Susan G. Komen Reverses Planned Parenthood Decision

THIS JUST IN: After a massive public outcry against the Susan G. Komen Foundation’s decision to pull funding for breast cancer screenings from Planned Parenthood, the largest breast cancer charity in the world has issued an apology.

In case you had any doubt that your Facebook posts and tweets make a difference…

“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,” Nancy G. Brinker, Komen’s chief executive, said in a statement posted on the organization’s Web site. The statement added, “We will continue to fund existing grants, including those of Planned Parenthood, and preserve their eligibility to apply for future grants.”

The reversal comes in the face of an enormous furor over the decision and widespread complaints that the Komen foundation was tying breast cancer to the abortion issue. Comments on social networks like Facebook and Twitter raged about the move, and donations, including a $250,000 matching grant from Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York City, poured into Planned Parenthood, allowing it to compensate for the $700,000 in Komen money that would have been cut.

 — New York Times

In a public statement, the foundation is has insisted that the move to cut Planned Parenthood’s funding was not political in nature, but did acknowledge that political dynamics around the highly-charged abortion had made the decision controversial.

“The events of this week have been deeply unsettling for our supporters, partners and friends and all of us at Susan G. Komen,” the the foundation’s publist said. “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.”

Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood, had this to say about the response on social media: “I have never seen anything catch fire like I have the outpouring [of support] from people of all walks of life.”

So there you have it… the power of social media realized! Did you post about the Komen-Planned Parenthood debacle? What was your reaction?


  1. So many issues to digest in what happened with the Komen Foundation this week.

    In the NY Times article, a board member of Komen says:

    “Is it possible for a women’s health organization to stay out of the abortion issue and help all women?” he asked. “I don’t know the answer to that yet. What we were doing before was angering the right-to-life crowd. Then, with our decision in December, we upset the pro-choice crowd. And now we’re going to make the right-to-life crowd mad all over again. How do we stop doing that?”

    Where does the Komen Foundation – which had such a great reputation – go from here? Their credibility has been questioned.

    And, the power again of social media to influence change… So quickly and powerfully!

  2. This is a very complex issue. However, I find the fact that they caved in to pressure from the far right very troubling. They also stopped grants for stem cell research which is vital for future cures for many diseases.
    Medicine should not be at the whim of political agenda's. I understand they are a foundation, however, to stop stem cell grants due to pressure from the right wing is very troubling.

    Yes, their credibility has been questioned. In this day of social media where a revolution takes place on twitter, one must tread lightly and think through all implications when you make decisions.

    With the Federal Government taking away any support for abortion that makes contraception a class issue… ie, if you have money you can pay for your abortion.

    I also find the right wing wants it both ways, they want to cut support to low income families, food stamps, housing , medical etc… yet they will not allow this same families the freedom to have an abortion if they cannot afford another child.
    Religion cannot be the basis of creating public policy IMO.
    Thank you for starting this important discussion , Malika. I have not been to the Intention board in a long time and this reminded me to go back! Namaste