The Susan G. Komen Foundation backtracked on its decision to withdraw funding from the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), following criticism from pro-abortion forces, and others, including the Republican governor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg. Critics had charged that the charity had used new criteria for granting money in a politically-motivated manner. The charity, which funds research for developing a cure for breast cancer, released a statement on the morning of February 3 explaining that it will change its grant criteria to restrict funds only after an investigation has concluded, and only if it is criminal in nature. PPFA is under a Congressional investigation who say they want to determine whether the group used taxpayer money to fund abortions.
Earlier in the week, the Komen Foundation had announced that it would no longer fund Planned Parenthood because of the ongoing investigation.
After the Komen charity’s decision was announced this week, three top officials resigned from the charity in protest, and 26 U.S. Senators wrote to the group beseeching them to reverse the decision. All of them were Democrats, and included Senators Frank Lautenberg and Patty Murray.
In a statement, Planned Parenthood exulted that Komen’s leadership had reconsidered . In a statement, the abortion provided wrote “We are enormously grateful that the Komen Foundation has clarified its grantmaking criteria, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with Komen partners, leaders and volunteers... “What these past few days have demonstrated is the deep resolve all Americans share in the fight against cancer, and we honor those who are at the helm of this battle.”
The Komen Foundation had been besieged by a barrage of emails, as well as vicious statements on its Facebook page, some of which had to be removed because of their scatological nature. Komen founder Nancy G. Brinker had previously claimed that the public responses they’d been getting were “very, very favorable.”
The Komen Foundation released a statement on February 3 that sought to exculpate itself in the eyes of detractors, “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.”
Planned Parenthood gave credit to its many supporters who pressured the Komen Foundation into its policy change. “During the last week, millions spontaneously joined a national conversation about lifesaving breast cancer prevention care and reinforced shared values about access to health care for all. This compassionate outcry in support of those most in need rose above political, ideological, and cultural divides, and will surely be recognized as one of our nation’s better moments during a contentious political time. Planned Parenthood thanks each and every person who has contributed to elevating the importance of breast cancer prevention for so many women in need.”
Planned Parenthood had more than made up for any funds that would have been cut by the Komen Foundation, having garnered checks and pledges from prominent and wealthy individuals such as Mayor Bloomberg and oil man Lee Fike.