Breaking: Komen Caves, Will Fund Planned Parenthood

Via TPM:

The Susan G. Komen foundation announced that it will reverse its decision to cut funding for Planned Parenthood, apologizing for “recent decisions that cast doubt upon our commitment to our mission of saving women’s lives.”

Komen statement:

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.

Good.

30 comments on this post.
  1. anon2:

    Please…Komen thought they could get away with their political BS, and realized they couldn’t, now they are back peddling.

  2. pandora:

    I agree, anon2. And I don’t know if Komen will ever recover. If they do it will take a long time. This was a HUGE mistake.

    I know I’m not feeling warm and fuzzy toward them, and I have no plans to donate – especially since this incident has uncovered some unsavory Komen practices. They would need to perform a complete overhaul, starting with Komen leadership.

  3. occam:

    I’m disinclined to believe anything they say at this point.

  4. socialistic ben:

    I think we should give them the opportunity to right themselves. (although they were “righted” and that’s what caused this mess… sorry) They can (be again) a huge force for good. Help Komen drive out it’s right wing whakos and work to get people in there who aren’t about branding and money and divert all that power to research and treatment. I for one am rewarding Komen’s decision today with the same size donation i gave to PP’s Emergency Breast Health Fund yesterday. Let’s all prove this isnt about politics…. in the last 3 days, a TON of money has gone to both Komen, and PP and it is all going to be used for the same goal. there is silver lining.

  5. Jason330:

    Now the wingnuts are going to hate them too. A PR cluster-fuck of the first order brought to you by wingnut fanaticism.

    BTW – have they fired Karen Handel yet? That’s the signal for me that they get it. Everything else is mere words to sooth the big corporations.

  6. Digby:

    Saving women’s lives…screw the babies! Yaaaaaaaaaaay!

  7. Digby:

    By the way, Jason, I am very glad to see that Delaware Dem allows you to comment so frequently on HIS website.

  8. anon2:

    Only 3% of the procedures Planned Parenthood did in 2009 were abortions, yet the right wing is determined to destroy them. THIS is your fucking death panel.

  9. Digby:

    Did any of you see Holder’s testimony? Did you happen to catch how many times he hid behind executive privilege? Remember how you all used to scream and whine every time Bush or Cheney etc. did the same exact thing? Remember that? I’m sure you do, but I am also sure it is totally fine now right?

  10. Geezer:

    Remember how the Fast & Furious program was started under Bush and Cheney in 2006? Remember that? I’m sure it was totally fine when they did it, though, right? Right?

  11. Geezer:

    “screw the babies! Yaaaaaaaaaaay!”

    If you can’t tell the difference between a fetus and a baby, you must be a Republican.

  12. pandora:

    You do know that pro-life women use Planned Parenthood?

  13. Geezer:

    They aren’t trying to right themselves. They’re trying to put out a new headline and blunt the criticism. Notice they said PP was allowed to apply for grants, not that their funding is automatically restored.

    Now let’s see them explain the fact that they pulled $12 million from funding research using embryonic stem cells.

    This in no way gets them off the hook.

  14. pandora:

    Agreed, Geezer. I’m adopting a wait and see approach.

    I do think this response from Komen is deliberately vague. I think they want to keep both sides confused. They are trying to keep everyone on board with their brand. Heh, good luck with that.

    I predict that Komen will take a big fundraising hit as everyone waits and sees what happens before opening their checkbook.

  15. anon2:

    “Saving women’s lives…screw the babies! Yaaaaaaaaaaay!”

    Brought to you by the same people who “boo” candidates at forums who say they believe that a woman has a right to choose when her life is at risk. Komen is bowing to a far-right wing ideology that will set women back centuries and cost lives. We can’t let the wackos win this fight.

  16. Geezer:

    Their press release is vague, but it worked in reframing the issue going into the weekend — the network radio news is leading with the supposed “change” and a declaration of “victory” for PP. They’re hoping most people let it fade away with the Super Bowl coming.

    I’m hoping that by Monday enough voices in the blogosphere will set the record straight, and the coverage can begin anew. Barring some natural catastrophe, the morning after the Super Bowl is usually a slow news day because everyone stayed inside Sunday night.

  17. MJ:

    No matter what SGK does now, they are tarnished and will suffer for their thoughtless, political mistake.

    And Digby, go back into your cave.

  18. socialistic ben:

    really MJ? no redemption available to them? I thought it was the conservatives that forever condemned people for mistakes.

  19. V:

    I explained the Komen/PP thing to my mom last night and sent her some articles this morning because she wanted to forward to friends who were big fundraisers in the past. I emailed her back and told her Komen had reversed. Her response?

    “They’re still Nazis and I don’t trust them”

    Ladyrage ignited.

  20. Nancy Willing:

    I am sure I wasn’t the only one to be reminded of this 2009 petition for another Komen misstep:

    http://fdlaction.firedoglake.com/2009/12/11/sign-letter-to-susan-b-komen-foundation-donations-shouldnt-go-to-hadassah-lieberman/

    Please join me in calling on the Susan G. Komen for the Cure to ask Hadassah Lieberman to step down by signing the petition.

    Dear Ms. Brinker,

    The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and Susan G. Komen for the Cure are driving forces in funding breast cancer research. Each year they take in hundreds of millions of dollars from people who want to end the suffering of those who are fighting breast cancer.

    How these donations are channeled, therefore, is of great concern to those those who have invested untold amounts of money and support in its work.

    It has come to my attention via an article by Joe Conason in Salon that Hadassah Lieberman – wife of Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT) – is currently a compensated “Global Ambassador” for Susan G. Komen for the Cure. It is widely known, however, that not only has Senator Lieberman been an instrument of obstruction to the kind of health care reform advocated by Susan G. Komen for the Cure, but that Mrs. Lieberman is also a former lobbyist worked for the lobbying firm APCO Associates, which represents the interests of the same major, private health insurance and pharmaceutical companies which Mr. Lieberman seeks to protect.

    Mrs. Lieberman’s relationship with Susan G. Komen for the Cure is unethical and misleading. Important and often very personal donations made to Susan G. Komen for the Cure to benefit the sick and dying are essentially undermining their intended use. And as Hadassah travels the globe under the banner of Susan G. Komen for the cure, decrying the inadequacies of our health care system and the desperate need to reform it, her husband is at home to kill the reform efforts we so desperately need.

    As a three time breast cancer survivor, I call on Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the Komen Foundation to ask Hadassah Lieberman to step down as a “Global Ambassador” for the organization in light of the inherent conflict of interest her continued presence brings. It is counterproductive not only to Susan G. Komen for the cure’s positions and goals, but is also unfair to the millions of families that depend on its work.

    Sincerely,

    Jane Hamsher

  21. MJ:

    SB – many, many people who used to donate to SGK will never donate to them again because of this and the huge salaries their execs take.

  22. socialistic ben:

    And that is their freedom and choice. I hope to see a new SGK emerge from this…. one that reflects it’s stated mission… It’s also not like they’ve never done any good. They screwed up big and havent come close to have made up for it. BUt how many other organizations (or institutions or entities) have screwed up that you, MJ, continue to support? Im sure SOME cause or group you beleive in has let you down…
    To be sure, they have a lot of work to do. My donation today was a symbolic one…. vote with my money to show them i approve of todays reversal.

    Just think for a second of all the harm a “YEAH! LET’S TAKE KOMEN DOWN!!!!!” attitude can have.
    Mine is “let’s fix this gigantic organization that has far reach power and affluence so it can do more good.

  23. Liberal Elite:

    @sb “let’s fix this gigantic organization…”

    I’m not sure it’s fixable….

    But the really important message that the right needs to hear is that women’s heath care is not a suitable collateral damage victim in their war against abortion.

    They need to hear this loud and clear!

  24. pandora:

    I’m not sure it’s fixable either. I don’t trust them anymore, and that’s sad because I did trust them. Now we’ve come full circle – we’re back to betrayal.

  25. Liberal Elite:

    @P “I predict that Komen will take a big fundraising hit as everyone waits and sees what happens…”

    Who is going to donate to them now? The right? No way! The left? No way! The apathetic middle? They never donated to begin with. There’s no need to wait to see what happens.

    My advice to anyone working for them: Warm up your resume.

    And all those affiliates? Expect to see some changes soon.

  26. MJ:

    SB – I used to be a major donor to the Human Rights Campaign. After serving as the chair of the DC Federal Club Steering Committee, I began to notice that all I was considered was a cash register to them. They ignored concerns that were raised by many members, including my partner and I, and we no longer donate to them. The same with Camp Rehoboth.

    If you want to fix SGK, the first thing to do is demand the CEO’s ouster.

  27. Jason330:

    I love this from eschaton “No one could have predicted that something Ari Fleischer touched would turn to shit.

  28. socialistic ben:

    Id like to see most of the current administration gone. granted, i dont know who does what there, but certainly their decline in credibility is due to the people running it. BUt all things being equal, Komen just has a few bad apples… those apples just happen to be in charge. Someone there has turned Race for the Cure into an actual competition with other charities. (not surprised to see GOP politicians there)
    Ya know, when we say 20% of theirs funds go to research, we are remiss of we don’t mention the 50 that does to screenings, treatment, and education. Im rooting for them to turn it around, not crumble. who’s helped by that. you KNOW Karen Handel is heading for a comfortable job somewhere at Koch no matter what happens.

  29. Truth Teller:

    Here is a list of their corporate donors

    http://ww5.komen.org/CorporatePartners.aspx

  30. Liberal Elite:

    I went to the main Komen blog site. I could find anything about the controversy.

    So… I searched ‘Planned Parenthood’ and here is the exact reply: “But there is nothing matching your search.”

    I feel like I’m back in China.