Komen Reverses Course, Will Not Ban Planned Parenthood from Applying for Funding
Editor's note: This is not today's only article on Komen and Planned Parenthood. You might also enjoy Albert Mohler's argument that there is "no neutral ground when it Comes to Planned Parenthood," Matthew Lee Anderson's examination of "The Politics of Breast Cancer," Mollie Ziegler Hemingway's look at "The Komen Fiasco's Silver Lining," and Russell Moore's warning on "the wrong lessons to draw from the Komen-Planned Parenthood debacle."
The Susan G. Komen Foundation announced that it has reversed its earlier decision to make Planned Parenthood ineligible for new funding.
Komen officials said that 19 existing agreements between Komen and Planned Parenthood will continue, and Planned Parenthood programs will not be barred from applying for new grants. The organization said in a statement groups applying for grants would be disqualified if they are under criminal investigation, reversing an earlier decision that made Planned Parenthood ineligible because it was under political investigation. A board member for Komen said the decision does not necessarily commit Komen to future Planned Parenthood funding.
Planned Parenthood, which conducts breast exams but not mammograms, received more than $600,000 from Komen last year. Pro-life groups will be watching to see if Komen does extend new grants to the organization, said Care Net president Melinda Delahoyde.
"As one person said, 'Planned Parenthood doesn't do anything more for women with breast cancer than what I can do in the shower,' " Delahoyde said. "You can find out in the shower you have a lump you want investigated, but why would you go to Planned Parenthood if they don't do mammograms?"
The decision reflects the "disgraceful and appalling" pressure Planned Parenthood has put on Komen, said Charmaine Yoest, president of Americans United for Life, who is a breast cancer survivor.
"I don't think it's that surprising, given that Planned Parenthood basically unleashed the hounds of hell this week," Yoest said. "They are trying to find a way to end the public flogging Planned Parenthood has indulged in."
Yoest had planned for a group in the D.C. Race for the Cure, but now she is considering pulling out as several people have called asking about a refund. Yoest ran a Komen race about a decade ago but stopped after learning of Komen's connection to Planned Parenthood.
The debacle between Komen and Planned Parenthood became more prominent in December after LifeWay Christian Resources halted sales of its breast cancer awareness Bible.
"I am deeply disappointed with today's announcement from Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation if it means a reversal of Komen's decision to stop funding Planned Parenthood," said LifeWay Christian Resources president Thom Rainer in a statement to Christianity Today. "I renew my strong encouragement of Komen's leadership to end that relationship permanently, and restate LifeWay's commitment to not be involved, even indirectly, with Planned Parenthood."
Komen Foundation CEO Nancy Brinker released an apologetic statement this morning. "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," she said. "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."