The Susan G. Komen foundation caved today. Kinda. They issued a statement apologizing for the mess they created this week when they cut funding for Planned Parenthood breast exams for poor women, seemingly under pressure from far right politicos and anti-choice groups. But Komen's apology is slightly lacking. And according to their own CEO last night, they still can't approve future grants from Planned Parenthood. Unless she was lying.
In the apology Komen says that they'll continue Planned Parenthood's current funding, and they're changing their "no investigations" rule to say that it must be a criminal investigation, and conclusive. Okay, but the current funding wasn't at issue. Komen had always said they'd continue the current funding, so that's a red herring. The issue is next year's funding, which Komen just turned down. And on that account, Komen now says this:
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.Preserve their ability to apply? What, Komen won't go to Planned Parenthood and steal all the pens so PPFA can't apply again in the future? They could always try to apply again. That's not the point.
If Komen is serious, they can simply approve the application Planned Parenthood has already submitted. Yes, they turned it down once, supposedly because of the now-old rule about investigations. Fine. If the rule is gone, then approve the grant.
Of course, it's even more complicated because of a video statement Komen CEO, Republican donor, and former Bush appointee, Nancy Brinker issued last night claiming that the right-wing congressional investigation had nothing to do with the decision to turn down Planned Parenthood's grant. Rather, Brinker now says Komen turned PPFA down because Komen no longer funds pass-through grants. So if that's the case, then changing Komen's investigations-rule won't change a thing. They'll still turn down Planned Parenthood again next time because of the supposed pass-through grant. Unless of course, Nancy Brinker was lying last night. So which is it?
The only way that Komen can get out of this mess is by approving Planned Parenthood's grant now. Komen has the application, they killed it for political reasons, and they got caught. And then to add insult to injury, Brinker concocted a new story last night.
If Komen really wants to do penance, they'll approve PPFA's grant now.
UPDATE: This statement from a right-wing Catholic group pretty much sums things up correctly:
“This represents nothing new. We have known and have reported that they are continuing five grants through 2012. This is a reference to that. The second clause about eligibility is certainly true. Any group can apply for anything. It does not mean they are going to get anything,” Ruse told LifeNews.Now that Planned Parenthood has issued a statement embracing Komen, and apparently accepting the "apology," the battle is over. I'm just not entirely sure that Planned Parenthood won. Komen should approve next year's grant now.
“What this is is an effort to get the mafia off of their backs. As James Taranto said in the Wall Street Journal yesterday, this is a classic shakedown operation. Give us money or we will destroy you. This is Komen’s attempt to save their organization, which we should know is in peril. Our side should know that nothing has changed.”
Bottom line: Komen cut funding for Planned Parenthood, it is facing massive revolt from its chapters and temendous opposition from Planned Parenthood and the media, and it appears to be leaving the door open for potential grants — not that they will necessarily happen beyond the ones previously approved prior to the decision — to please both sides.
As for the Race for the Cure, we now know what Komen really is. And I don't know about you, but I don't give money to organizations that do David Vitter's bidding.