February 3, 2012, 9:16 a.m.
In a reversal of policy after a nationwide uproar over its decision to cut funding to Planned Parenthood, Susan G. Komen for the Curesaid Friday that it will amend its new funding rules and allow continued funding of breast health programs operated by the clinic.
Nancy G. Brinker, Komen’s founder and chief executive, said that the breast cancer foundation’s decision to halt funding to providers who were under investigation was not done for political reasons and was not meant to penalize Planned Parenthood specifically.
“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,” the statement said.
Planned Parenthood is under congressional investigation by Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.), who is looking into whether it used federal funding for abortion services, which is not permitted.
The group’s statement is online here.
[Updated Feb. 3, 10:00 a.m.: Planned Parenthood responded by thanking the public for its “outpouring of support for women in need of lifesaving breast cancer screening.”
Here’s more from the statement by Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
“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.”
Richards described Planned Parenthood’s partnership with Susan G. Komen for the Cure as a “treasured relationship” and said the two organizations will keep working together on their “shared commitment to breast health for the most underserved women.”
“We are enormously grateful that the Komen Foundation has clarified its grant-making criteria, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with Komen partners, leaders and volunteers,” the statement said. “Planned Parenthood has been a trusted partner with the Komen Foundation in early cancer detection and prevention services. In particular, Planned Parenthood helps the Komen Foundation reach vulnerable populations — low-income women, African-American women, and Latinas — especially in rural areas and underserved communities where Planned Parenthood health centers are their only source of health care.”
Komen funding has allowed Planned Parenthood clinics to perform about 170,000 breast exams and make referrals for more than 6,400 mammograms.