Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the world's largest network for breast cancer survivors and activists, announced the resignation of their president Wednesday. The move comes just months after a scandal involving Planned Parenthood funding caused widespread outrage against the organization.
Without mentioning the scandal that has led to damaging drops in donations and event participation, Komen said President Liz Thompson and two board members would be stepping down in September. Founder and CEO Nancy G. Brinker will move into an advisory role.
"No other breast cancer organization does as much to help women and men through this disease," Thompson said in a Komen press release. "That legacy will continue. It has been a privilege and an honor to serve in this role."
In the release, Brinker also praised Thompson for raising Komen's profile globally through scientific, community health, advocacy and global programs.
Pundits speculated Thompson's resignation was further fallout after Komen announced a controversial February decision 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.
Komen decided to reverse the decision to "make clear that disqualifying investigations must be criminal and conclusive in nature and not political," but the decision was met by a massive public backlash against Komen by women's groups and activists.
Race participation dropped by one-third in 2012 and total donations for this year's 29th Komen Race for the Cure in Washington, DC totaled around $1.8 million, down from around $5 million in 2011.
In the days after the scandal broke, Planned Parenthood received several high-profile donations in protest of the Komen move. Multiple Komen staffers - including Komen policy chief Karen Handel, Executive VP Katrina McGhee, global networks VP Nancy Macgregor and director of affiliate strategy and planning Joanna Newcomb - also resigned.
Susan G. Komen for the Cure was founded in 1982, two years after Brinker's sister Suzy made her promise to beat breast cancer before dying of the disease.
According to their website, Komen invested $1.3 billion over 30 years to pay for screenings, education, and provide financial and psycho-social support to people facing breast cancer.
Last year, Komen paid for 700,000 breast screenings for low income and uninsured women and provided financial aid to another 100,000.
by RTT Staff Writer
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