Susan G. Komen's reversal: What does it really mean?
Susan G. Komen for the Cure apologized Friday morning for the uproar it caused when it pulled funding from Planned Parenthood, and said it was revising its policy guidelines to prevent such a thing from happening again.
But will the organization actually restore funding to Planned Parenthood?
The Komen announcement was cheered by recent critics who had accused the foundation of playing politics instead of saving women's lives -- and jeered by others, including many anti-abortion activists. Some have tried to pressure Komen over the years to sever its ties with Planned Parenthood, which offers a variety of reproductive healthcare services, including abortion.
But amid all the hoopla there is this: It remains to be seen what the seeming policy reversal actually means, and whether Planned Parenthood will see any of its funding restored.
"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," the foundation's statement said.
Susan G. Komen for the Cure, which is about as overwhelmed with media requests as a foundation can be at this time, was not immediately available to elaborate on the statement.
The Washington Post managed to get hold of Komen board member John Raffaelli to ask him to address such concerns, and he declined to commit to any funding earmarks.
"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 told the newspaper. "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."
Does that sound like a reversal?
Meanwhile, Twitter was on fire Friday morning with reaction. Among the tweets:
--"Komen backs down! Planned Parenthood funding to continue. Oh Helen Reddy, we are women hear us roar..."
--"Don't care that they reversed. My money goes to PP. Komen's got other 'issues' that I don't like."
--"Komen's reversal of decision to defund Planned Parenthood is our call to work and pray even more to end to the horror of death in the womb!"
-- Rene Lynch
Photo: Breast cancer survivor Elizabeth Lueke, who was 99 at the time, at the 2009 Orange County Race for the Cure. Credit: Los Angeles Times