Susan G. Komen responds to backlash, gives money to Planned Parenthood

Susan G. Komen for the Cure is changing course, dropping its controversial decision to end grants to Planned Parenthood.

The Executive Director of the Central New York chapter, Kate Flannery, says she's "ecstatic" about the decision. She says this is the right thing to do. Flannery tells CNY Central that the local chapters and donors to the Komen foundation have been pressuring the national headquarters to reverse the decision.

Flannery says she's not surprised the decision was reversed, "because it's the right thing to do. Because the communication was strong from I think the entire country that we don't belong in a political debate, we belong in women's health care, in mission work that helps us treat, screen, and do the research to help find the cures and educate women."

Grants from the Komen foundation help pay for breast health screenings at Planned Parenthood. Since the decision to end the grants, Komen had been facing escalating backlash, much of it posted on Facebook. The Komen CEO says the original decision was not based on "whether one side or the other will be pleased." In a statement released Friday, the board of directors, founders, and the CEO say, "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."

The Komen foundation denied claims that the decision to end the grants was driven by politics and pressure from anti-abortion groups. The foundation says it ended the grants because of investigations into Planned Parenthood.

Flannery says the local office of Planned Parenthood has not applied for any money from Komen, but the two offices do work together.

Click here to read the full statement from Susan G. Komen for the Cure