GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. -- The Susan G. Komen foundation now says it will continue funding for Planned Parenthood, reversing a decision it made earlier this week.
Komen founder Nancy Brinker apologized today, saying the group is committed to women's health, and that the move was not political.
"It's a mischaracterization of our mission, our goals, and of everything we do," Brinker said.
The Komen foundation said it would stop more than $650,000 grants to Planned Parenthood, money that helped fund breast cancer screenings.
The reversal followed a national backlash that was largely online. Thousands revolted on the Komen Facebook page; others used Twitter, e-mail and phone calls to protest. Experts say the outrage was too big to ignore and that Komen had to act fast.
"I think they made a good move today by admitting a mistake," said Cathy Kennedy, a public relations consultant. "Is the fallout over? I don't believe it is."
Minnesota's Komen chapter does not fund Planned Parenthood in our region, but it received thousands of Facebook messages, e-mails and calls protesting the decision of the foundation's national leaders.
"We feel really bad about the misunderstanding that our organization was leaving women in the lurch," said Denise Blumberg-Tendle, Mission Manager for Komen Minnesota.
While Planned Parenthood of Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota does not receive funding from Komen, it says the controversy gave good attention to the need for breast cancer funding. It also sparked thousands of donations to Planned Parenthood, which says raised 3 million dollars nationally for breast cancer screenings just this week.
"They really wanted a chance to register their frustration and to say no to politics coming before women's health," said Jen Aulwes, spokesperson for Planned Parenthood of Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota.
"We have stories all the time that we hear from our patients, "If I didn't have Planned Parenthood, I wouldn't have gone in and this wouldn't have been diagnosed,'" said Pam Glenn, a Certified Nurse Midwife and the Director of Advanced Practice Nurses for Planned Parenthood of Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. "We serve 65,000 people in this state who otherwise wouldn't get care ."
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