Pelosi: Komen reversal a 'big victory' for women's health

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said the Susan G. Komen foundation's retreat from its decision to eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood is a victory for women's health. 

The California Democrat predicted the foundation would continue to get support from her party but suggested the public — and women in particular — might not be so quick to forgive and forget. 


"We certainly will be able to support them as we have in the past," Pelosi told reporters in the Capitol. But the extent of the public backlash, she added, is "a question of what other people in the country think about it."

"It was an unfortunate situation but it was dealt with in a short period of time, [and] I commend the Susan G. Komen foundation for seeing the light on this," Pelosi added. "[It] just goes to show you, when women speak out, women win. Women's health has a big victory this morning."

Komen churned headlines Wednesday by announcing it would no longer provide hundreds of thousands of dollars in annual grants to Planned Parenthood for women's cancer screenings. The group said the decision was derived from a new policy against funding organizations under investigation by Congress. On Friday, it apologized for that decision and said it would only deny funds to a group under a criminal investigation.

Planned Parenthood is currently under the microscope of House Republicans over whether the group uses federal money to fund abortions, but Komen said its action on Friday would make Planned Parenthood eligible to apply for funding.

Stirring accusations that politics influenced Komen's initial decision, the policy to reject funding for Planned Parenthood was adopted after Komen hired Karen Handel — a Georgia Republican who once ran for governor on a platform that included defunding Planned Parenthood — as its senior vice president of public policy.

Pelosi on Friday downplayed the notion that politics was behind Komen's decision to sever ties with Planned Parenthood.

"I can only take [the group] at its word," Pelosi said. "They made one decision, and now they have reversed it, with a good outcome. I think we should just go forward with that outcome and focus on … women's health."