Just days after announcing that it would no longer fund grants to Planned Parenthood, breast cancer charity Susan G. Komen Foundation is reversing its decision.
In a statement released Friday, Komen’s founder Nancy G. Brinker explained the reversal.
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.
Despite claiming the move to defund Planned Parenthood wasn’t politically motivated, it was discovered that among the 2,000 organizations the Komen Foundation supports, Planned Parenthood was the only one stripped of its grants.
After it was announced that the Komen Foundation would no longer support Planned Parenthood’s efforts to offer free breast exams and screenings to women, many around the country cried foul. They pointed to the hiring of former Georgia GOP gubernatorial candidate Karen Handel, who is staunchly pro-life and an avowed opponent of Planned Parenthood. Others opened their checkbooks to support the organization, and Planned Parenthood raised upwards of $400,000 from donors in just two days.
Despite the reversal, many are concerned that the Komen Foundation’s initial decision signals that women’s health issues are under attack. With Republicans steadily working to strip funding from women’s reproductive, health services, and even limiting birth control options, it is imperative that women across the nation remain vigilant about fighting for issues that greatly affect us.
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