Local organizations react to national cancer screening funding c - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Local organizations react to national cancer screening funding controversy.

MT. AUBURN, OH (FOX19) -

The local branches of the Susan G. Komen foundation and Planned Parenthood organization are speaking out following the national controversy over funding for breast cancer screenings.

"Nothing has changed at Komen Greater Cincinnati," explained Amy Wagner, Director of Development for the Cincinnati chapter.  "It is business as usual and that business is saving lives and finding a cure."

Every year thousands race for that cure on the streets of downtown Cincinnati. Wagner says they are hoping the national controversy does not detract anyone from the finish line. 

"At Komen Greater Cincinnati it is nothing political and it is everything personal to us. It is a mission that we will never veer from," Wagner said.

Wagners says they had no say in the national decision to yank funding at certain Planned Parenthood locations. She says in Cincinnati there has never been any bad blood with Planned Parenthood.

"Any organization, any individual in this community that stand up for women, we stand next to you," she emphasized.

"Susan G. Komen foundation is a wonderful organization," said Kelli Halter of Southwest Ohio Planned Parenthood. "They have been a long time friend and ally of Planned Parenthood. We are delighted that they have revisited their grant-making criteria."

A representative for Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio says the organization has never requested funding from Susan G. Komen to conduct their breast cancer screenings.

The local Planned Parenthood says they have seen an uptick in donations the last few days as people reacted to Komen's initial decision to pull financial support from the organization.

"Every cloud has a silver lining," Halter said. "In this case this uncomfortable conversation over the past three days has allowed Planned Parenthood to educate folks in the public about the service we offer."

Halter recognizes many people only know the organization from the protests against the organization's abortion services.

"We spend 97 percent of our time talking about the three percent of services that we offer," Halter said.

This latest controversy has given them a megaphone to talk about that 97 percent which includes services like sexuality education and HIV testing.

"I do believe we do get a bad rap sometimes but it's because people don't understand what we do," Halter said.  What we do is about taking care of women."

It is a mission Halter says they share with Susan G. Komen. 

"We've gone through tough times ourselves," Halter said. "We want to reach out to them and let them know that we are supporting them and that we hope all this would subside for them."

"We have so many people who have always joined us in the trenches in this war against breast cancer," Wagner said. "And to those people who continue to stand alongside us while we stand up for women; we say ‘thank you'."

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