KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Komen Works To Regain Balance After Planned Parenthood Funding Flap

News outlets parse different angles of this story -- which broke last week -- including how the Web and social media affected it and how Komen is working to rebuild its donor list.    

Bloomberg: Web Fury Spurs Komen Reversal, $3 Million For Planned Parenthood
Planned Parenthood Federation of America Inc., riding a powerful wave of Internet indignation, raised $3 million in reaction to Susan G. Komen for the Cure's decision, reversed yesterday, to end its grants.  The dispute between Planned Parenthood and the breast-cancer group Komen, two of the largest health advocacy groups for U.S. women, concluded when Komen overturned its plan to call off $680,000 in Planned Parenthood grants and said in a statement it wanted to "apologize to the American people" (Lopatto and Armstrong, 2/4).

MSNBC: Komen Decision Illustrates Political Battle Over Planned Parenthood
A weeklong firestorm over the Susan G. Komen foundation's decision to cut off -- and, on Friday, restore -- a grant to Planned Parenthood marked one of the high points in a political battle targeting the finances of the nationwide network of reproductive health clinics. The Komen Foundation ... had cited the fact that Planned Parenthood faced a congressional investigation -- in this case, led by conservative House Republicans -- as the impetus for its initial decision (O'Brian, 2/3).

The Associated Press: Surprises About Planned Parenthood Cancer Testing
To many people, breast cancer screening means a mammogram. But for millions of poor, mostly young women who visit Planned Parenthood, it is usually just a physical exam by the only health professional they may ever see. Those clinical breast exams are controversial — government advisers don't endorse them. Yet for some, this simple exam has helped spot breast cancer. And Susan G. Komen for the Cure isn't the only group paying Planned Parenthood to do them — the government does, too. Komen actually funds relatively few (Marchione, 2/3).

Politico: Planned Parenthood Gets Image Boost On Komen Win
Planned Parenthood has been under siege for a year, but in three days it managed to recast its controversial image thanks to a fight with Susan G. Komen. ... "I hope that there are members of Congress who will re-think their attacks not only on Planned Parenthood and on women's health, but really think about the importance of providing preventive care for women in America, and particularly those women who have nowhere else to turn," Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards told reporters Friday. ... It's not clear what effects the Komen fight will have on Planned Parenthood funding going forward – the lawmaker whose investigation spurred the Komen move, Rep. Cliff Stearns, has showed no sign of backing down. And conservative presidential candidates like Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum have both teed off on the reversal (Palmer and Bravender, 2/4).

The Washington Post: Susan G. Komen Foundation Takes Steps To Rebuild Trust After PR Fiasco
Executives of the embattled Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation held conference calls with affiliates Saturday to discuss a new strategy for working with supporters, a first step in rebuilding trust after last week's public relations fiasco surrounding Komen's off-then-on-again decision to fund Planned Parenthood. ... The overall tone was positive, but there were "lots of tough and candid questions" from executive directors and local board members, said (a Komen) official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal communications (Sun and Kliff, 2/4).

NPR: Komen Foundation Struggles To Lure Back Donors
The Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation spends tens of millions of dollars for cancer research, education and screening. But how it spends that money has been the subject of criticism long before the current flap over its Planned Parenthood grants (Fessler, 2/6). 

San Francisco Chronicle: Can Susan G. Komen For The Cure Erase Blemish?
Even as Susan G. Komen for the Cure reversed course Friday on its plans to deny funding to Planned Parenthood, questions remained about whether it was enough to control the damage that three days of national firestorm caused to the world's largest breast cancer charity and its iconic pink ribbon. "These events have revealed the organization is willing to play politics with women's lives," said Anika Rahman, president of the feminist group Ms. Foundation for Women (Colliver, 2/4).

The Texas Tribune: In Komen Vs. Planned Parenthood Drama, Links To Texas
Susan G. Komen for the Cure and its founder, Nancy Brinker, call Dallas home. Planned Parenthood's president, Cecile Richards, is the Waco-born daughter of former Gov. Ann Richards. The Texas connections don't stop there. ... Texas was ground zero for the nation's abortion war (Ramshaw, 2/5).

Boston Globe: Local Reaction To Komen Decision To Restore Planned Parenthood Funding
Local women's health activists cheered the news that Susan G. Komen for the Cure had reversed its recent decision to no longer issue breast cancer prevention grants to Planned Parenthood. The breast cancer charity was harshly criticized this week by breast cancer survivors, members of Congress, and even their own affiliates in New England and elsewhere for playing politics with women's health (Kotz, 2/3). 

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