WASHINGTON—Susan G. Komen for the Cure announced it is cutting 3-Day for the Cure walks in Washington, D.C., and six other major cities beginning in 2014. The nation’s largest, most well-funded breast cancer organization cited low fundraising as the reason for the cancellations, which many believe is residual fallout from a political firestorm in 2012.
In December 2011 Komen made the decision to stop funding Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, which was under congressional investigation. The decision—applauded by pro-lifers—sparked a media-driven lynch mob that caused Komen to reverse its decision four days later.
Numerous top Komen officials resigned in the wake of the controversy, including senior vice president Karen Handel, who spoke with WORLD's Marvin Olasky after stepping down. She explained that the money—$680,000 annually—had been designated for education and breast cancer prevention, but Planned Parenthood does not offer mammograms.
Now 17 months later, Komen is still reeling, with participation and donations down significantly. Pro-life advocates point to the continuing Planned Parenthood funding, while pro-abortion advocates say the cause is Komen’s attempt to defund Planned Parenthood.
Komen founder Nancy Brinker, whom President Barack Obama awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009, has also come under fire for her 2012 earnings of more than $684,000.
Komen will continue to hold seven 3-Day for the Cure events in Atlanta, Dallas/Fort Worth, Michigan, Philadelphia, San Diego, Seattle, and Minneapolis-St. Paul. The other half will not continue beyond 2013: Boston, Phoenix, Chicago, Cleveland, Tampa Bay, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.
About 21,000 people participated in Komen's Washington, D.C., event last month—down from 27,000 last year and nearly 40,000 in 2011, according to The Washington Post. The event raised $1.5 million this year, compared to more than $5 million in 2011.
The 3-Day events include walking 60 miles and raising at least $2,300 per person.