Politics? Komen Backtracks on P. Parenthood Funds

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Only a few days after earning praise from pro-lifers for its decision to pull funding from Planned Parenthood, the Susan G. Komen Foundation reversed the move Friday, apologizing for raising "doubt" about its commitment to saving women's lives.

In a statement Friday, Komen assured the charity "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."

The Susan G. Komen Foundation is the nation's most famous breast cancer charity, and its trademark pink ribbon is known worldwide.

But the group came under attack from pro-choice groups after announcing earlier this week that it would cut funds to Planned Parenthood, America's largest abortion provider.

Pro-choice lawmakers and liberal groups sounded the alarm earlier this week.

"It is very disturbing that the whole thing has become a political tool and that Komen is buying that," said Monique Benoit, who received a mammogram through Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards noted that "more than 700,000 breast exams are provided every year by our doctors and nurses."

For more reaction to the Komen decision, CBN News spoke with Jeannie Monahan, director of the Family Research Council's Center for Human Dignity. Click play for her comments. 

Nancy Brinker, CEO and founder of Susan G. Komen, claimed her organization does not make decisions to be popular. They make decisions to end cancer.

"We will never bow to political pressure," she said. "We will always stand firm in our goal to end breast cancer forever. We will never turn our backs on the women who need us the most."

"We are working to eliminate duplicative grants, freeing up more dollars for higher impact programs," she explained. "And wherever possible we want to grant to the provider, that is actually providing the life-saving mammogram."

But less than 24 hours after making those comments, Brinker backtracked.

"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," she said in a statement Friday.

Now, many are accusing the Susan G. Komen foundation of caving to political pressure.

"The foundation sacrificed core values on the alter of expediency," Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, told CBN News.

"After stating ... on the record that it would never surrender to political pressure, it conveys a message out there to other groups and foundations that unless they surrender to the values of the hard left, they are going to suffer the consequences of the cultural left and media," he added. "It's a sad day in America."

The group Liberty Counsel Action even claimed Komen backpedaled on the funding cut after receiving a letter from U.S. senators and pro-choice advocates.

"Susan G. Komen for the Cure should recognize that abortion is not a cure for anything," Liberty Counsel Action Vice President Matt Barber said in a statement.

"What a tragic paradox," he continued. "There is mounting medical evidence that indicates abortion significantly increases the risk for breast cancer."

Planned Parenthood opponents claim the abortion provider offers little or no onsite mammogram screenings. Last year, an undercover investigation by the group Live Action showed this to be true.

When asked whether mammogram services were offered, Planned Parenthood workers were caught on tape saying, "We don't here" and, "Unfortunately, we do not."

The conversation about Komen's decision is polarizing and supporters are picking sides with their pocketbooks.

Donations for both organizations have surged this week. Komen donations are up 100 percent in the last few days.

About $400,000 in small donations were made to Planned Parenthood, and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Thursday a $250,000 pledge to match future donations.

*Originally aired on February 3, 2012. 

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Tyler James writes and produces stories for CBN's daily newscasts and The 700 Club.  He also served as a photographer and field editor during the 2008 presidential race, covering campaign stops, both conventions and election night parties.

Tyler received his Bachelors of Arts in telecommunications with an emphasis on broadcast journalism from Oklahoma Baptist University.