Can it be that something good is emerging from the Susan G. Komen Foundation’s decision to cut off funding to Planned Parenthood?
The answer is a resounding YES!
Donors Contributed $650,000 In 24 Hours
In response to that decision, donors contributed $650,000 in 24 hours, nearly enough to replace last year’s Komen funding, Planned Parenthood executives said Wednesday. (The Komen Foundation grants to Planned Parenthood totaled about $680,000 last year and $580,000 the year before, with that money mainly going to breast-cancer screening and other breast-health services. Translated to actual women’s lives, it looks like this: almost 170,000 clinical breast exams and more than 6,400 mammograms.)
From The Washington Post:
The organization had raised more than $400,000 from more than 6,000 online donors as of Wednesday afternoon, compared with the 100 to 200 donations it receives on an average day, said Tait Sye, a spokesman for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. He said donations were still coming in.
The group also launched a Breast Health Emergency Fund to ensure funding to affiliates that will lose their Komen grants. That fund received a $250,000 gift from the family foundation of Dallas philanthropist Lee Fikes and his wife, Amy.
“People respond powerfully when they see politics interfering with women’s health,” Sye said. “That’s why we’ve seen a tremendous outpouring of support.”
Judy Blume On Twitter
Other responses have been coming in fast and furious. Judy Blume posted this on Twitter: Susan Komen would not give in to bullies or to fear. Too bad the foundation bearing her name did.
Planned Parenthood allies took to Komen’s Facebook page and online message boards to express their frustration. Some started Facebook groups with titles such as “Defund the Komen Foundation” and “Stop the Susan G Komen Fdn’s Race Against Planned Parenthood.”
For my part, as someone who has proudly taken part in the Komen Race for the Cure for three years, I created a petition urging the Komen Foundation not to abandon women in need.
And it does seem likely that the Komen Foundation’s decision will threaten the Race for the Cure, one of its most effective fundraising events – an annual series of walks, jogs and runs.
Outpouring Of Negative Comment
On blogs, Facebook and Twitter, the outpouring of mainly negative comment has made it plain that the fundraising events, which helped boost morale as well as raise money, could face a publicity problem. Millions of people participate in the races, which range from a one-mile loop to three days of walking.
Planned Parenthood said the fund cutoff is the result of Komen bowing to pressure from anti-abortion activists. Komen also hired a vice president last year, Karen Handel, who had previously advocated for the group’s defunding in her run for Georgia governor.
“Highest Priority Is Serving Women”
On the Komen Foundation’s Facebook page, a statement said that its highest priority is serving women and that it would work to ensure no gaps in service for women who need breast health screening and services.
They certainly don’t seem to be serving women at all by taking away funding from Planned Parenthood, so a big shout-out to all those donors who are angry at politics interfering yet again with women’s health, and have rushed to contribute.
Photo Credit: frogdiva124