Bay Area Komen affiliates relieved about decision

February 3, 2012 5:47:25 PM PST
The Susan G. Komen foundation did an about face Friday after days of criticism from once-staunch supporters. It has decided to keep giving Planned Parenthood money to pay for breast exams.

People at the Alameda Firefighters Association are still feeling burned by what happened this week. They held a fundraiser for the Komen foundation but they are now giving that money to another organization. In the Bay Area, Planned Parenthood does not receive money from the Komen foundation, but they are pleased nonetheless with Friday's development.

"California Komen affiliates are very pleased that the final policy is what it is," Maria Sousa told ABC7. Sousa, the executive director of the San Francisco Bay Area Susan G. Komen chapter, is relieved that the national organization reversed its position on providing grants to Planned Parenthood. "What's been challenging is people making assumptions and calling us up and condemning us for something that hasn't even happened," she said.

"We are thrilled the Komen foundation reversed its decision. A key piece of what Planned Parenthood does is breast health and breast cancer screening," said Adrienne Verilli with Planned Parenthood.

Earlier this week, the national Komen foundation created a firestorm by announcing it would no longer donate money to Planned Parenthood because Planned Parenthood was the object of a congressional investigation. "It's been a very rough few days," Bay Area Komen board Vice President Tamsin Kendall told ABC7. She says the local chapter objected to cutting funding to Planned Parenthood from the beginning. "The conversation has been totally taken over by this and I think our reputation has been damaged," she said.

Besides the hundreds of angry calls and emails fielded by chapter staff, at least one local organization has decided to give its $2,800 dollar donation to another non-profit. "It's too little, too late. We don't want it to be connected with any type of political affiliation or any kind of political issue," said Domenick Weaver with the Alameda Firefighters Association.

The local Komen foundation could not put a dollar amount yet on how much in the way of donations they may have lost from all of this. So far, they say no major donors or sponsors have pulled out. That said, they also realize this controversy is not going to help in what has already been a difficult fundraising year.


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