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Following Mayor's Lead, Teachers' Union Donates to Planned Parenthood

Friday, February 03, 2012 - 04:48 PM

They haven't agreed lately on education, but they have come together on public health.

A day after Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg made a $250,000 gift to Planned Parenthood, the city's teachers' union is answering the mayor's call for matching donations with a $125,000 gift of its own.

"The majority of this union are women, and healthcare issues for women has always been a priority here," said Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers.

The union also plans to continue fund raising efforts for Planned Parenthood by putting a direct link on its Web site for donations.

The donations follow a decision by the breast cancer organization, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, to cut funding to Planned Parenthood for breast cancer screening. The decision, which was announced this week, sparked controversy, and the Komen Foundation announced Friday it would restore the money.

Mr. Mulgrew said he called Mayor Bloomberg this morning to tell him the union would like to match half of the mayor's gift.

"We both agree that there's no place for politics when it comes to public health," Mayor Bloomberg said in a statement.

Mr. Mulgrew said the union supports Planned Parenthood because of the variety of health screenings it provides to the community, particularly to low-income and uninsured women.

He said the union has a history of raising awareness around women's health issues, and last year raised $250,000 for the American Cancer Society.

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