Donors gave $650,000 to Planned Parenthood within 24 hours after breast-cancer charity Susan G. Komen for the Cure publicly cut ties with the reproductive and women’s health organization, says The Washington Post.
The contributions nearly match the $680,000 that Komen chapters gave to Planned Parenthood last year to support cancer screenings and other breast-health services. The total included a $250,000 gift from Dallas philanthropists Lee and Amy Fikes to an emergency fund Planned Parenthood quickly launched to replace local affiliates’ Komen grants.
The fundraising push came amid heated debate, particularly online, over Komen’s decision, which the cancer group said stemmed from a new national policy barring grants to organizations under government investigation. A Florida congressman is looking into whether Planned Parenthood has violated federal restrictions on using public funds for abortion services.
Critics say the Komen foundation gave in to pressure from anti-abortion activists who have targeted Planned Parenthood’s sources of support. The cancer charity last year hired Karen Handel, a 2010 Georgia gubernatorial candidate who called in her campaign for defunding Planned Parenthood, as its senior vice president for public policy, Forbes writes.
In a post on its Facebook page Wednesday, Komen denied the abortion link, stating, “Grant making decisions are not about politics—our priority is and always will be the women we serve.”
Read a Chronicle of Philanthropy blog on the social-media response to the Komen-Planned Parenthood controversy.