The news that the Susan G. Komen foundation was halting the grants that funded the Planned Parenthood program fueled scrutiny and debates. The founder herself had to step in and explain why the program lost the grants, and as Susan G. Komen officials claim, pressures on abortion weren’t the reason.
Two days of silence it took to have Susan G. Komen officials talk about the reasons behind the decision to halt grants for the Planned Parenthood program. In a conference call with the media, Komen founder and Chief Executive Nancy G. Brinker explained that the decision was only because of policy changes and it had nothing to do with Planned Parenthood’s position as an abortion provider.
“This has been a contentious issue. Our position has been lost…Our only mission is to design treatments and cures for this disease (breast cancer) and to take care of women in need of services” Nancy G. Brinker told the media. She also added that as much as the foundation wishes to help women battling breast cancer, it must make sure they “are granting to the right people”.
Nancy Brinker pointed out that the foundation “always had the right to cancel contracts” but the reason behind halting the grants is strictly tied to policy changes meant to improve the granting system. Also, three Planned Parenthood affiliates will continue to receive money from the foundation because they provide services that can’t be replaced through grants to another organization in their area.
Although executives with the foundation came forward to the media, chances are this isn’t the end of the debate. Plus, with the Planned Parenthood getting more support each day, it is likely the controversy will carry on for a while.
In Washington, 26 Democratic U.S. senators urged Nancy Brinker to reconsider the foundation’s position. Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein participated in writing a letter to the founder saying that “it would be tragic if any woman – let alone thousands of women – lost access to these potentially lifesaving screenings because of a politically motivated attack”.
Meanwhile, affiliates that lost the grants received support in donations from 6,000 people. $400,000 were gathered so far, and a family foundation will send in another $250,000.