Jewish Journal


February 3, 2012

Komen reverses course; resumes funding Planned Parenthood breast cancer screenings



Race for the Cure 2005 Breast cancer fundraising race. Photo by Wikipedia/Aine D.

The Susan G. Komen-Planned Parenthood saga this week has come full circle.

After the Susan G. Komen Foundation said they would no longer fund breast cancer screening by Planned Parenthood, the public reaction showed just how divisive abortion remains in American society. And now, in a complete reversal, Komen says it won’t stop sending funds to Planned Parenthood.

Komen founder and CEO Nancy G. Brinker reportedly announced the about-face on the foundation’s blog. That link appears dead, but NPR excerpted the announcement of a policy change while it was still accessible:

“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.”

More from NPR here.

Whether pro-choice or pro-life, we can all agree that cancer doesn’t care. And I think that is what made a lot of people so upset about Komen’s original decision to de-fund. But, at the same time, those who were protesting the decision were willing to stop supporting the leading advocate for women against a life-threatening disease. Now that Komen has reversed course, they can certainly expect a protest from the pro-life side.

It’s all a bit head-spinning and leaves you wondering how Komen can repair their brand and get back to doing what they do best: helping women.

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