arely 72 hours after the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation, which is devoted to fighting breast cancer, ignited a firestorm by pulling the plug on most of its breast-screening grants to Planned Parenthood, Komen announced Friday that it had reversed course. Komen had maintained that its rules prevented the charity from funding Planned Parenthood while the latter was under investigation by a congressional Republican. But critics suspected that Komen's right-wing donors, upset that the foundation gave money to a national abortion provider, had exerted pressure. Now Komen has apologized to "the American public for recent decisions that cast doubt upon our commitment to our mission of saving women's lives," and amended its rules so that Planned Parenthood retains its "eligibility to apply for future grants." Is this a "victory" for Planned Parenthood and its supporters?
Planned Parenthood scored a major win: Let's all be glad that the Komen foundation did "the right thing," says Alyssa Rosenberg at ThinkProgress. And thanks to this week's debate, many Americans now know that Planned Parenthood is not, as critics wildly claim, "an abortion factory franchise." Planned Parenthood offers plenty of other women's health services. With any luck, this realization will create "a moment when advocates... work to build a bigger long-term base of donors for Planned Parenthood and all of its health programs."
"Susan G. Komen for the Cure does the right thing, but support for Planned Parenthood should continue"
Hold on. Did Komen really reverse course? We may be jumping the gun, says Ezra Klein at The Washington Post. If you parse Komen's statement, you'll see that the charity isn't necessarily backing down. The promise that Komen will "continue to fund existing grants… and preserve [Planned Parenthood's] eligibility for future grants" appears to leave open the possibility that the foundation still intends to either reject or decrease Planned Parenthood's funding in the future — "albeit on less overtly political grounds."
"Is the Susan G. Komen Foundation backing down?"
Regardless, this is a step in the right direction: Yes, Planned Parenthood will still likely lose money in the future, says Ed Morrissey at Hot Air. But the statement suggests a "more intelligent approach to the issue." Komen will no longer deny funding based on a mere investigation. That's good, because "otherwise, any investigation in Congress for any particular purpose would get used to block legitimate charities from getting grants no matter what the motives behind the probe might be."
"Komen announced that Planned Parenthood eligibility for funding will continue"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 31 TV shows to watch in 2014
- The sexual politics of Game of Thrones just got enormously worse
- He said he was leaving. She ignored him.
- The hidden reason for the student loan crisis
- Why atheism doesn't have the upper hand over religion
- 14 wonderful words with no English equivalent
- Wounded in Boston, two brothers endure
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Mad Men recap: 'A Day's Work'
- 7 ways to quickly become a master at anything
Subscribe to the Week