Komen Reverses Choice to De-fund Planned Parenthood Breast Screenings

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The Susan G. Komen for the Cure reversed on Friday its decision to stop funding Planned Parenthood breast cancer screenings for women.

In a statement on the foundation’s Web site CEO Nancy Brinker and the board of directors apologized, yet still insisted its actions earlier in the week were not politically motivated.

“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 statement said.

The foundation had said it chose not to continue funding Planned Parenthood, which provides a range of women’s health services, because the group was under Congressional investigation. But that investigation has largely been viewed as political.

Planned Parenthood received $700,000 from Komen in 2011. More than 170,000 women have received free breast cancer screenings due to Komen grant funding through Planned Parenthood over the past five years, with 6,400 resulting in mammography referrals, according to a press release.

Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, said the organized was heartened by the show of support and looked forward to continuing its partnership with Komen.

“The outpouring of support for women in need of lifesaving breast cancer screening this week has been astonishing and is a testament to our nation's compassion and sincerity,” Richard said in a statement.

The choice to strip Planned Parenthood of grant funding set off a firestorm last week, prompting a widespread backlash against the Komen foundation. The outpouring of support for Planned Parenthood may have helped their overall fundraising efforts. Michael Bloomberg, New York City mayor, personally donated $250,000 to Planned Parenthood in response.

Komen, for its part, had said it would still fund breast cancer screenings even if it didn’t give the money to Planned Parenthood.