Komen Board Member: Haven’t Caved on Planned Parenthood Funding

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 3, 2012   |   2:08PM   |   Washington, DC

Following a new statement Komen for the Cure released making many observers believe the breast cancer charity reversed position on whether it would fund grants to Planned Parenthood, one Komen board member says it hasn’t caved.

Komen board member John Raffaelli talked with the Washington Post after the statement was released and said the new announcement doesn’t necessarily mean there is any reversal until and unless Planned Parenthood receives additional funding beyond what was already planned before Komen’s December decision.

“It would be highly unfair to ask us to commit to any organization that doesn’t go through a grant process that shows that the money we raise is used to carry out our mission,” Raffaelli said. “We’re a humanitarian organization. We have a mission. Tell me you can help carry out our mission and we will sit down at the table.”

Raffaelli said that the new statement was an attempt to remove the politics from the grant-making process, saying “Is it really unclear that we’re changing the policy to address criticism?”

Asked about whether Nancy Brinker, the CEO of Komen, is secure in her job following all of the controversy, Raffaelli insisted: “Nancy was not trying to mislead anyone” and added that Komen would not review its highly-criticized public relations efforts but would review the politicization of grant-making in the future and blamed himself for how the decision has been conveyed to the public.

“Yes,” he said about whether Brinker’s job is safe and added that the Komen board stands behind her.

The Post also indicates the full Komen board held a Thursday night conference call, which Raffaelli said was held “to see if there was a way to take the politics out of this process.”

“We had to fix what [people on all sides] were charging was political,” he said. “I hope this addresses claims that we were acting politically. That was not our intention.” [related]

Still, Planned Parenthood celebrated Friday’s news as a a concession.

“We are enormously grateful that the Komen Foundation has clarified its grantmaking criteria, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with Komen partners, leaders and volunteers,” Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards said in a statement. “What these past few days have demonstrated is the deep resolve all Americans share in the fight against cancer, and we honor those who are at the helm of this battle.”

But top prolife advocates are cautiously optimistic.