After Susan G. Komen for the Cure ended its partnership with Planned Parenthood and cut off the grant money that funded breast cancer screening — a decision the foundation later reversing — Planned Parenthood received an influx of donations from supporters trying to help close the funding gap. Planned Parenthood announced today that those donations, which totaled about $3 million, will be used for a new breast health initiative to expand educational materials and preventative services.
In an interview with the Washington Post’s Sarah Kliff, Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards explained that, because the organization raised much more than the original grant money from Komen for the Cure in the aftermath of the controversy, the additional funds will go toward bolstering the work that was threatened:
RICHARDS: Given the events of the last year, and the contributions that came in specifically around the conversation about breast health and our work with Komen, we felt it was important to use that money to expand access and education. We felt like we had a real opportunity here to do something new. […]
We want to make sure nobody lost services or funding. The Komen partnerships are local. Some have continued, some haven’t for whatever reason. We’ve made sure everyone has gotten the funding they expected.
Planned Parenthood’s initiative will provide its affiliates with new funds on top of the grant money they already receive from the Komen charity, including an additional $1 million to help pay for more preventative screenings like mammograms, biopsies, and ultrasounds. The donation money will also be directed toward education and outreach programs to target the demographics that have especially high rates of fatal breast cancer, such as Hispanic women and women under the age of 40.
After Komen caved to right-wing pressure to distance themselves from Planned Parenthood — just one prong in anti-abortion activists’ strategy to increase attacks on Planned Parenthood affiliates over the past year — the public outcry led to significant leadership changes at the charity. Once Komen reinstated funding for Planned Parenthood, its anti-choice vice president stepped down, acknowledging her role in the unpopular decision to strip the organization’s grant money. Earlier this month, Komen founder Nancy Brinker announced she will resign from her role as CEO.