In Reversal, Komen To Continue Funding Planned Parenthood

Feb 3, 2012
Originally published on February 7, 2012 4:37 pm

After days of controversy, the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation has said it will continue funding for Planned Parenthood.

Earlier this week, the foundation moved to discontinue funding of breast cancer screening by Planned Parenthood. The Associated Press reported the change came because of a new Komen policy forbidding grants to organizations under official investigation.

Subsequently, Komen said the change wasn't driven by politics but was instead an efficiency move.

Founder and CEO Nancy G. Brinker explained the latest decision and the changes in a statement attributed to her and the group's board. Here's an excerpt (with original emphasis in bold):

"We want to apologize to the American public for recent decisions that cast doubt upon our commitment to our mission of saving women's lives.

The events of this week have been deeply unsettling for our supporters, partners and friends and all of us at Susan G. Komen. We have been distressed at the presumption that the changes made to our funding criteria were done for political reasons or to specifically penalize Planned Parenthood. They were not.

Our original desire was to fulfill our fiduciary duty to our donors by not funding grant applications made by organizations under investigation. We will amend the criteria to make clear that disqualifying investigations must be criminal and conclusive in nature and not political. That is what is right and fair.

Our only goal for our granting process is to support women and families in the fight against breast cancer. Amending our criteria will ensure that politics has no place in our grant process. We will continue to fund existing grants, including those of Planned Parenthood, and preserve their eligibility to apply for future grants, while maintaining the ability of our affiliates to make funding decisions that meet the needs of their communities."

Komen's decision to halt funding led to an outpouring of support for Planned Parenthood, including a jump in donations. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, for one, pledged up to $250,000 of his own money to the organization to help make up for a drop in funding for breast cancer screening.

Update 12:23 p.m. EST: Planned Parenthood released a statement from Cecile Richards, president of the group, saying, "We are now heartened that we can continue to work in partnership" with Komen. "We are enormously grateful that the Komen Foundation has clarified its grantmaking criteria, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with Komen partners, leaders and volunteers."

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.