HEALTH

Komen for the Cure: Planned Parenthood funding to continue

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In a reversal of their controversial decision, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the nationally-renowned breast cancer charity, will continue funding breast cancer screening grants to Planned Parenthood.

Outcry from supporters of Planned Parenthood forced Komen for the Cure to reverse course on Friday. (Photo: Associated Press)

A statement released by the foundation Friday morning apologized for decisions that were made that they say cast doubts on their 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," the statement read.

Backlash against the organization reached a fever pitch earlier this week after it announced they would be halting grants, which totaled more than $680,000 in 2011, for Planned Parenthood affiliates who offered breast cancer screenings.

The organization continued to decline that their move was politically motivated as the outcry grew. In the wake of the move, Planned Parenthood received nearly $400,000 from 6,000 donors in the first day after the announcement was made.

“I think women will get the services they need, and that are expected,” said Springfield, Va. resident Lori Morrow.

In the statement, Komen for the Cure says it will preserve Planned Parenthood's eligibility to apply for future grants.

Many of Komen's affiliates across the country had openly rebelled against the decision to cut the funding, which totaled $680,000 in 2011.

One affiliate, in Aspen, Colo., had announced Thursday that it would defy the new rules and continue grants to its local Planned Parenthood partner.

In addition, Komen was inundated with negative comments via emails, on Twitter and on its Facebook page. Many of the messages conveyed a determination to halt gifts to Komen - organizer of the popular Race for the Cure events -because of the decision.

“I think that Planned Parenthood should be de-funded by the federal government,” says D.C. resident Cynthia Butler. “I think they're a lot of deception and ruses going on.”

Planned Parenthood's president, Cecile Richards, thanked those donors Friday and welcomed Komen's change of heart.

"We are enormously grateful that the Komen Foundation has clarified its grantmaking criteria," Richards said. "What these past few days have demonstrated is the deep resolve all Americans share in the fight against cancer."

Through the Komen grants, Planned Parenthood says its health centers provided nearly 170,000 clinical breast exams and more than 6,400 mammogram referrals over the past five years.

Komen, in its statement, said it was immediately starting an outreach to its affiliates and supporters to get the charity back on track.

"We urge everyone who has participated in this conversation across the country over the last few days to help us move past this issue," Komen said. "We do not want our mission marred or affected by politics - anyone's politics."

 

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