Planned Parenthood Prez: Komen Battle Ended “Wonderfully”

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 17, 2012   |   12:02PM   |   Dallas, Texas

There’s not much guesswork needed to see what Planned Parenthood thinks of the decision by Komen for the Cure to apparently reverse its initial decision in December to end funding to the abortion business.

Komen initially decided in December to revise its grant-making process to funds grants to agencies that provide direct health services for women — which would eliminate Planned Parenthood since it does not do mammograms. After Planned Parenthood, Democratic members of Congress and the media pounced on Komen for its decision, Komen clarified that Planned Parenthood would still be allowed to submit grant requests but they may or may not be funded.

Although the jury is still out on whether Komen will fund Planned Parenthood again — the breast cancer charity said the abortion business was eligible to apply for grants but did not say if the requests would be honored — Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards is happy enough. She told pro-abortion activists at a dinner in Dallas last night that the Komen-Planned Parenthood debate “is behind us.”

“The good news – the wonderful ending to this story – is that Komen and Planned Parenthood are here together in this room in fact today, working together again,” Richards said at a Planned Parenthood awards luncheon, according to the Dallas News.

Richards told the newspaper in a separate interview that some questions still remain and added that she has yet to personally speak with Komen founder Nancy Brinker, but said, “these relationships are picking up right where they left off.”

“The minute the national office made the decision to reverse course, calls and meetings started happening immediately,” the abortion company’s CEO added. “And I think that’s how it will go, which is great.”

The News says Richards is focused on the “common purpose” Komen and Planned Parenthood share to “end breast cancer for women in this country” even though studies routinely show that induced abortions increase a woman’s risk of contracting the sometimes fatal disease.

Richards also told the newspaper that she’s not worried about pushback from pro-life groups against Planned Parenthood.

“We’re through with political bullies coming between women and their healthcare,” she said. [related]

Komen released a new statement making it appear Planned Parenthood might be eligible for funding down the road but also making it appear that, if Planned Parenthood is found to be criminally liable in various state and federal investigations, that its funding stream would be cut off.

Matthew Clark, of the pro-life legal group ACLJ, hit upon the uncertainty.

“It is unclear under Komen’s new funding policy whether Planned Parenthood will qualify for future funding,” he said. “There are reports that this change in criteria means that Komen will honor funding to all 19 Planned Parenthood clinics and will allow them to apply for future funding.”

Yet Clark appears to side with those who believe Komen has caved.

“While Komen claims “politics has no place in our grant process,” it is exactly political pressure from pro-abortion proponents that led Komen to change their policy. This hypocrisy must be called out. Komen’s decision earlier this week to prevent funding from going to an abortion organization under investigation was the right decision, and it is very disappointing that this valuable cancer charity appears to be caving to the abortion industry,” he said.

Americans United for Life issued a carefully worded statement that did not say one way or the other but focused its anger on Planned Parenthood.

“As a breast cancer survivor, I am troubled that the Komen Foundation has come under such heavy fire for their recent decision to tighten and focus their funding guidelines,” AUL president Charimaine Yoest said. “This week we have all been witness to highly partisan attacks from pro-abortion advocates and an ugly and disgraceful shakedown that highlights Planned Parenthood’s willingness to pursue a scorched-earth strategy to force compliance with their pro-abortion agenda.”

“The American public has learned this week that Planned Parenthood does not actually provide front-line breast health services:  Planned Parenthood does not provide mammograms – a service that saved my life. Komen’s long-standing partnership with the nation’s largest abortion provider has allowed Planned Parenthood to whitewash the central fact that their core mission involves providing abortion,” she said. “The on-going Congressional investigation of Planned Parenthood – from the same Committee investigating Solyndra – raises substantive legal questions and areas of ethical and moral concern. As AUL detailed in our ‘Case for Investigating Planned Parenthood,’ attention to the abortion giant’s business practices is long overdue.”

Yoest concluded saying, “It is unfortunate that donors to the Susan G. Komen Foundation are now confused about their association with the nation’s largest abortion provider.”

Family Research Council Director for the Center for Human Dignity Jeanne Monahan also weighed in on the controversy and confusion.

“The Susan G Komen Foundation made two policy changes this week to ensure money would be better spent to save women’s lives. The first policy change ensured that grants are more directly focused on results. Planned Parenthood does not perform mammograms. The second new requirement is that Komen will not award money to organizations that are under federal investigation. Both of these policy decisions ensure money would be better spent to save women’s lives while also making Susan G. Komen abortion-neutral,” she said.

“It would be heartbreaking for women who suffer from breast cancer if Planned Parenthood has bullied Komen into loosening their higher standards. Women deserve the best. Komen should stay focused on saving lives, not supporting the nation’s largest abortion provider,” Monahan continued. “It is truly unbelievable that the nation’s largest abortion provider has been able to take what has been considered one of America’s most well respected and beloved organizations and demonize it overnight for simply making their grants results-oriented. Planned Parenthood is putting their abortion ideology above the health of women,” concluded Monahan.”

Karen Handel, a top Komen official who was said to be instrumental in putting in place the changes in Komen policy that essentially resulted in cutting funding for Planned Parenthood, resigned her position.

“I am deeply disappointed by the gross mischaracterizations of the strategy, its rationale, and my involvement in it,” Handel said in her letter. “I openly acknowledge my role in the matter and continue to believe our decision was the best one for Komen’s future and the women we serve.”

Handel followed up that letter with various interviews, including an appearance on Fox News, where she told the news station that Planned Parenthood viciously attacked the breast cancer group.

“What was unleashed over this past week was a vicious attack against a great organization,” Handel said, noting that Komen founder Susan Brinker came under personal attacks as well. “I would think all of us should be saddened that an outside organization should put this kind of pressure on another organization.”

“The last time I checked, private non-profit organizations have a right and a responsibility to be able to set the highest standards and criteria on their own without interference, let alone the level of vicious attacks and coercion that has occurred by Planned Parenthood. It’s simply outrageous,” Handel added.