Well that was fast
Dallas News is reporting that Komen for the Cure just released a statement from Nancy Brinker and the 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.
I haven’t seen any other news outlets reporting on this (just chatter on Twitter), so I’ll keep you posted.
UPDATE: As I read the press release more carefully, it’s not clear that Komen will reinstate Planned Parenthood funding at the same levels as it has in the past. The language “We will continue to fund existing grants, including those of Planned Parenthood, and preserve their eligibility to apply for future grants…” is troubling. We need to stay on them. I have no doubt that Planned Parenthood will keep fighting. Women’s health should not be a political partisan issue. Komen must maintain funding levels not only for this grant cycle, but for future grant cycles.
UPDATE 2: Komen apparently has changed their criteria regarding funding. They will discontinue funding for organizations that have been found guilty in a criminal investigation, not just for organizations that are under investigation. I guess that takes care of their Penn State problem.
Here’s a video report via karoli at Crooks & Liars: