Nightly News | February 02, 2012
>>> good evening. as we get into our lead story tonight, think how many pink ribbons you've seen. we've all seen over the course of our lifetime. the biggest name behind those ribbons is the biggest name in the fight against breast cancer , the susan g. komen foundation . they split this week with planned parenthood . because both organizations do so much, because so many people once supported both, and because some suspect politics is perhaps behind this, it has blown wide open in the last 24 hours . while some have reacted positively to the komen decision to cut off funds from planned parenthood , most of the vocal reaction has been negative. and today, komen came here to nbc news to respond. we begin tonight with nbc's lisa myers .
>> reporter: today on social media , a firestorm.
>> i'm steaming over this.
>> how dare they.
>> that is such disturbing and discouraging news.
>> it's really awful. they should be ashamed of themselves.
>> reporter: thousands of angry posts. shame, shame, shame on you selling out. shredding any pink ribbons i've got.
>> i will never donate again. komen ceo nancy brinker struggled to contain the damage. first on msnbc.
>> it's not true.
>> that's not true.
>> reporter: there is an explosion of anger among your long-time supporters.
>> there is a tremendous amount, lisa, of emotion. whenever you're dealing with issues of vulnerable populations. when there is the idea of change.
>> reporter: a lot of folks see this as a craven political decision.
>> you know, we are not a political organization and this is not based on a political decision.
>> reporter: brinker says komen stopped new grants to planned parenthood because the group is under investigation in congress in some states. and because much of that money was passed on to other providers and didn't meet new grant criteria designed to measure and improve effectiveness. however sources knowledgeable about the decision claim these are excuses, and that komen actually was trying to find a way to stop funding planned parenthood because of pressure from anti-abortion groups. they also say komen 's top health official mollie williams recently resigned in protest over the decision. brinker would not comment. your own organization has said that planned parenthood using your money has done life-saving work to help low-income women.
>> we think they've done great work over a period of time, and we are not commenting on the past. we are commenting on the nature of the grants that have to be done in the future.
>> reporter: brinker says other grant recipients will lose funding under the new policies. abigail found a lump in her breast two years ago and got help from komen 's funding to planned parenthood . today she's healthy.
>> i would not have been able to get that care without the funding from the komen fund. they covered all the costs, not only the biopsy, but the care going up to the biopsy.
>> reporter: komen says the money not going to planned parenthood still will go to help low-income women get breast exams and treatment. as for planned parenthood , officials say they already raised $650,000. that's almost enough to replace the money komen is taking away. brian.
>> lisa myers in our d.c. newsroom starting us off tonight. thanks.