Thousands of men and women are converging on the nation's capital today for the annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. But this year, participation for the breast cancer research race is markedly down after a year of scandal involving Planned Parenthood marred the organization's good reputation.
This year's race will see a decrease in participation from 37,000 to around 25,000, Komen staff confirmed, a dip of around one-third. The drop comes after a controversial February decision by Komen to cease funding Planned Parenthood's breast cancer screenings.
The Komen decision, now reversed, was made after a group of Republicans in congress questioned if Planned Parenthood was using public funds meant for preventative care to fund abortion services.
The decision was met by a massive public backlash against Komen by women's groups and continues to plague the organization. Other breast cancer races sponsored by Komen in Seattle, Tuscon and the Raleigh area have seen similar drops.
Although the Komen D.C. organizers said the drop was most likely due to the Planned Parenthood scandal, organizers in North Carolina chose not to characterize the drop as such, stating it could either be "the down economy" or "the Planned Parenthood thing," North Carolina interim director Kathy Burns told the News Observer.
This year's 29th Komen Race for the Cure participants have raised around $1.8 million in donations, down from around $5 million in 2011.
by RTT Staff Writer
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