- (Photo: REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)
Planned Parenthood Federation of America fundraised over $600,000 in a 24-hour period after cancer fund Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation discontinued grants with the abortion provider.
Donors poured donations into the nation's leading abortion provider in reaction to the news that the well-known breast cancer organization had split financial ties with PPFA clinics. In total, PPFA raised $650,000 all in one day.
Of the sum, $400,000 was collected online from over 6,000 donors. PPFA normally collects 100 to 200 donations daily.
"People respond powerfully when they see politics interfering with women's health," PPFA spokesman Tait Sye told The Washington Post.
Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council is rallying support for the Komen foundation as Planned Parenthood and its allies "are on the warpath" following the severed ties.
"This is not just a loss in hundreds of thousands of dollars in yearly grants for the abortion giant, but a major public relations defeat as well," FRC stated. "Already under investigation by Congress for improperly using public monies for abortions and covering up sex trafficking, Planned Parenthood won't suffer this defeat lightly."
On Tuesday, Susan G. Komen for the Cure announced that it had adopted some new guidelines for awarding grants and it would discontinue grants with Planned Parenthood clinics. Komen had donated about $680,000 in 2011 and $580,000 in 2010 to Planned Parenthood local clinics for breast cancer screenings, according to PPFA.
According to a videotaped statement released Wednesday, Susan G. Komen CEO and Founder Nancy G. Brinker said the foundation will now favor institutions and clinics that provide mammograms over those clinics and institutions that simply provide referrals to gynecologists.
The foundation has also chosen not to have financial dealings with organizations that are under federal, state and local investigations.
Florida Congressman Cliff Stearns is currently leading an inquiry into PPFA's monetary appropriations. There have also been several state and local investigations into allegations of misconduct ranging from enabling sex trafficking to covering up sexual abuse among minors.
PPFA President Cecile Richards accused the Komen foundation of political posturing in statement to the media and in fundraising emails.
"We are alarmed and saddened that the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation appears to have succumbed to political pressure," Richards said in a statement.
Other groups have jumped to the same conclusion, placing additional pressure on the cancer foundation.
Progressive petition website Change.org has an online petition titled "Tell the Komen Foundation Don't Defund Planned Parenthood." SomeEcards.com has also created a thank you e-card stating, "Thank you for cutting off funding to cancer screening programs in order to prove that you are pro-life."
Although Komen's decision will cost the PPFA money, the Komen grants accounted for a slim percentage of the PPFA budget. Additionally, the abortion provider has already established a fund called the Breast Health Emergency Fund to make up for the lost grants. The emergency fund has already received a $250,000 gift from Dallas philanthropist Lee Fikes and his wife, Amy.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg also plans to give a $250,000 matching gift to PPFA and accused the Komen foundation of playing politics.
Though Komen has experienced some pushback from Christian conservatives for its financial ties to Planned Parenthood, it denies charges of political motivations behind the grant changes.
Brinker denounced the mischaracterization of Komen's decision as regrettable.
"We're working to eliminate duplicitous grants freeing up more dollars for high-impact programs. And wherever possible, we want to grant the provider that is actually providing the life-saving mammogram."
Backing the Komen foundation, FRC noted, "Since 2005, the Foundation had justified the relationship by insisting that the money only funded breast cancer screening, education, and health programs. Then the news broke. Planned Parenthood didn't need the money for mammograms, because it never provided them! The clinics only offer manual breast exams, which the National Institutes of Health warns is an ineffective form of cancer screening.
"Under Komen's new policy, the Foundation will only award grants to organizations that actually do mammograms. That seems reasonable to everyone but the Left, which has spent the last 24 hours unleashing the fury on the Komen Foundation for 'politicizing' the issue – when in reality, the Foundation is just trying to protect its resources."
"As the charity points out, Planned Parenthood is currently under investigation for misusing taxpayer funds," the conservative group highlighted. "And unlike most in Congress, Susan G. Komen wants to be good stewards of your money."
The alliance between the two organizations has been an unlikely one from the beginning, FRC argued.
While one Komen sets out to save lives, Planned Parenthood is "dedicated to ending them," FRC contended.
Austin Ruse, president of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM), told The Christian Post that PPFA is retaliating because "this is a huge black eye for Planned Parenthood."
Ruse is urging pro-life groups to show Komen their thanks and appreciation for its decision and cast the suspicion and blame back on PPFA.
He said of the lost grant, "Planned Parenthood deserved this."