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After Komen Drama, Planned Parenthood Expands Screening

Planned Parenthood will expand breast health services to more than 40,000 women across five Texas cities, the result of increased donations following Dallas-based Susan G. Komen for the Cure's short-lived decision earlier this year to halt breast cancer fundingto the organization. 

Komen, the world’s largest organization devoted to the treatment and cure of breast cancer, announced in January it was pulling the plug on its partnership with Planned Parenthood, which relied on Komen funds to provide cancer screenings across the nation. Komen said it was bound by its own bylaws prohibiting it from funding any organization under investigation; Planned Parenthood is being investigated by U.S. Rep Cliff Stearns, a Florida Republican who claims the organization is using taxpayer dollars to fund abortions.

Public reaction was swift, with abortion rights advocates and abortion opponents squaring off in a fierce battle that played out in traditional and social media. Within days, Komen backed down, restoring funding to Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood also benefited from an outpouring of donations from supporters angry about Komen's move. 

Planned Parenthood said Monday that it will use that increased financial support to offer enhanced breast cancer screenings, diagnostic services and education in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Tyler and Waco. These clinics continue to partner with Komen — in the midst of its own leadership shakeup — to provide breast health care.  

"Whether it's a clinical exam, necessary follow-up services like biopsies or ultrasounds, or information about their health care options — we're grateful that we can provide more patients in Central and North Texas with vital screenings," Ken Lambrecht, CEO of Planned Parenthood of North Texas, said in a statement. 

Emily Ramshaw investigates state agencies and covers social services for KUT's political reporting partner, the Texas Tribune. Previously, she spent six years reporting for The Dallas Morning News, first in Dallas, then in Austin. In April 2009 she was named Star Reporter of the Year by the Texas Associated Press Managing Editors and the Headliners Foundation of Texas. Originally from the Washington, D.C. area, she received a bachelor's degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.
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