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. Not All Docs Play Golf

    As a primary care physician, I am so proud of the Komen organization for making this decision to continue to support that very important preventive women's health function that Planned Parenthood provides. Too many people have demonized this valid organization, whose funtions are 98% preventive (only 2 % of what they dio is abortion-related, and NO federal funds are used for that small part of their overall provision of health care to women). Too may people don't understand what Palnned Parenthood does, and the huge role they play in preventing unwanted preganancies. They PREVENT the need for abortions, which is more good done than all of the vigilante anti-abortion groups do for the problem.

    February 3, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • 4sanity

      Well said.

      February 3, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sheepleherder

      "Proud" of them?? If they had not decided to allow a few fanatics to dilute their role in women health, that would have been something to be proud of. Instead, they allowed themselves to be derailed in their mission by religious dogma and are only now "seeing the light" because they find that MONEY has more say in what they do than any noble cause.

      February 3, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • SplitPP

      So why doesn't PP split in to 2 organizations. One that takes the 98% and uses all that money for non-abortion related activities and a second organization with the 2% left for all the abortion related activities. Keep the donations and funding completely separate. Then let people/government/companies donate to the activities they actually support. Where I would freely give money to the 98% I'd never want to fund an abortion. Since it is all one organization, giving to PP, even under the requirement of it going to one of their non-abortion programs, frees up other moneys to go to the servicing of abortions. It's like getting cash for a 1 year old's birthday; it just goes in mommy's pocket. Sure it could be spent on the baby but there's no real way to know for sure.

      February 3, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Robert

    I think that the hypocritical nature of the whole situation is kind of humorous...

    "They're under pressure from anti-abortion groups to halt funding! How wrong is that?? Let's pressure them to go back to the way it was!"

    February 3, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alex

      Yes and who do you think pressured then to resume funding? Listen they have to make clear how they stand on the issues and follow thier moral guidelines regardless of politics.....if they are anti abortiin then they should cut funding if not then resume it...simple as that

      February 3, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • patrick

      That's only hypocritical to people without the ability to process simple information. The tried to leave poor women at risk for the sake of theology. they were forced to reverse their decision. Easy.

      February 3, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Ol' Lefty

    I still think it's going to be more difficult for the Komen folks to raise money after this piece of idiocy. Why must Rethugs politicize everything?

    February 3, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  4. chrissy

    Now i know im getting old because my experience with planned parenthood was they gave you options of PREVENTING unwanted pregnancies! When did they start performing abortions? And ive certainly never heard of men utilizing this facility, so how do YOU no?

    February 3, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Michael

    That is great, however this issue has eroded trust and exposed the Koman Foundation as susceptible to political influence. no more support from me and I assume others.

    February 3, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  6. alex

    i may not agree with women getting an abortion but i do believe it is there right to make that decision. planned parenthood contributes a lot to helping women out in ovies areas unfortunately it hasn't expanded to providing services for males too but someday it may. to the people who keep posting about men have no say because they don't carry a baby i ask you what women conceived a child without a male?

    February 3, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • mb2010a

      Only one that I can think of...and she's questionable.

      February 3, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
  7. JustOneGuy

    Responsible, glad to see that they reconsidered quickly. Their policy makes sense.

    February 3, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Chris C.

    :"Our commitment to our mission of saving women's lives" unless you're an unborn woman then we can abort you.

    February 3, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jeff

    I understand why people who view a fetus/baby as nothing more than another piece of tissue see this as a "choice" issue. I'm curious if there is anyone out there, though, who believes the fetus/baby to be a person (dare I say with a soul) and still maintains a pro-choice stance.

    February 3, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • ExpatB

      ME! And I believe that souls are not killed, just used elsewhere, so there. I also believe that much of the suffering in the world is caused by unwanted births. Every child should be a wanted child.

      February 3, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  10. sameeker

    In Illinois, a person can be charged with murder for causing a woman to have a miscarriage, even through negligence and not intentional behavior. However, a woman can go terminate her pregnancy at will. Now is it a life or isn't it?

    February 3, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Guess it’s the choice of what a woman wants to do with her body…not the criminal attacking her.

      February 3, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  11. heyguido

    While I applaud Komen's decision to reverse their previous decision, I am still disappointed in them for ever allowing it to happen in the first place. CEO Nancy Brinker's tone-deaf defense of their position in recent days has been, frankly, unconvincing. Reports from other news outlets of the behind the scenes maneuvering within Komen's board, and statements by SVP of Public Policy Karen Handel have only served to confirm my view that the real problem is firmly rooted in the culture of those who run the charity. Until such time as Brinker, Handel and their right-wing cabal have been removed from the organization, I will still withhold my support. Nice try, girls, but.... I'm not buying it.... Or anything else with a pink ribbon on it.

    February 3, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  12. cajr

    im sur e we all know they use the money for abortions too. that is the only thing they exist for. but i think there are other organizations that they can give the money to that will use it for those specific screenings.

    February 3, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • patrick

      The only thing you exist for is to bring the collective IQ down.

      February 3, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cedar Rapids

      "that is the only thing they exist for. "

      total and utter BS, how on earth do you feel you can spot such bull without anyone calling you on it?

      February 3, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • ExpatB

      Well, they existed for me for a good 10 years to provide FREE heathcare and birth control, when I had no health insurance. Have YOU been behind their doors????

      February 3, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Please do a little research.
      PP was not founded to provide abortions.

      February 3, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
  13. sara

    DON'T TAKE Their FUNDING...they've shown who they are. Politicizing CANCER and catering to the vile, hateful and senseless at the expense of women's health. Planned Parenthood, don't take their money! Because the GOP House is STILL investigating Planned Parenthood. Wasn't that their rationale. Penn State is being investigated, they didn't take their funding of their research department. I cut my ribbons and won't buy anything from Macy's or any store to support them during their campaign. Never!

    February 3, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  14. HenryMiller

    All you anti-abortion idiots are entitled to your own stupid, superstition-inspired, opinions, but you're not entitled to impose them on everyone else.

    February 3, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Bonnie in Seattle

    Although I am happy they have reversed their decision, I will never donate to them again. They have shown their true colors and are not to be trusted to do this again. Until they fire Karen Handel and prove they are not aligned with the Christian Right...not one pink cent from me. They should be ashamed.

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