Susan G. Komen Foundation Re-Funds Planned Parenthood
The Susan G. Komen Foundation apologized Friday for its controversial decision to grants to Planned Parenthood for breast exams and other women's breast health.
Officials at Susan G Komen for the Cure Foundation vowed to refund Planned Parenthood and revise the policy that led to the decision defund the clinics. The decision led to a backlash and boycott of the Komen Foundation, and a toughly worded letter from 24 senators in Congress.
On Tuesday, the Susan G. Komen Foundation cut off funding for about 19 Planned Parenthood clinics that provide breast cancer screening and other preventative services.
Planned Parenthood affiliates received about $680,000 per year from the Susan G. Komen Foundation and provided about 170,000 clinical breast exams and 6,400 mammogram referrals through those funds, mainly to low-income and minority women.
Planned Parenthood’s president, Cecile Richards, praised the move.
“In recent weeks, the treasured relationship between the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation and Planned Parenthood has been challenged, and we are now heartened that we can continue to work in partnership toward our shared commitment to breast health for the most underserved women,” Richards said in a statement. “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.”
Press Release from Susan G Komen Board of Directors and Founder and CEO Nancy Brinker:
"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.
It is our hope and we believe it is time for everyone involved to pause, slow down and reflect on how grants can most effectively and directly be administered without controversies that hurt the cause of women. We urge everyone who has participated in this conversation across the country over the last few days to help us move past this issue. We do not want our mission marred or affected by politics -- anyone's politics.
Starting this afternoon, we will have calls with our network and key supporters to refocus our attention on our mission and get back to doing our work. We ask for the public's understanding and patience as we gather our Komen affiliates from around the country to determine how to move forward in the best interests of the women and people we serve.
We extend our deepest thanks for the outpouring of support we have received from so many in the past few days and we sincerely hope that these changes will be welcomed by those who have expressed their concern.
About Susan G. Komen for the Cure(R)
Nancy G. Brinker promised her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, that she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer. Today, Susan G. Komen for the Cure works to end breast cancer in the U.S. and throughout the world through ground-breaking research, community health outreach, advocacy and programs in more than 50 countries with a special focus on low-resource and developing nations."
The events of the past week have indeed been unsettling, but the important thing to remember is that the health and wellness of millions of women were the ones at stake, not who won a political debate or a lobbyist movement.