February 4, 2012
Komen Foundation Restores Funding to Planned Parenthood
Three days after their decision to pull funding from Planned Parenthood became public knowledge, the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation has promised to once again fund breast cancer screenings at the organization, various media outlets reported on Friday.
According to David Morgan and Anna Yukhananov of Reuters, Komen, which is the "world's largest breast cancer charity" had found itself "thrust the group into America's deeply politicized debate over abortion rights" after it withdrew funding from Planned Parenthood, which "provides abortion and birth control services."
The decision, which Pam Belluck of the New York Times said had actually been made in December but did not become public until Tuesday, was reportedly the result of a rule preventing the Komen foundation to fund groups under federal, state, or local investigation.
Planned Parenthood is currently the subject of a probe by Republican Congressman Cliff Stearns of Florida, who is looking into whether or not the organization spent public money on abortion procedures, Belluck said.
In a statement released Friday and signed by Komen founder and CEO Nancy G. Brinker and the group's board of directors, they said that they wanted "to apologize to the American public for recent decisions that cast doubt upon our commitment to our mission of saving women's lives."
"Our only goal for our granting process is to support women and families in the fight against breast cancer," Brinker said in that statement, according to Stephanie Condon of CBS News. She added that they will amend the funding criteria in order to "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," the Komen founder and CEO added. "Our original desire was to fulfill our fiduciary duty to our donors by not funding grant applications made by organizations under investigation."
The decision comes after an outpouring of support for Planned Parenthood. MSNBC.com said that the organization raised more than $3 million and gained 10,000 new Facebook followers in the past three days.
CBS News added that more than two dozen Senators had called on Komen to reverse their decision, and Reuters said that among those offering their financial support to the women's health organization were New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg (who pledged a $250,000 matching grant) and Lance Armstrong's LiveStrong foundation (which announced on Friday that they were donating $100,000 to Planned Parenthood).
“In recent weeks, the treasured relationship between the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation and Planned Parenthood has been challenged, and we are now heartened that we can continue to work in partnership toward our shared commitment to breast health for the most underserved women,” Planned Parenthood head Cecile Richards said in a statement, according to the New York Times.
“We are enormously grateful that the Komen foundation has clarified its grant-making criteria, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with Komen partners, leaders and volunteers," she added.
In a statement, Senator Frank R. Lautenberg, a Democrat from New Jersey, applauded the decision, saying that, "With these changes to their policy, Susan G. Komen for the Cure is depoliticizing its grant-making process and refocusing itself back on its core mission: saving women's lives."
However, Representative Kevin Brady told Reuters that he felt it was "really unfortunate" that the breast cancer group reversed their decision, saying, "To be giving grants to an organization that effectively ends so many lives -- (it) just seems to me they made the right decision before and they're making the wrong decision now."
"It´s mystifying how an organization can fully articulate sound reasons for eliminating a funding relationship, then turn around and capitulate on that reasoning within days,” added Carrie Gordon Earll of Focus on the Family, according to Belluck's report. “This is an example of how difficult it has become for organizations to take a morally principled stand. It´s also evidence of the strong-arm tactics employed by pro-abortion allies of Planned Parenthood."
On the Net:
- Susan G. Komen for the Cure
- Planned Parenthood
- Congressman Cliff Stearns
- Senator Frank R. Lautenberg
- Congressman Kevin Brady
- Focus on the Family