Updated: On Friday, Feb. 3, the Susan G. Komen Foundation announced that it would amend its decision regarding Planned Parenthood funding. Komen founder Nancy Brinker released this statement this morning:
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.
It is our hope and we believe it is time for everyone involved to pause, slow down and reflect on how grants can most effectively and directly be administered without controversies that hurt the cause of women. We urge everyone who has participated in this conversation across the country over the last few days to help us move past this issue. We do not want our mission marred or affected by politics - anyone's politics.
Starting this afternoon, we will have calls with our network and key supporters to refocus our attention on our mission and get back to doing our work. We ask for the public's understanding and patience as we gather our Komen affiliates from around the country to determine how to move forward in the best interests of the women and people we serve.
We extend our deepest thanks for the outpouring of support we have received from so many in the past few days and we sincerely hope that these changes will be welcomed by those who have expressed their concern.
The big news for many women and survivors of breast cancer earlier this week was the decision by Susan G. Komen for the Cure to end its relationship with Planned Parenthood.
Representatives of Komen said the reason was because Planned Parenthood is under investigation in Congress — Komen is applying strict new criteria to such organizations. (Komen founder Nancy Brinker indicated a different reason during an interview yesterday.) Planned Parenthood advocates point out that the investigation is led by a conservative Republican backed by anti-abortion groups.
Planned Parenthood has more than 800 health centers across the nation and is the largest provider of abortions in the country. The organization provides affordable reproductive health care for women and men, as well as cancer screenings, including 4 million breast exams in the last 5 years.
Susan G. Komen for the Cure is the largest foundation dedicated to education and research about causes, treatment, and the search for a cure.
The two organizations had been working in partnership since 2005 to provide breast cancer screenings.
Locally, many have participated in the annual which now takes place in South Mountain Reservation. Many more women — and men — have benefitted from the organization's fundraisers and increased focus on cancer education and research.
Will Komen's decision to cut ties with Planned Parenthood affect your participation in Komen's fundraisers? Take our poll.