Susan G. Komen for the Cure is backing off of its decision to cut off grants to Planned Parenthood, announcing in a blog post that the organization will continue to be able to apply for future grants.
“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’s founder and CEO, Nancy Brinker, says in the statement. “We do not want our mission marred or affected by politics — anyone’s politics.”
The full text of the blog post:
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.
The events of this week have been deeply unsettling for our supporters, partners and friends and all of us at Susan G. Komen. 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. 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.
Our only goal for our granting process is to support women and families in the fight against breast cancer. Amending our criteria will ensure that politics has no place in our grant process. We will continue to fund existing grants, including those of Planned Parenthood, and preserve their eligibility to apply for future grants, while maintaining the ability of our affiliates to make funding decisions that meet the needs of their communities.
It is our hope and we believe it is time for everyone involved to pause, slow down and reflect on how grants can most effectively and directly be administered without controversies that hurt the cause of women. We urge everyone who has participated in this conversation across the country over the last few days to help us move past this issue. We do not want our mission marred or affected by politics — anyone’s politics.
Starting this afternoon, we will have calls with our network and key supporters to refocus our attention on our mission and get back to doing our work. We ask for the public’s understanding and patience as we gather our Komen affiliates from around the country to determine how to move forward in the best interests of the women and people we serve.
We extend our deepest thanks for the outpouring of support we have received from so many in the past few days and we sincerely hope that these changes will be welcomed by those who have expressed their concern.
It’s a dramatic about-face for the group. In a video posted on YouTube late Wednesday, Brinker said her group would “never bow down to political pressure.”
“The scurrilous accusations being hurled at this organization are profoundly hurtful to so many of us who put our heart, soul and lives into this organization,” she said. “But more importantly, they are a dangerous distraction from the work that still remains to be done in ridding the world of breast cancer.”
But the pressure on the group was powerful, with everyone from former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to MSNBC anchor Andrea Mitchell expressing disapproval. Planned Parenthood, meanwhile, reported a flood of new contributions — and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg seemed to pave the way for even more by promising to match up to $250,000 in donations to the group.