Komen still faces backlash despite reversing decision

9:45 AM, Feb 5, 2012   |    comments
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GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. -- It's an organization that is used to getting good press. But over the last 48 hours, the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the breast-cancer charity giant, has been getting hammered in the media for its original decision to stop giving money to Planned Parenthood.

"We feel sorry about that misunderstanding that our organization was kind of leaving women in the lurch," said Denise Blumberg-Tendle, spokesperson for Minnesota's Komen Foundation.

Friday, Komen reversed its decision.

Originally, executives excluded funding for Planned Parenthood because the organization was under investigation by a Republican Congressman at the urging of anti-abortion groups. Komen now says that policy will only apply to criminal investigations.

Planned Parenthood offers free breast exams and referrals for mammograms.

Although Minnesota's Planned Parenthood does not receive funding from Komen's Minnesota chapter, a spokesperson says the reversal was a good decision.

"Their decision to reverse will make sure that the women in the areas affected will be able to access those life saving cancer screenings," said Planned Parenthood spokesperson Jen Aulwes.

But some wonder if the damage to Komen's reputation is already done.

On KARE 11's Facebook page the opinions were heated Friday.

Amy L, who is not a fan of Planned Parenthood writes, "When I donate money to a charity and then they take that money and give it to an organization that I don't support, that is not right."

Elizabeth G who is upset with Komen's original decision, "Cancer doesn't discriminate based on political or moral beliefs, neither should Komen."

"Is the fallout over? I don't believe it is. It's too early to tell but they did make a good decision today by admitting a mistake," said public relations consultant, Cathy Kennedy.

But there are a lot of people who believe it was a mistake for Komen to reverse its decision, and still plenty of others are upset they made the original decision at all.

And now grass root supporters worry this is just a big distraction for what's really important, finding a cure for breast cancer.

(Copyright 2012 by KARE. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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