Photo by Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images.
The fallout from Susan G. Komen for the Cure's controversial decision to end funding to Planned Parenthood continues: President Liz Thompson will step down next month, and founder and chief executive Nancy Brinker will move to a diminished role in the organization.
Two board members, Brenda Lauderback and Linda Law, are also leaving. At least five high-level employees of the charity have previously left their positions after public outcry forced the organization to reverse their decision on Planned Parenthood.
While the latest resignations were framed in the context of the organization's shift towards global missions, Brinker did address the previous controversy in her statement:
"Our mission is clear and consistent, and will never change, regardless of the controversy earlier this year," Brinker said. "We are doing everything in our power to ensure that women have access to quality cancer care and the support that they need, as we seek answers through cutting-edge research."
As the Associated Press explains, Komen announced their decision to halt funding to Planned Parenthood for cancer screenings in January while an anti-abortion activist-inspired Congressional investigation into the group was ongoing. They reversed the decision after three days, but it cost policy chief Karen Handel her job. Participation in the group's Race for the Cure events dropped by as much as 30 percent after those on both sides of the abortion debate were troubled by the organization's handling of the controversy.
Komen says they've invested $1.3 billion over 30 years for breast cancer screenings and education, and either paid for or assisted financially in screenings for 800,000 low-income and uninsured women.