Susan G. Komen for the Cure apologized on Friday for suspending its breast screening grant program with Planned Parenthood this week and announced it would revise a company policy that led to the decision, following an enormous public outcry and sharp criticism of the breast cancer charity and advocacy group.

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 on 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.

Komen, which arguably launched the global breast cancer movement, had instituted a policy barring it from offering grants to organizations under local, state or federal investigation. Because Planned Parenthood is currently the focus of a congressional investigation, Komen said it would suspend its five-year partnership with the family planning advocate.

Critics argued that Komen pulled funding in order to appease anti-abortion activists who have launched major protests against Planned Parenthood.

 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, Brinker added. 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.