Brigid Bergin, Reporter
Brigid Bergin is the City Hall reporter for WNYC. She covers city politics including the 2013 mayoral race and transition.
The Susan G. Komen for the Cure announced on Friday that they have reversed their decision to pull funding from Planned Parenthood.
Komen was the target of widespread outrage in the news media and through social media leading many to cry foul that the organization was succumbing to right-leaning political influences in lieu of support for their mission to improve women’s health.
In a statement on its website, CEO Nancy Brinker apologized and said the she was "distressed" by the presumption that the decision to halt funding to Planned Parenthood was for political reasons.
"We want to apologize to the American public for recent decisions that cast doubt upon our commitment to our mission of saving women’s lives," Brinker said in a statement.
Brinker asked everyone who has “participated in this conversation” to move past this issue.
“We do not want our mission marred or affected by politics – anyone’s politics,” wrote Brinker.
The news comes just a day after New York Mayor Michael Blomberg made a $250,000 matching grant donation to Planned Parenthood to help defray some of the money lost from the withdrawn Komen grants.
Bloomberg welcomed Komen's reversal and said both organizations can get on with their work. "Bottom line is Planned Parenthood will continue to give mammograms, they'll have some more money to do all of the different things that they to do, and the Susan Komen foundation I'm sure will continue to advance cancer research," he said.
Planned Parenthood said the Komen grants totaled roughly $650,000 last year and $580,000 the year before, going to 19 of its affiliates for breast-cancer screening and other breast-health services.
According to Planned Parenthood, its health centers performed more than 4 million breast exams over the past five years, including nearly 170,000 as a result of Komen grants.
Komen is based in Dallas and was founded in 1982. The organization has invested more than $1.9 billion since then in research, health services and advocacy while becoming the largest breast-cancer charity in the nation. It runs Race for the Cure fundraising events across the globe.
Read the full statement here.
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