Participation in this year’s Susan G. Komen 3-Day walk for breast cancer across metro Atlanta is noticeably down because of the recent controversy involving grants to Planned Parenthood, organizers said.
There are 1,550 walkers this year — 850 fewer than this time last year, organizers told Channel 2 Action News.
Earlier this month, the Archdiocese of Atlanta directed its parishes, missions and schools to end support for activities related to Komen for the Cure and criticized grants given by some Komen affiliates to Planned Parenthood because of that organization’s role as an abortion provider.
Earlier this year, the dispute erupted when Komen decided to discontinue grants to Planned Parenthood for breast cancer screenings. Komen later reversed that decision.
Komen Atlanta has never provided funding to Planned Parenthood, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has previously reported. It currently provides $2.2 million in funding to 22 Atlanta-area breast cancer screening and support service programs, according to its website. Last year, services were provided to more than 150,000 people in the community, Komen Atlanta said.
Participation also was down in May for Atlanta’s Race for the Cure, but not as much as the declines reported in some other cities.
This weekend’s three-day event, a 60-mile walk to raise money to fight to end breast cancer, began Friday at Stone Mountain Park and ends Sunday at Turner Field.
The 14 three-day events nationwide raised more than $82 million last year, according to the Komen website, and the event has raised almost $700 million since its inception in 2003.
—Staff writer Shelia Poole contributed to this article.