Susan G. Komen Backs Out of Its Planned Parenthood Fiasco (UPDATED)

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New Coke, you have a new rival for corporate ineptness.

In a statement on its Web site, the Texas-based Susan G. Komen breast-cancer organization has reversed its fiasco of a decision to cut off funds to Planned Parenthood.

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.

Sure they weren't. Good luck with that argument, Susan G.

Nationwide, women who regularly donated to Komen or ran in its heavily hyped fundraising runs had announced on Facebook and other sites that they would instead be donating directly to Planned Parenthood.

The publicity also resulted in a spotlight being placed on how much of its funds the Komen foundation uses for brand-building instead of medical research.

Will the foundation be able to recover? We'll see how aggressive they will be in trying to win back the disillusioned.

Coke survived, after all.

Update: Here is the official statement from the Komen Houston affiliate:

The national headquarters of Susan G. Komen for the Cure® released a statement this morning in response to the recent controversy regarding Planned Parenthood, revising the guidelines that prevented it from funding the organization. The statement read in part, "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."

In light of this, the Komen Houston Affiliate wishes to reach out to all its supporters here in Southeast Texas in an effort to explain our role in the local granting process. We cannot speak as to why the national decision, which has now been reversed, was made, as we were not part of the process. We can, however, talk about the local grant process that we employ at the Komen Houston Affiliate and the great work that the grant dollars have done in our community since 1991.

We want to begin by assuring our local supporters that at the Komen Houston Affiliate, politics are not a consideration in our grant funding process. We do not see things in red and blue, we see them in pink.

After reviewing our records, there is no indication that Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast ever requested funding from Komen Houston. If Planned Parenthood applied for a Komen Houston grant, it would be held to the same guidelines as every other grant applicant.

The Komen Houston Affiliate follows our own grant funding process, however, the organization is mandated to follow some national Susan G. Komen for the Cure® guidelines. Even so, supporters can rest assured that, in Southeast Texas, the Komen mission to provide access to breast cancer education, screening and treatment remains available to those in need.

It is also is important to note that none of the 22 Houston Affiliate grantees funded by the Komen Houston Affiliate in 2012 are affected by this national mandate, and locally, the organization will continue to provide services to organizations as long as funding is available and grant priorities are being met.

We are proud to say that, in the Houston Affiliate's 21-year history, the organization has provided more than $25 million for community grants in Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty and Montgomery counties. Up to 75% of the net-income raised in Houston, by Houstonians, supports local Komen Houston granting efforts to further breast cancer education, screening and treatment for the uninsured and medically-underserved in our seven-county service area.

It is imperative that the community continue to support the local Houston Affiliate in order to continue to provide grant dollars to organizations that help both women and men impacted by breast cancer.

The strength of Susan G. Komen for the Cure® comes from its local affiliates and the many volunteers and individuals who support the organization. The local volunteers and those who support the organization financially help fund breast cancer research, education, screening and treatment, and they are the reason the Komen promise is alive and effective today. We urge everyone to continue to support the Komen Houston Affiliate on a local level so we can continue to fund worthy organizations right here in our area and someday win the fight to end breast cancer forever.

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