Earlier today, after a crush of negative response to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure announced plan to withdraw further donations to Planned Parenthood, the organization made an abrupt about face– issuing an apology and pledging to restore funding grants used for breast health screenings.
Komen said it will clarify their funding policy to specify that to make clear that "disqualifying investigations must be criminal and conclusive in nature and not political." Planned Parenthood is currently under congressional investigation and Komen cited that proceeding as the reason for discontinuing their support.
Local voices are already weighing in on the development.
Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-Westchester/Rockland) today issued the following statement:
I am pleased Susan G. Komen for the Cure has reversed its decision to stop providing grants to Planned Parenthood for breast cancer detection. The strength of women’s health advocacy is rooted in its nonpartisanship, and there must be no doubt that organizations will stand on the side of awareness, research, treatment, and support – not ideology.
I look forward to continuing to work in partnership with Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Planned Parenthood, and other organizations dedicated to advancing women’s health.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand tweeted:
Congressman Eliot Engel (D-Westchester/Rockland/Bronx) criticized the decision on Feb. 1 to withhold grant funding from Planned Parenthood because of the “highly-politicized persecution by the Republican-led House of Representatives.” He released the following statement today:
“The Komen Foundation deserves credit for changing their mind and choosing to stand up to the political gamesmanship which too often passes for governing in Washington. Both the Komen Foundation and Planned Parenthood share a mission to improve health care for American women, and to eliminate cancer in our lifetime. Organizations fighting for the same cause need to stand together, and not be wedged apart because of political ideology. While Komen deserves the criticism it received for their initial decision, they deserve credit for swiftly seeing the error of the ways.”
Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic, who , quickly reacted to Susan G. Komen's change of heart on their Facebook page:
The outpouring of support online for Planned Parenthood and women in need of breast cancer screenings has been astonishing, and because of it, the PP Breast Health Fund has received more than $3 million from thousands of people across the country in only three days. Every dollar we received for this fund will go directly for breast exams and diagnostic services, as well as breast health outreach and education. And now with the Komen announcement, even more women will receive lifesaving breast cancer care! We look forward to continuing our partnership with Komen partners, leaders and volunteers, and supporters like YOU. Thank you so much for your voice and for standing with us!!
Less than 20 minutes ago, the Susan G. Komen for the Cure organization released the following statement:
Statement from Susan G. Komen Board of Directors and Founder and CEO Nancy G. 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.