Brigid Bergin is the City Hall reporter for WNYC. She covers city politics including the 2013 mayoral race and transition.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg is making a donation of $250,000 to Planned Parenthood Federation of America in an effort to defray the loss of funds withdrawn by the Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
The foundation recently stopped a grant to Planned Parenthood that paid for breast cancer screenings and educational programs.
“Politics have no place in health care,” said the mayor in a statement Thursday, “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.”
The gift is a dollar-for-dollar match for each of the next $250,000 donated, according to an aide to mayor.
In a statement, Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said this contribution will help ensure that politics doesn’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," Richards said, "and the mayor's donation will help ensure that no woman is denied breast cancer services because of right-wing political pressure campaigns."
Planned Parenthood said the Komen grants totaled roughly $650,000 last year and $580,000 the year before, going to 19 of its affiliates for breast-cancer screening and other breast-health services.
According to Planned Parenthood, its health centers performed more than 4 million breast exams over the past five years, including nearly 170,000 as a result of Komen grants.
In response to what it calls the “mischaracterization” of its decision to withdraw funding from Planned Parenthood, the Susan G. Komen for Cure released a video statement from its founder and CEO, Nancy G. Brinker.
Brinker said the organization began a review of their grants and standards starting in 2010.
“We are working to eliminate duplicative grants, freeing up more dollars for higher impact programs,” said Brinker. “We also added more stringent eligibility and performance criteria to support these new strategies. Some may say our new standards are too exacting but over the past 30 years, people haven’t just given us their money, they’ve given us their trust.”
Brinker said that this strategic shift will affect “any number of long-standing partners.”
Komen has not yet responded to a request for comment about what other partners have lost funding.
Komen is based in Dallas and was founded in 1982. The organization has invested more than $1.9 billion since then in research, health services and advocacy while becoming the largest breast-cancer charity in the nation. It runs Race for the Cure fundraising events across the globe.
The next event in New York City is scheduled for September 9, 2012.