February 3, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – In a new statement on the Susan G Komen Foundation website, the organization says it wants “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 is from Susan G. Komen Board of Directors and Founder and CEO Nancy G. Brinker.
It says the foundation will amend its funding criteria to indicate “disqualifying investigations must be criminal and conclusive in nature and not political.” Congressman Cliff Stearns of Florida launched an investigation of Planned Parenthood to determine whether it misuses federal funds to promote abortion, which was one of the reasons originally cited by Komen for disqualifying Planned Parenthood from receiving funding grants.
It is not yet clear how this will affect the foundation’s new commitment to directly fund organizations that provide mammograms. This would exclude Planned Parenthood, which does not perform the procedure.
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While the statement says that Komen “will continue to fund existing grants,” this does not mark a change from earlier this week, where Komen said that it would honor a small handful of preexisting grants into next year. However, the statement continues to say that Komen will “preserve their eligibility to apply for future grants.”
The statement adds it will meet with local affiliates this afternoon. Many are reportedly in uproar over the decision to cut ties with Planned Parenthood.
The statement says, “We do not want our mission marred or affected by politics – anyone’s politics.” It concludes, “we sincerely hope that these changes will be welcomed by those who have expressed their concern.”
Pro-life leaders say that the exact import of the statement is not yet clear, and that Komen seems to be asking for breathing room, possibly with the intention of caving in definitively to pro-abortion pressure.
Austin Ruse of C-Fam told LifeSiteNews.com Friday morning that, “The mafia shakedown tactics may have worked, but we’re not sure.”
Ruse advised that pro-lifers should “take a wait and see attitude” to discern whether the pro-abortion pushback against Komen would succeed.
Read the full statement here
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.