Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation's announcement reinstating Planned Parenthood grants may leave an opening for the breast cancer foundation to reject the nation's leading abortion provider in the future, a Komen board member and pro-life activist said.
The statement released last week assured readers, "We will continue to fund existing grants, including those of Planned Parenthood, and preserve their eligibility to apply for future grants."
However, Komen Board Member John Raffaelli later told Washington Post Columnist Greg Sargent the Komen foundation still plans to base future grant decisions on organizations' ability to provide mammograms.
The 19 Planned Parenthood clinics that received the Komen grants provided women with breast health education, screenings and referrals for gynecologists. The clinics do not, however, offer mammograms.
"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 Post. "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."
Pro-life activist Jill Stanek acknowledged the statement may in fact give Susan G. Komen leeway to reject Planned Parenthood's future grant proposals. Yet only the future will tell whether the cancer foundation will choose to exercise that power, she wrote on her pro-life blog.
"It may be a year before we find out," she speculated.
That is when Stanek believes Komen will re-evaluate applications, issue new grants and reissue old ones.
In the meantime, she advised pro-life supporters, "We do not yet know whether Komen actually did or didn't capitulate to Planned Parenthood, pro-lifers should again withhold donations."
Brian Harris, director of Tennessee Right to Life, told The Christian Post that Komen should expect a profound pro-life backlash due to their reversal.
Last Tuesday, the foundation announced it would sever ties with the abortion provider because it was currently under congressional investigation and did not provide mammograms. The decision created tension among those who believed the move was political. Three days later, Komen apologized for the political appearance of their policy change and promised to allow the abortion provider to apply for future grants.
It amended grant criteria to disqualify groups that are under investigations that are "criminal and conclusive in nature."
Harris denounced the latest change, saying, "Millions of pro-life Americans – who have momentum now – will know to avoid any involvement with Komen until they become consistently committed to protecting all human life."
Pro-life leaders have also renewed calls for the Susan G. Komen foundation to break ties with the infamous abortion provider.
Dr. Thom Rainer, president of LifeWay Christian Resources, announced, "I renew my strong encouragement of Komen's leadership to end that relationship permanently, and restate LifeWay's commitment to not be involved, even indirectly, with Planned Parenthood."
LifeWay pulled pink Bibles meant to benefit Susan G. Komen last year after learning of the foundation's grants to the abortion provider.
Harris said the cancer foundation would have been better off "pick[ing] a side and stick[ing] with it" rather than ultimately alienating supporters on both sides of the issue.
In the last year, Susan G. Komen gave $680,000 in grant money to Planned Parenthood clinics.