Susan G. Komen Reverses Decision To Cut Off Planned Parenthood - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Susan G. Komen Reverses Decision To Cut Off Planned Parenthood

(AP) - Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the renowned breast-cancer charity, facing a firestorm of backlash over its decision to cut breast-screening grants to Planned Parenthood, has reversed its decision.

"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," a Komen statement said.

As first reported by The Associated Press on Tuesday, Komen had adopted criteria excluding Planned Parenthood from grants because it was under government investigation, notably a probe launched in Congress at the urging of anti-abortion groups.

Komen said Friday it would change the criteria so it wouldn't apply to such investigations.

"We will continue to fund existing grants, including those of Planned Parenthood, and preserve their eligibility to apply for future grants," the statement said.

Weigh in with your thoughts about Komen's latest announcement in our "Comments" section below.

The move announced earlier this week created a bitter rift, linked to the abortion debate, between two iconic organizations that have assisted millions of women. The change would have meant a cutoff of hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants, mainly for breast exams.

Some of Komen's local affiliates were openly upset, and at least one top official quit, reportedly in protest.

Planned Parenthood says the original announcement resulted from Komen bowing to pressure from anti-abortion activists. Komen said the key reason is that Planned Parenthood is under investigation in Congress - a probe launched by a conservative Republican who was urged to act by anti-abortion groups.

Planned Parenthood said the Komen grants totaled roughly $680,000 last year and $580,000 the year before, going to at least 19 of its affiliates for breast-cancer screening and other breast-health services.

Komen spokeswoman Leslie Aun said the cutoff resulted from the charity's newly adopted criteria barring grants to organizations that are under investigation by local, state or federal authorities. According to Komen, this applies to Planned Parenthood because it's the focus of an inquiry launched by Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., seeking to determine whether public money was improperly spent on abortions.

Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, has depicted Stearns' probe as politically motivated and said she was dismayed that it had contributed to Komen's decision to halt the grants to PPFA affiliates.

 


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