Komen Decision May Deny Care For Latinas

Latinas face some of the most serious challenges to getting the help needed to prevent breast cancer, yet the Komen Foundation recently announced it would cut programs that serve Latinas with no other health care options.The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH) expressed its deep disappointment today in the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation’s decision to discontinue funds to Planned Parenthood health centers for breast cancer prevention, screenings and education. It appears that political pressure from anti-choice groups may have led the Komen Foundation to disassociate with Planned Parenthood and pull funds that provided more than 170,000 breast cancer screenings in the past five years.“The Komen Foundation’s decision is alarming and potentially deadly for Latinas, the uninsured and low-income women across the country,” said Jessica González-Rojas, executive director of NLIRH. “Latinas make up a substantial percentage of Planned Parenthood patients and often have no other health care options. We are incredibly saddened that the Komen Foundation buckled to political pressure rather than stand by the women most in need of services.”Hispanic women are 20 percent more likely to die from breast cancer when compared to non- Hispanic white women when diagnosed at a similar age and stage, according to recent research, and twice as likely to go without health insurance, according to U.S. Census data. Nearly forty percent have no health insurance, compared with just under 17 percent for white women.Screening rates for Hispanic women are also lower than for Caucasians – 69.7 percent compared to 72.7 percent – according to a study recently released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.NLIRH continues to encourage Latinas to seek preventative care and regular cancer screenings at Planned Parenthood or other institutions.

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