provides primary health care and cancer screenings for many women who otherwise would not have access to them.

"Low-income women, particularly in this area, have limited resources and so go unaware or are diagnosed at a later, less curable stage of cancer," she said. "Without these types of programs, more of our poor will die."

Amy Jacobson, North Dakota public affairs manager for Planned Parenthood of Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota said the affiliate provided more than 15,000 breast cancer screenings last year across the three states.

Jacobson said it was unfortunate the foundation felt it needed "to succumb to pressure from politically motivated groups." Planned Parenthood has said anti-abortion groups repeatedly threatened the Komen Foundation for partnering with the nonprofit.

Nancy G. Brinker, CEO and founder of the Komen Foundation, denied in an online video the foundation bowed to political pressure and said its grant strategies changed in an effort to further the group's mission. The grants were worth $680,000 last year.

On websites across the country, women are sounding off on the issue. Many women are threatening to pull their Komen donations and others are showering Planned Parenthood with money to make up the loss.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

Frank is a reporter for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.