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The charity, Scott said, “has either engaged in a nasty ruse … or it is led by the most naïve people on earth.”

Charmaine Yoest, president of Americans United for Life, accused Planned Parenthood of employing a “scorched-earth strategy to force compliance with their pro-abortion agenda.”

“I don’t find it surprising that Komen is dancing around trying to get their way out of this,” said Yoest, a breast-cancer survivor. “Who wants to go up against a billion dollar organization which is perfectly capable of using thug tactics against even their friends?”

In Washington, Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., said he would press ahead with his investigation of Planned Parenthood, including assertions that it has improperly used public funds for abortions.

Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum, a former senator from Pennsylvania and a staunch for of abortion, said he was disappointed by Komen’s shift. “It’s unfortunate that public pressure builds to provide money to an organization that goes out and actively is the No. 1 abortion provider in the country,” he said.

But members of Congress who support abortion-rights were elated by Komen’s statement.

“It’s a great day when our deeply held belief that breast cancer can only be wiped out if we all work together has triumphed over right-wing politics,” said Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.

It’s possible that Komen may, in the coming years, find ways of cutting ties with Planned Parenthood by other means. Komen founder and CEO Nancy Brinker, in a news conference Thursday, spoke of shifting more grant money to organizations which provide mammograms themselves — in contrast to Planned Parenthood’s practice of referring women elsewhere for mammograms.

Asked about this Friday, Richards said she was optimistic the renewed partnership would endure because of the close relationships between many Komen and Planned Parenthood local affiliates.

Nowhere was that solidarity more evident than in Aspen, where the Komen affiliate had placed an ad in a local newspaper declaring that it would defy the national edict and continue grants to its Planned Parenthood counterpart.

Marcia Goshorn, president of the Komen board in Aspen, said she was thrilled at Friday’s turnaround by the national leadership.

“I think they listened, and I’m proud of that,” she said.

Komen said it was immediately starting an outreach to its affiliates and supporters to get the charity back on track.

“We urge everyone who has participated in this conversation across the country over the last few days to help us move past this issue,” Komen’s statement said. “We do not want our mission marred or affected by politics — anyone’s politics.”

Experts on the nonprofit world followed the week’s events with keen interest and marveled at the rapid spread of the backlash against Komen.

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