Komen vs. Planned Parenthood: NYC's Bloomberg offers $250,000
The uproar over Susan G. Komen for the Cure's decision to defund Planned Parenthood has many politicians and lawmakers rushing to the aid of the organization that provides reproductive healthcare services. But one politician actually appears willing to put his money where his mouth is.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Thursday announced that he is personally donating $250,000 to Planned Parenthood in the form of a matching grant. The move is as symbolic as it is financial: Bloomberg is trying to encourage Planned Parenthood supporters to also open up their wallets and make their voices heard. He said he'll match donations dollar for dollar up to $250,000.
Bloomberg's office released the following statement:
"Politics have no place in health care. Breast cancer screening saves lives and hundreds of thousands of women rely on Planned Parenthood for access to care. We should be helping women access that care, not placing barriers in their way."
Bloomberg's statement was released along with one from Cecile Richards, head of Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
"On behalf of hundreds of thousands of women nationwide who rely on Planned Parenthood for breast cancer education and screening, we are enormously grateful to Mayor Bloomberg. This contribution will help ensure that politics don’t interfere with women having access to health care. People all across the country have stepped forward in the last 48 hours to offer help and support, and the Mayor's donation will help ensure that no woman is denied breast cancer services because of right-wing political pressure campaigns."
Susan G. Komen for the Cure yanked its funding because Planned Parenthood is under a federal investigation to determine whether the organization uses federal money to perform abortions. Planned Parenthood says money has been pouring into the foundation ever since the news became public, adding that it raised $400,000 within about 24 hours.
Meanwhile, the fate of the iconic Race for the Cure fundraising event is now in question, with some Americans vowing to boycott them.
Several California lawmakers have joined Bloomberg in voicing support for Planned Parenthood. Assembly Speaker John A. Perez (D-Los Angeles) posted on Facebook that he was "dismayed" by the foundation's decision to pull its $700,000 funding for breast cancer screenings.
State Sen. Noreen Evans (D-Santa Rosa) said in a statement that the Legislative Women's Caucus, which she chairs, will suspend its annual bake sale to raise money for the foundation, as well as the tradition of illuminating the Capitol building pink to heighten breast cancer awareness. She said the Komen foundation's decision "defies belief."
And state Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Sylmar) said he will stop being a "Pink Tie Guy" who wears ties of that shade to raise awareness of the foundation's efforts.
-- Rene Lynch