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Susan G. Komen Changes Decision Regarding Planned Parenthood Grants
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On Friday, the Susan G. Komen for the Cure charity decided to abandon its plans to eliminate grants to Planned Parenthood. Komen’s image was in jeopardy after rumors began swirling the past couple of days that the charity would stop sending grants to Planned Parenthood.

“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,” a Komen statement said.

  
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Komen adopted new criteria that would exclude Planned Parenthood from future grants from Komen for breast cancer screenings because it was placed under government investigations.

Komen then said that the charity would change its criteria “to make clear that disqualifying investigations must be criminal and conclusive in nature and not political.”

“We will continue to fund existing grants, including those of Planned Parenthood, and preserve their eligibility to apply for future grants,” the statement said.

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The funding from Komen to Planned Parenthood totaled $680,000 in 2011. Earlier this week, one of Komen’s affiliates in Aspen, Colorado, said that it would not follow the new criteria and continue to donate money to Planned Parenthood. There were thousands of negative comments left on Komen’s Twitter and Facebook pages along with being inundated by emails. Those negative comments included threats to stop donating money to the charity, which organizes the Race for the Cure event.

Ever since the story broke the media, Planned Parenthood has received an outpouring of support, to the tune of $3 million in donations. The president of Planned Parenthood, Cecile Richards, thanked everyone for their support.



“We are enormously grateful that the Komen Foundation has clarified its grant-making criteria,” Richards said. “What these past few days have demonstrated is the deep resolve all Americans share in the fight against cancer.”

Planned Parenthood said that its health centers provide 170,000 clinical breast exams and over 6,400 mammogram referrals over the previous five years because of the Komen grants.

“We urge everyone who has participated in this conversation across the country over the last few days to help us move past this issue,” Komen said. “We do not want our mission marred or affected by politics – anyone’s politics.”

Some of Komen’s top leaders held a news conference on Thursday since the controversy was announced earlier in the week. Officials from Komen said that the charity does not make its decisions based on pressure.

“We don’t base our funding decisions … on whether one side or the other will be pleased,” said Komen’s founder and CEO, Nancy Brinker.

The statement released by Komen is printed in its entirety below:

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.



 

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