As part of the action against the Susan G. Komen Foundation's withdraw of support for Planned Parenthood, I have been contacting members of their Scientific Advisory Board to see what their response is to this action.
One of them was kind enough to send me the "official" Komen response to the action.
From: Portteus, Chandini [CPortteus@komen.org]
Sent: Wednesday, February 01, 2012 6:01 AM
To: Portteus, Chandini
Subject: Letter from Komen President: Granting Strategy
Dear Scientific Advisory Board and Komen Scholars,
I am writing to clarify some of the misinformation that has been circulating over the past 24 hours concerning Susan G. Komen for the Cure and Planned Parenthood. Unfortunately, there have been serious mischaracterizations and we appreciate this opportunity to clarify the issue. This issue is part of a bigger initiative at Komen to adjust our granting strategy with a desire to focus on key outcomes. I want to assure you that there has been no blanket decision made to discontinue funding to Planned Parenthood or to cut back on the mammography services to underserved women. That
said, because of the nature of some of the past Planned Parenthood grants, total grant funding to Planned Parenthood will decline as part of our new strategy.
For Komen, the women we serve are our highest priority in everything we do. Last year, thanks to the support of individuals and businesses, we were able to invest $93 million in community health programs. These programs provided 700,000 mammograms, no doubt saving countless lives. Earlier this year, we began an initiative to further strengthen our grants program to be more outcomes-driven and to allow for even greater investments in programs that directly serve women. We also implemented more stringent eligibility and performance criteria to support these strategies. As we move forward, we are working directly with Komen Affiliates to ensure that there is no interruption or gaps in services for women who need breast health screening and services.
It is regrettable when changes in priorities and policies affect any of our grantees, such as a longstanding partner like Planned Parenthood. However, like all organizations, we must continue to evolve and meet ever higher standards of excellence, so that we can most fully advance our mission. Our grant-making decisions are not about politics. Our
priority is and always will be the women we serve. Any efforts to make this political or leverage it for fundraising purposes would be a disservice to women.
I hope this answer provides the information you need. As always, we appreciate your support of Komen and our mission to end breast cancer forever.
I for one, find this to be completely unsatisfying. Especially:
because of the nature of some of the past Planned Parenthood grants, total grant funding to Planned Parenthood will decline as part of our new strategy
This seems to be saying exactly what we are protesting... that they are focusing on abortions as the reason for denying a large block of grants to Planned Parenthood.
I have responded positively to the Advisory Board member that shared this with me and asked if he could also get some clarification about that statement.