Planned Parenthood sees unexpected rise in donations

Kristin Glundberg-Prosser of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, based in Seattle

After the Susan G. Komen Foundation announced it would no longer provide Planned Parenthood chapters with funding for breast cancer screenings, there has been an unexpected development – an uptick in individual donations to Planned Parenthood.

“There's been a lot of outpouring of support and I think people really care about this and it’s hitting them emotionally,” said Kristen Glundberg-Prossor of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, based in Seattle.

Less than 24 hours after Planned Parenthood announced it would be losing $680,000 in national grants for breast cancer screenings from the Komen Foundation, the non-profit received more than $400,000 from donors across the country.

“Our area lost $70,000 in grants,” Glundberg-Prossor said. She added that she thinks there was an increase in individual donations because people are concerned that “two strong women’s health organizations aren’t collaborating."

Some of the money that has been donated will make its way to Planned Parenthood's Northwest affiliate.

“We are going to be here and we are going to keep seeing women who desperately need us and need our services,” Glundberg-Prossor said. “It’s crucial -- we are not going anywhere and we really hope Komen changes their mind.”

Komen, the nation's leading breast-cancer charity, pulled the plug – some say – because Florida Congressman Cliff Stearns for possibly using taxpayer money to pay for abortions at Planned Parenthood.

Komen founder and CEO Nancy Brinker said the foundation's actions have been widely mischaracterized.  She claims canceling the grants was simply part of a change in the way the organization distributes funds, and was not part of pressure by anti-abortion groups.

“We will never bow to political pressure,” Brinker said. “We will always stand firm in our goal to end breast cancer forever. We will never turn our backs on the women who need us the most.”

Since the announcement, Komen has been applauded by pro-life groups, but they have also come under heavy fire from some former allies.

“I've been big booster of Susan G. Komen -- but not anymore,” said Rep. Karen “Jackie” Speier, D-Calif.

“I feel sad that this decision on their part is to the detriment of women's health,” said Minority House Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and 24 other senators have submitted a letter to the Komen Foundation requesting that the organization reconsider its withdrawal of funding.

Murray planned to keep up the public pressure. She plans to visit the Planned Parenthood Seattle Health Center in downtown Seattle Friday to hold a news conference and call on Komen to restore funding for cancer screenings at Planned Parenthood.