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Friday, February 3, 2012

Komen backs down, will fund Planned Parenthood (Update: Now Ellmers is deeply disappointed.)

Posted by on Fri, Feb 3, 2012 at 11:43 AM

(Update: I don't read Komen's statement as being ambiguous about future funding for Planned Parenthood. But a writer for DailyKos is dubious.]

(Update 2: Komen's cave-in has Rep. Renee Ellmers, R-N.C., deeply disappointed from her anti-choice perspective. I've posted her statement below.]

Komen for the Cure just released the following statement from Nancy Brinker and the Susan G. Komen Board of Directors:

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.

***

From Congresswoman Ellmers:


WASHINGTON — Congresswoman Renee Ellmers released the following statement from her office in Washington this afternoon:

"I am deeply disappointed in the sudden reversal by the Komen Foundation of their original pledge to cut ties with Planned Parenthood - the nation's largest abortion provider. Their original stance to stop funding pending an important congressional investigation was an act of courage and prudence, making their sudden reversal today appear hollow and weak."

"As a nurse and mother, I will continue to champion the sanctity of life and women's health, regardless of contemporary trends…and sometimes that takes the courage to do what is right, not what is convenient."

In July, Congresswoman Ellmers hosted a press conference with Congressman Randy Hultgren following a report published by Americans United for Life that detailed extent of Planned Parenthood's involvement in providing abortions while receiving taxpayer funding.

To learn more about the report and its findings from Americans United for Life, click here.

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