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Komen Reverses Planned Parenthood Decision

Group bows to immense pressure from erstwhile supporters

Marc Tracy
February 03, 2012

Here’s the statement from Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s CEO and founder Nancy Brinker (the late Komen’s sister), which states that the group “will continue to fund existing grants, including those of Planned Parenthood, and preserve their eligibility to apply for future grants.” It also insists that the initial decision to pull Planned Parenthood funding was not political in nature but due solely to the group’s being under investigation (an assertion that conflicts with the $7.5 million Komen gave to Penn State, which is currently under federal investigation over sexual abuse allegations).

Planned Parenthood probably shouldn’t declare complete victory yet: it will be interesting to see how well new grant applications are fulfilled (and you can rest assured we will have an answer, as they will be watched closely). In another sense, though, Planned Parenthood had this major organization affirm its legitimacy; got people talking again about the vast panoply of services it provides for women’s health; and raised $650,000 (!!) in the 24 hours following Komen’s first announcement. And good on Hadassah for joining the chorus of Komen supporters expressing their concern and outrage—outrage that, given what a P.R. fiasco this has been for the breast cancer group, probably won’t immediately subside.

UPDATE: Hadassah just sent out a statement. It reads, in part:

Hadassah is proud to continue our longstanding role as an advocate for a woman’s right to choose and a strong supporter in the advancement of women’s health. There is no time to waste. Komen should never again allow this type of controversy to erode the integrity of its well-known and much-admired name in fundraising for breast cancer treatment research and awareness.

Hadassah applauds the millions of women who have united in a shared message to ensure that together, women will continue to receive much needed services and that our focus on women’s health will be continuously strengthened, never derailed again.

Marc Tracy is a staff writer at The New Republic, and was previously a staff writer at Tablet. He tweets @marcatracy.