WASHINGTON, Feb. 1 (UPI) -- A Planned Parenthood official says "right-wing groups" pressured Susan G. Komen for the Cure into ending grants to the U.S. reproductive health organization.
Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards said Susan G. Komen had until recently praised the breast cancer screening services provided by her organization, The New York Times reported. Susan G. Komen gave about $700,000 to 19 Planned Parenthood affiliates last year.
"This really abrupt about-face was very surprising," Richards said. "I think that the Komen foundation has been bullied by right-wing groups."
In a statement, Komen said it had "implemented more stringent eligibility and performance criteria" for its grants.
Anti-abortion groups have criticized grants to Planned Parenthood. In December, the Southern Baptist Convention's Lifeway Christian Resources said it was ending a pink Bible sale at Walmart because a dollar was going to Susan G. Komen for every copy sold.
Angry responses to the Susan G. Komen decision were posted online.
"My own sister is a breast cancer survivor, just completing surgery within months. I have donated to SKG in the past and participated in runs and product purchase. No more," one poster wrote on a message board on the Susan G. Komen Web site.
"My sis is one of the under-insured and without organizations like PP that assist low income women, she would have died. Not one more dime will go to anything affiliated with SKG until this decision is reversed."