Komen reverses decision, will give funding to Planned Parenthood

The Susan G. Komen for the Cure has reversed its decision to halt grants to Planned Parenthood, leaving members of the local and national pro-life community dazed.

The organization apologized and has decided to revise its policy that led to its earlier decision to cut funding to the nation's largest abortion provider.

"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," according to a statement from Komen founder and CEO Nancy Brinker.

"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," the statement continued. " ... We sincerely hope that these changes will be welcomed by those who have expressed their concern."

"We are extremely disappointed in Komen's decision," said Beth Lauver, director of the archdiocesan Respect Life Apostolate. "They were taking a very courageous stance, and I am sorry to see that change.

"It seems like good business sense to not partner with a organization (Planned Parenthood) that is under Congressional investigation. Were surprised with how quickly (Komen) succumbed to public pressure, especially in light of the support that the pro-life movement had been offering in the last few days. It's disappointing that Komen values the support of people who don't have women's health truly at heart."

"However, faithful pro-life people need to remember our call to respect and pray for all God's people, even those who disagree with and oppose us," said Lauver. "In the face of any boycott or protest, we cannot lose sight of our primary goal of evangelizing the good news of the Gospel and the dignity of every human person. This is more about what we support than what we oppose."

“It’s unfortunate that organizations like
Komen are being held hostage by the abortion industry if they don’t
contribute to Planned Parenthood,” said Deacon Samuel Lee of Campaign
Life Missouri. “Let’s call it for what it is: It’s extortion of money
from Komen by abortion supporters.”

According to Catholic News Agency, Planned Parenthood's initial loss of support from Komen was tied to a congressional investigation. Planned Parenthood has been the subject of a federal investigation headed by Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., since last year. The investigation was launched after the pro-life group Americans United for Life issued a report indicating financial irregularities and involvement in assisting those involved in sex-trafficking and prostitution.

The Respect Life Apostolate previously issued a statement acknowledging the beneficial work of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, formerly known as the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, in the area of breast cancer detection, prevention, research and treatment. Due to its policy allowing affiliates to offer financial support to abortion-providing facilities, its denial of studies showing abortion as a cause of breast cancer, and its endorsement of embryonic stem cell research, the Respect Life Apostolate neither supports nor encourages participation in activities that benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the chief fundraiser for the organization.

The Apostolate did note that public records show that Missouri affiliates were not among Susan G. Komen for the Cure affiliates that have provided grants to local Planned Parenthood chapters for breast health care services as recently as 2009.

The St. Louis Affiliate of Komen has a statement on its website that it "has never granted any funds to Planned Parenthood and neither has our national organization, so none of the money raised in St. Louis have ever funded a Planned Parenthood grant." It added that the "Susan G. Komen for the Cure St. Louis Affiliate has a very specific promise — to save lives and end breast cancer forever by empowering people, ensuring quality of care for all and energizing science to find the cures. Our focus remains on the organization's vision to simply create a world without breast cancer." 

Want to help in the fight against breast cancer, but not support abortion? Here are two groups to consider:

The Breast Cancer Prevention Institute: www.bcpinstitute.org

Coalition on Abortion / Breast Cancer: www.abortionbreastcancer.com

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