Susan G. Komen for Cure apologizes; grants restored to Planned Parenthood

Feb 3, 2012

The Susan G. Komen for Cure has reversed its decision and will now return breast-screening grants back to Planned Parenthood.

Three days after making the controversial decision to cut the grants, Komen did an about face Friday.  Komen had adopted criteria excluding Planned Parenthood from grants because it was under government investigation. 

A probe was launched in Congress at the urging of anti-abortion groups.  But Komen said Friday it would change the criteria so it wouldn't apply to such investigations. 

Betsy Harned is director of community engagement of Planned Parenthood of Western New York. 

"It's thrilled with this decision," Harned told WBFO News Friday afternoon.

Harned said they are enormously grateful to the Komen foundation.

"We just want to thank the  Susan G. Komen for Cure  for clarifying their criteria.  In these tough economic times, more women then ever need access to the essential health care services," said Harned.

The local Planned Parenthood says it is not a direct recipient of the Komen grants,  but does offers extensive breast-health services to its clients.  

"Certainly I can't speak on behalf of why exactly they made this decision...but we have seen this tremendous outpouring of support both locally and nationally...People who want to keep the focus on women's health," said Harned.

Komen has apologized for its initial action.

"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,” president and founder Nancy Brinker said in a statement today. “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,” she added. “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’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.”