In a stunning reversal, just three days after announcing it was ending Planned Parenthood grants, and one day after giving contradictory explanations for the decision, Komen for the Cure has apparently reversed course, apologized, and abandoned its controversial decision.
The Dallas Morning News published this statement from Nancy Brinker and the Susan G. 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.”
Komen’s statement goes on to say it would like those involved in the debate to “pause” and “move past this issue.”
To roughly translate, “Please stop calling us and telling us how big a mistake we made.”
Komen’s credibility, stature, and reputation took a severe tumble this week, but apologizing and reversing course is the first step towards rehabilitating its tarnished image.
Update: It’s worth clarifying that Komen’s reversal, while welcome, leaves some questions unanswered. While Planned Parenthood will apparently be eligible for “future” grants, it’s unclear what grants Planned Parenthood can expect to receive in the short term.