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)

    While I respect the right of people to oppose abortion (although I am pro-choice) to have entangled the health and welfare of woman in their search for breast cancer screening is beyond belief. The very transparent politicising of SGK in considering a politician's personal vendetta against abortion as a lame excuse for cutting funding to PP is incredulous. SGK has done more harm to itself in the past few days that it can possibly know. Was PP being investigated by the Justice Dept.? The FBI? The IRS? ANY type of criminal probe? No, just some dumb Congressman trying to score points with his constituents. Look at me, I'm going to shut down the hated Planned Parenthood.

    SGK, and other foundations, charities, and corporations, had better become much more savy in their dealings with the public. In the internet age, you can't just try to screw people and think you can hide behind some lame excuse. For my part, SGK should concentrate about helping woman, and not debasing itself for political hacks.

    February 3, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
  2. sue

    As a breast cancer survivor I applaud the Komen foundation for having the guts to say they made a mistake and then correcting it. Their funding fulfills a vital need for thousands of women who otherwise would not get necessary breast cancer screenings. Those tests are all that is being funded with the Komen funds and they have nothing whatsoever to do with abortion. The moronic,knee-jerk 'Planned Parenthood provides abortion' panic is totally uncalled for.Even if P.P. WERE to use the money for abortions it wouldn't be anyone elses' business, an abortion is a medical decision made by a woman and her physician. Unless you are willing to step up and provide all the lifetime care for an unwanted child- shut the hell up and mind your own business.

    February 3, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
  3. FHBOY

    Clearly if the religious fanatics did not prevent the teaching of all types of contraception to women and how to prevent unwanted pregnancies, then the incidence of abortions would drop off. Margaret Sanger's mission was to do that, to educate women of how to control their own bodies. PP would not be provided as many abortions if they were allowed, instead, to do wide scale teaching about preventing pregnancy, provide contraception and the issues related to that.

    PP is the only place where about 70,000 women a year can get a yearly exam. That is their mission also, and in this way they contribute more to the health of this nation. To demonize them is a political/religious witch hunt...and we've seen what that does.

    Sanger taught responsibility, not promiscuity as the religious right would have you believe. SGK – not getting my money any more.

    February 3, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  4. LeeCMH

    Good! Let's watch the mean and hateful Christians nail themselves to their crosses.

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

    It is interesting to see that the rest of the country, other than the Christian Right, can get involved in issues they believe are important. I wonder if this is the harbinger of something significant in the General election?

    February 3, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
  6. AmyL

    Breast cancer screening is a good thing, but Planned Parenthood should stick to "planned parenthood"; we need better education and tools to help people plan their reproductive lives. Komen should fund other groups whose focus is more in line with breast cancer, rather than Planned Parenthood. And I am pro-choice, not anti-abortion.

    February 3, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • CoCoMENU

      Pattyo27. I wouldn't want to give to a group that pays for abortions anymore than you would want to give to a group that supports stopping abortions. What's wrong with a breast cancer group focusing on BREAST CANCER? Personally I could care less if someone has a abortion or not. Go for it. But if you're asking me for money for Breast Cancer awareness then do something totally different with my donation then that's another thing.

      February 3, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Terri

      CoCo, grants are very specific on how the money they give an agency are to be spent. The agency I work for works from donations, grants, etc... and how we use every penny is very strictly adhered to. Our funders do audits every year and go over programs. We can not and absolutely do not cross funding dollars. We even have to use codes specific to funding to print one copy! If Komen awards a grant to PP, the money is required to be used as the grant specifies.

      February 3, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Arbour

    In abortion debate, the phrase "women's right to choose" means women's right not to be inconvenienced by carrying the baby for 9 months and raising her. I can understand and respect when people don't want that. But If you don't want that inconvenience you should have used contraceptives before s-e-x as if you don't know what it can lead to (duh?) Baby's right to live should always trump anyone's right not to be inconvenienced by her birth. I am not talking about abortion due to rape or mother’s life in danger. They account for very small percentage of abortion. I am talking about abortion due to irresponsibility. You can have the baby adopted after birth. It’s only 9 months of inconvenience. Is this too much to ask? Does the baby must d-i-e because you don’t want to be inconvenienced for 9 months?

    February 3, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  8. PP isnt just about abortions

    PP provides ALL family planning services. the fact that they do provide abortions (that the individual MUST pay for before services are provided) should not prevent them from having funding to provide other NECESSARY services to women. INCLUDING free breast exams and prevention information, sexual education, birth control and gynecological exams. PP's main concern is to keep women INFORMED and HEALTHY. For all of you that are under the impression that PP only provides abortion, how about going to their website or visiting a clinic and ASK to speak to somebody for information. DONT go there and picket them (it will only get you removed from the premises by police), try opening your mind up to the FACTS of what PP stands for. I know several women that go there because they CANNOT get health insurance, not even through medicaid, and have caught their breast cancer in time to save their lives! I also know MANY females that have gone to receive birth control and condoms and INFORMATION about sexually transmitted disease or brought their family/friends there to get information and birth control. These women do this to PREVENT unwanted pregnancies and help decrease the number of teenage mothers.

    February 3, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Bob

    I'm still donating my money to Planned Parenthood. Not a penny of my money is going to Komen.

    February 3, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • CoCoMENU

      I'm not donating to either. 😉

      February 3, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  10. LookWithin

    Thank you Senators. Thank you SGK. Thank you for doing the right thing.

    February 3, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      And what right thing did the Senators do?

      February 3, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
  11. nurse

    Abortion is a very personal decision and has no place in the political arena. Our country was founded on the principal of separation of church and state. The religious beliefs of political candidates should not be considered in their ability to lead this country. All other health issues are granted privacy with the Hippa Laws – why is abortion excluded? Shame on The Komen Foundation for getting manipulated by politics and religion.

    February 3, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Simple

      Slavery abolitionists where overwhelmingly Christian. Should they have minded their own business? I, for one, am glad that they cared about lives other than their own.

      Slaves were considered property, not humans with individual rights; just like unborn children are today. Thankfully, there were those who *did* think they were people and had rights too.

      As a nurse, I'm sure you know that the DNA of an unborn child is different than the DNA of her mother. That makes the child a unique person. Even if its in the interest of someone else not to consider them as such. As with slavery, someone has to fight for the rights of those who have no rights; who are de-humanized to suit the desires of others.

      February 3, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Terri

      I really wish all the anti abortion people cared as much about children being abused, abandoned, raped, murdered, moved from one foster care to another, brutalized, poor adoption laws....geeze people could do so much more to reduce the NEED for abortion if you just got off your high horse. Work for a solution to help the unwanted children alive today! Give women a real sense that if they have their babies someone will truly want it and care for it!

      February 3, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  12. nothing new here

    The SGK lost their purpose waaaaaay before this fiasco....
    1. A lot of the money they raise goes to pay for administrative costs and salaries. Approximately 10-15% of their funds actually goes to 'research'.
    2. Their CEO makes over $400,000 a year – and this is suppose to be a 'non-profit'?
    3. The SGK spends millions on frivolous lawsuits concerning the use of 'pink ribbons'.
    4. The SGK doesn't want the general public knowing that some of their races are actually LOSING money.
    5. The SGK doesn't want the general public to know that they are in league with BIG PHARMA and their corporate lobbyists. The same people that work to line the pockets of corrupt politicians.

    Bottom line – the SGK is nothing more than another corrupt, money making machine for a privileged few.
    Susan must be rolling in her grave:(

    February 3, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Common Sense

      If indeed such a small amount goes to actual research, seems to me that issue needs to be investigated. How much actually goes to real research, who does it go to, and were there any results? Although their tax returns list some of that information, seems like there are real questions to be asked... Senators?

      February 3, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Glades2

    I had a feeling they'd cave in, when the liberal northeast crowd started sending them e-mails, complaining that they wouldn't run in their events any longer – anyone who even glances at the news knows that Planned Parenthood is America's largest purveyor of murder, and for them to say that none of the "pink" millions of dollars sent to them are not used in that way is a lie...

    February 3, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Primewonk

      Actually, the christian version of god is the biggest abortionist in the world. 50% of all pregnancies end in spontaneous abortion – usually before the woman even knows she is preggers. Get your god to knock it off, then we'll talk.

      February 3, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Primewonk, they have a ready answer for that…God’s will…

      February 3, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Karla

    Since Komen is in the business of abortions and not only breast cancer, they are not getting a cent from me.
    PP is about killing babies, women that refuse to use birth control, all clinica, ER, non profit clinics, give free birth control, tubal ligation.
    Who goes to PP for a mamogram? When there are lots of places , specially in october free of charge.
    Komen lied to us breast cancer patients , we did not know that they support PP, that they bought with donations a position as Ambassador to Nancy Brinker the founder that in 1991 refused to lobby for breast cancer with other activist and advocates.

    February 3, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Seriously?

      Oh St. Karla..... I am not sure why you think PP is just about "killing babies". I am a young woman who has a good job, but with no benefits. I go to PP for my routine physical and for my BIRTH CONTROL. They may be known for abortions, but if you actually did some research before you let your verbal diarrhea spew out then you would know how much good PP really is for the community. There are many woman and families who rely on PP. Here is a link to their site... You might want to take a look at it. They also help WITH getting people pregnant and protecting against / treating STD's.

      February 3, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Chris in Atlanta

    When they made that crummy decision, that spoke volumes to me. I'm through donating to them and I'll just see that my money goes to Planned Parenthood directly. Too late Komen Foundation, you already messed up.

    February 3, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Obiter Dictum

      So you're verbalizing your right to send your money where you want to, but SGK shouldn't have that same right?

      February 3, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
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