Komen vs. Planned Parenthood: CEOs Speak Out

Update: This afternoon, Susan G. Komen for the Cure CEO and founder Nancy Brinker made her first televised appearance since the foundation's decision to end funding for Planned Parenthood. She was interviewed on MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports. "This is shocking to a lot of your longtime supporters. ... Your branding is at stake," Mitchell — who disclosed she is a past participant in Race for the Cure and a breast cancer survivor — told Brinker. It was a tough and pointed interview. The Dallas philanthropist maintained that her organization will continue to fund screenings. "We're not giving less money in the communities," Brinker said. "We're trying to revise our community grant program." Watch the video below, which includes Mitchell's post-Brinker interview with Democratic U.S. Sens. Patty Murray and Barbara Boxer. 

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On Thursday evening, Brinker also appeared in a separate NBC News interview with Lisa Myers. "There's a tremendous amount of emotion," she acknowledged. Aside from an ongoing investigation by some states and a Republican congressman into Planned Parenthood's work, Myers reports the Komen fund pulled future grants because "much of that money was passed on to other providers" and Planned Parenthood only offers mammogram referrals.

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The two chief executives — and Texas natives — at the heart of a raging national debate over women's health are taking to the airwaves to defend their respective organizations.

Last night, Dallas-based Susan G. Komen for the Cure posted a video on the organization's YouTube page containing a message from CEO and founder Nancy Brinker. She defended Komen's decision to change its policies disallowing grants for organizations being investigated by the government. Brinker never mentioned Planned Parenthood by name. "Regrettably, this strategic shift will affect any number of long-standing partners, but we have always done what is right for our organization, for our donors and volunteers. We lead from mission," Brinker said.

Watch the full 3:39 video here.

Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood Federation of America president Cecile Richards — the daughter of former Texas Gov. Ann Richards — appeared on MSNBC's The Last Word. Richards outlined how they found out about Komen's rule change and said she is concerned that Komen gave in to "right wing" influences. "What's sad about this is when politics gets in the way of women’s health care access," she said. "We're really hoping the Komen Foundation will rethink this decision and partner with us again to give care to women across the country."

We've posted Richards' interview below.

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