February 3rd, 2012
11:29 AM ET

Komen reverses decision to stop Planned Parenthood funding

The Susan G. Komen foundation has reversed a controversial decision not to renew funding for Planned Parenthood projects for breast cancer screenings, the group said in a statement Friday.

"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 group said.

"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," the group  said.

The announcement comes three days after Komen, a group supporting breast cancer research, said it would stop the funding, saying that it decided it would no longer fund groups under federal investigation. Congress in September began investigating whether Planned Parenthood, a prominent family planning organization, illegally used federal funds to provide abortions.

But on Friday, Komen said that it would "amend the criteria to make clear that disqualifying investigations must be criminal and conclusive in nature and not political."

"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," the group said.

Some Planned Parenthood supporters had alleged the decision to withhold funding also had to do with abortion. Anti-abortion advocates around the country had questioned the Komen foundation about its grants for months, prompting the foundation to release a statement last year saying that "Komen funding is used exclusively to provide breast cancer programs."

In Washington, at least 22 Senate Democrats signed a letter calling on Komen to reconsider its decision.

CREDO, which describes itself as the largest corporate donor to Planned Parenthood, said Thursday that 250,000 of its members had signed a petition urging the Komen foundation to reverse its decision.

"The move is clearly connected to attempts by Republicans in Congress to defund Planned Parenthood," the organization said in a statement.

Planned Parenthood said funding from the Komen foundation has largely paid for breast exams at local centers. In the last five years, grants from the group have directly supported 170,000 screenings, making up about 4% of the total exams performed at Planned Parenthood health centers nationwide, according to the group.

soundoff (292 Responses)
  1. tom

    Back off be otch!

    February 3, 2012 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  2. Joe

    One again the right wing fanatics have overplayed their hand and ended up making things worse for them. I hope they do the same in the upcoming elections.

    February 3, 2012 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  3. nothing new here

    I support the rights on poor women to have access to affordable healthcare and birth control.
    You don't like abortion – don't get one.
    But don't expect me to pay for the upkeep of all these unwanted kids. I should not have to pay for other people's mistakes...or anchor babies...or religious beliefs.

    February 3, 2012 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  4. the_dude

    Don't screw with our free stuff. If you give us stuff for free you better keep giving us stuff for free or we will be very upset.

    February 3, 2012 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
    • TheOtherDude

      Haha! Your right about that my friend!!

      February 3, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • ohgram

      Hey, Dude! Hope your mother, sister, wife (if you were lucky) doesn't have to face not having a mammogram because of the cost only to find she has breast cancer.

      February 3, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Shhh. These are issues that have nothing to do with someone named the_dude.
      Unless you get pap smears, of course….

      February 3, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
  5. sameeker

    Planned parenthood is so bogus. Where are the free vasectomies for men? I would rather see the foundation put the money toward a CURE.

    February 3, 2012 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      PP isn’t a sham.
      They don’t provide sterilization of any sort.

      February 3, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
  6. edge

    Did everyone catch what happened, or did they only hear the version they wanted to hear? After defunding, PP and Komen both received a flood of contributions to support their respective causes, real or imagined. PP got the funds they were going to be denied and faith-based organizations started sending funds to Komen because they had to support what was "clearly" an faith-based move.

    Gimme a break.

    This was a POLICY decision designed to keep Komen out of situations they shouldn't have been in. It was a wise policy that had NOTHING to do with abortion. NOTHING. But you can always count on the religious right to make fools of themselves.

    February 3, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Willythekorn

    "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,"

    Sure you are. This statement does nothing but kick the can down the road. I personally won't be satisfied (that is, I personally will not give one red cent) until Komen gets itself a new board and a little more awareness of what their real mission is.

    February 3, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Animenut

    New respect for Komen. They even got in a dig regarding the "investigation" in Congress being political.

    February 3, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
  9. karen

    I'm happy to hear that Komen will not cave to pressure from special interest groups. They do a great job of helping fund women's health care for the underserved through Planned Parenthood. I am certainly glad that they chose to act in accordance with their mission and continue to fund breast cancer screening for the needy. Hate groups have no business trying to prevent basic health care under the disguise of a "pro life" agenda. Breast cancer screening IS pro life for millions of women who survive the disease with the aid of proper health care.

    February 3, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jane

    I commend Susan G. Komen for changing their decision. Shows guts and grit to turn around. You did the right thing.

    February 3, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
  11. ohgram

    Who at the Komen Foundation lost focus on breast cancer? Now they are faced with a controversy that will undoubtedly have them looking at reduced funding because of this political decision that ended up backfiring.

    February 3, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Lohkee

    Clearly they have proven themselves to be intellectually dishonest. I have given thousands. My money will now go to Planed Parenthood! Did they really think that by "reversing" their position that I am **that** stupid and will continue to give? FAIL, big time FAIL!

    February 3, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Julie

    This is really a shame. The more facts that have come out, the worse Komen and Amb. Brinker look. First came the excuse that Komen was defunding any group that was the subject of a Congressional investigation. Then came the revelation that Planned Parenthood was the only group affected by the new "rule" and it was specifically put in place with that knowledge and intention. Brinker then lied about a new explanation – no pass-through funding, even though Komen recently hired a new officer who has made it her life-long mission to defund PP. Komen/Brinker: tell the truth and live with it. The truth always comes out with public figures, but politicians never learn that. Spin and revisionist history, guided by PR folks, that's all we see.

    Now, just now, we have another version of the "truth" from Komen. Brinker just said they will continue to allow to PP to apply for grants and everyone should just move on from this issue. Obviously, she is trying to end the revolt in her organization and the public, with the plan of rejecting future applications of PP for other made up reasons. Perhaps this time, she will reject only 1/3 at a time, to try and cover up the right-wing agenda. Suddenly, she will find a study that says PP is not as good as other, probably pro-life, screening providers. This is an evil group, with a plain (that is certainly not centered on women's health), with no ability to tell the truth.

    February 3, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  14. KathleenRuddyMD

    Unfortunately, Komen made a fatal mistake, mixing politics with breast cancer. And they sealed their fate when they shut down part of their website last night. When the public also learns that they defunded $12 million of support for stem cell research, and that they lose money on their "races", and that they refuse to identify the corporation that made a $43 million dollar donation to the foundation in 2009 (see the IRS 990 posted on their website), I think the general consensus will be "they're toast." It's now the perfect time to raise awareness in support of the first preventive breast cancer vaccine developed by Professor Vincent Tuohy of the Cleveland Clinic in 2010, a vaccine that Komen refused to fund on three occasions. It's still sitting on the shelf in Cleveland, waiting for money to begin Phase I studies in women. "There is a tide in the affairs of men" and this may be it. Let's "take the current" to Cleveland and get Tuohy's vaccine funded.

    February 3, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  15. nothing new here

    The leaders of Komen have shown their true colors – YELLOW!!
    So stop trying to sue everybody that uses PINK in their advertising.

    February 3, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11