Susan G. Komen Reverses Planned Parenthood Defunding: Changes Made ‘Were Not Done For Political Reasons’

on February 03 2012 12:13 PM

Amid intense backlash, the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation has reversed its decision to defund Planned Parenthood and will continue its grant support of the organization.

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, president and founder Nancy Brinker said in a statement Friday. 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, Brinker continued. 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.

On Tuesday, the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation cut off funding to roughly 19 Planned Parenthood clinics in the U.S., according to ABC News.

For the decision to defund Planned Parenthood, the foundation cited a new policy that prohibits the nonprofit from supplying grants to organizations that are currently under investigation. (Rep. Cliff Stearns initiated a Congressional investigation in September to determine if Planned Parenthood misallocated its resources in using public money to fund abortions.)

On Thursday, The Atlantic published a report citing multiple sources with direct knowledge of the Komen decision-making process who believed that the new policy was created specifically to provide an explanation for the foundation's decision to withdraw funding from Planned Parenthood. The real reason, according to these sources, was the anti-abortion position of Komen's new senior vice president for public policy, Karen Handel, along with pressure from outside conservative groups.

Top Komen executive Molly Williams resigned to protest the defunding decision. New York City Major Bloomberg has called for public donations to Planned Parenthood with a pledge that he will match every dollar donated up to $250,000.

Politics have no place in health care, the major said in a statement. Breast cancer screening saves lives and hundreds of thousands of women rely on Planned Parenthood for access to care. We should be helping women access that care, not placing barriers in their way.

Shortly before the news was announced, the The Wisconsin Gazette reported on the discovery of what apppers to be a Susan B. Komen for the Cure Foundation promotional weapon on the Discount Gun Sales website. According to the handgun's online catalog entry, the firearm retailer is proud to team up with the Susan B. Koman Foundation to offer the Walther P-22 Hope Edition in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

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