NEW YORK (Reuters) - Billionaire New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg pledged on Thursday to give $250,000 of his own money to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America after breast cancer charity Susan G. Komen for the Cure withdrew funding for the group.
The Komen foundation had provided about $700,000 annually for Planned Parenthood to provide access to mammograms for low income women. It has cut off funding to Planned Parenthood, which also provides abortion, birth control and other health services to women, because the group is under investigation.
Republican lawmaker Cliff Stearns is probing Planned Parenthood's use of taxpayer funds.
"Politics have no place in health care. Breast cancer screening saves lives and hundreds of thousands of women rely on Planned Parenthood for access to care," Bloomberg said in a statement. "We should be helping women access that care, not placing barriers in their way."
Planned Parenthood said the Komen foundation had succumbed to political pressure from anti-abortion groups. It said such groups have repeatedly threatened Komen over its affiliation.
The Komen foundation said it does not bow to political pressure, that critics have mischaracterized its decision and warned the controversy could distract attention from the struggle against breast cancer.
Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Jackie Frank