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. NikkiFree

    In your report you credit the 26 lawmakers with pressuring SGK to reverse its decision to defund Planned Parenthood. Thanks CNN for not acknowledging the millions of people, including myself, who pulled our support (many financial), jammed their phones and social media pages with our disappointment and outrage over this political BS! I guess it's all about Congress and not about the "small millions" that applied pressure on the organization and our Congressional representatives. The "little man" gets NO credit in your story.

    February 3, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
  2. mb2010a

    "The religious beliefs of political candidates should not be considered in their ability to lead this country." But, when their
    religious beliefs interfere with or influence their decisions while trying to lead the country then they are a problem and should most certainly be a deciding factor when voting for or against them...

    February 3, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Chris in Atlanta

    The Christian right – the cancer that is killing this country. Too bad its inoperable.

    February 3, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Chris in Atlanta

    mb2010a – I think what they meant to say is this: The religious beliefs of political candidates should not be considered in their ability to lead this country as LONG AS THEY'RE CHRISTIAN!!!

    You and I know damn well that they wouldn't think the same if the person was a Muslim.

    February 3, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Sheepleherder

    Komen allowed a few fanatics to derail their mission. Whether you believe PP deserves funding or not, NO organization should allow religious dogma to decide how their stated goal of improving women's health should be met. This organization has shown themselves to be incapable of putting the welfare of their chosen beneficiaries first but instead, put a religious based political agenda as the primary focus. And now, seeing that it has some effect on the MONEY, they jump back over the fence, just proving that it was not a moral decision after all. They deserve the scorn of BOTH sides of this issue!

    February 3, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bungda

      I agree for the most part. One good thing has happened and that's to let people like me, who didn't know it, aware that the Komen foundation funds planned parenthood. I for one will never give to them again. I do not want my money funding that organization. Every cloud has a silver lining.

      February 3, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • BeRational

      That anyone would call abortion murder shows why religion is so poisonous to society.

      February 3, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jj

      yea like abortion is a good thing. Duh

      February 3, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Taking away the choice to have one isn’t a good thing, either, Jj…

      February 3, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
  6. fernace

    See what The Majority can accomplish in 3 days!! We Are The People & we have spoken! 1st of all we want affordable healthcare for ALL Americans, it should not be a luxury! 2nd all the false rhetoric spouted by the pro-life crowd has got to go! There is no scientific evidence that an abortion or using birthcontrol causes cancer! These notions are scare tactics used by religious groups to control womens s.e.x.uality! 3rd The Komen foundation has finally made the right decision to continue helping women from All socioeconomic groups get the breastcancer screenings we need! Thanks to all who helped bring about this reversal by the definitive breastcancer awareness group in the nation! I'm glad they saw the error of the initial decision, for whatever reason! I don't much care what motivated it, I'm just glad 10's of thousands of womens lives might be saved this year because of affordable screening & early detection! I'm going for a mammo in a month, wish me luck!!

    February 3, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Varmint

      It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish.

      February 3, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sue

      Your local clinics, hospitals, university hospitals, perform abortions. PP isn't the only abortionists in your community. The only lives conservatives want to save are innocent babies. They could care less about anyone else. Let everyone die, except babies. Hypocrites carrying a cross and using it like a sword.

      February 3, 2012 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Your comment makes no sense.
      PP does not, and never did, kill children.
      War, on the other hand…

      February 3, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Obiter Dictum

      War what? The card game? The band? The song? Your comement makes no sense either. To say PP doesn't kill children is a play on words, since some do consider a fetus a child, ergo the expression, "She is with child."

      February 3, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Terri

      Oh you definitely have to spell it out. No one uses any common sense and they are all only able to understand at very literal levels. They are almost child like.

      February 3, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Glades2

    ...did anyone consider that Susan G. Komen herself, her soul already before God for many years, might have been praying for her sister to end the funding of Planned Parenthood, Susan already knowing the truth of what happens to a soul when it continues to defy God through abortion? My own sister died of cancer over 5 years ago, and there's not a day that I don't sense she's before God praying for me, especially during my own illness...

    February 3, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • no fairy tales here

      Except for the fact that god doesn't exist and Susan and your sisters body is in the process of becoming trees, rivers, grass, and the air we breathe...which is immensely more beautiful than being stuck in one soul condemned to hang around with Jesus and god.in a fairytale world in the clouds

      February 3, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • nothing new here

      So the SGK is suppose to communicate through a crystal ball to determine who gets their political monies?

      February 3, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
  8. nothing new here

    If you want to live in a 'theocracy', go move to Iran, Iraq, Sudan...

    February 3, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Michael

    Too late. They made the decision and are only reversing such due to public outcry. I hope that people realize all this and refuse to support the Komen foundation any further.

    February 3, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  10. noly972

    After reading the negative comments about SGK, I'm left to wondering how much pink will show up in next week's garbage pickups. I predict that it will look like many people are throwing out the insulation from their walls.

    The right-wingnuts SGK listened to have really blown it, this time.

    February 3, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  11. 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 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
  12. KELLI2L

    When will republicans learn not to mess with our freedoms... This woman responsible for making this awful choice needs to be removed so she doesn't try to do something stupid and prejudice again (imo)...

    February 3, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Soquel Creek

      Who is messing with which freedoms? The Komen Foundation is a private organization that accepts freely-given contributions from individuals and companies. They were forced by mob rule and the DIRECT INTERVENTION of 27 Democratic Party Senators to "adjust their thinking."

      Again, who is messing with freedom?

      February 3, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Simple

    What is the DNA of an unborn child? Is is the same as her mother? If not, then she is a human life separate from her mother. Our legal system uses DNA as the means to uniquely identify a person. If the DNA is the same as the mother's, someone has to explain how a trillion cells magically change their DNA at the moment of birth.

    No one wants to talk about the real issue: When is it OK to kill another human being. No one wants to try to justify reasons for killing a child. Its easy to claim you're standing for a person's rights.

    Also, if an organization provided breast cancer screenings and advocated lowering the age of consent to 12 years old, would Komen still support them? Hopefully, they wouldn't. If this is the case, then Komen has to approve the other activities of the organization receiving the grants. In this case, I'm afraid they *do* approve of the other activities of PP. They should be honest and not hide behind the excuse that they only focus on breast cancer screenings.

    Its ironic that an organization that claims to work to extend people's lives, would give money to an organization that ends them before they have a chance to do anything with them. That's the problem with kids; they don't vote and they don't donate money. That means they are at the mercy of adults who do.

    February 3, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Alexishere

    This doesn't change the fact that Komen has a very prominent anti-choice woman (former Gov of Georgia) on its board, and THAT's what caused this in the first place. Komen is huge and flush with money, which is great, but so many other cancers are largely ignored. Like ovarian, it's terrible, and kills 80% of patients within a couple years and nobody talks about it! Women-only cancers are basically ignored by the public unlike breast cancer, which affects men too. You can't trust now that things at Komen are all good there. In this situation if breast cancer isn't your #1 charitable priority, just give directly to Planned Parenthood so you know where your money will end up, not after it's been ok'd by a vehemently anti-choice board.

    February 3, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • cn

      False. Karen Handel was Sec of State in Georgia, not the Governor. She campaigned for governor in 2010 and lost the republican ticket to now Governor Nathan Deal.

      February 3, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  15. fernace

    I know of 4 women who went to PP for an abortion! They paid out of their own pockets! This notion that PP is an "abortion mill" using government $$ or donations meant for other puropses (like BC screening) is patently false! Also, if a person is pro-life that is your right! It is not your right, however, to force your views on others or to make decisions that have nothing to do w/your life! It's not your right to demonize birthcontrol when it is a direct deterrent of abortions! Please preach your views responsibly, complete w/alternatives that don't just include adoption & abstinence! Leave out the scare tactics! Also, it would help your cause if you Practice what you Preach!!

    February 3, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
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