UPDATE 2/3/2012 2:00pm EST: Komen’s founder has issued an apology and said Planned Parenthood will “probably” be eligible for future grants. For the latest visit Colorlines.com/planned-parenthood.
The Atlantic is reporting Komen’s top public health official, Mollie Williams, resigned in protest immediately following the board’s decision to cut off Planned Parenthood. The news comes hours after Komen.org was temporarily hacked and as Planned Parenthood is announcing they’re experiencing a surge in donations.
The decision, made in December, caused an uproar inside Komen. Three sources told me that the organization’s top public health official, Mollie Williams, resigned in protest immediately following the Komen board’s decision to cut off Planned Parenthood. Williams, who served as the managing director of community health programs, was responsible for directing the distribution of $93 million in annual grants. Williams declined to comment when I reached her yesterday on whether she had resigned her position in protest, and she declined to speak about any other aspects of the controversy.
According to sources close to both Williams and Komen, “Williams believed she could not honorably serve in her position once Komen had caved to pressure from the anti-abortion right.”
Donors reacting to Komen’s decision to cut off funding to Planned Parenthood contributed $650,000 in 24 hours, nearly enough to replace last year’s Komen funding, Planned Parenthood executives told the Washington Post on Wednesday.
Planned Parenthood averages 100-200 donations on any given day, but when the Komen decision made headlines it received contributions from more than 6,000 online donors.
“People respond powerfully when they see politics interfering with women’s health,” Tait Sye, a spokesperson for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, told the Post. “That’s why we’ve seen a tremendous outpouring of support.”
Hackers also made their own contribution early Thursday morning.
“For the few that accessed the site around 12:30AM on Thursday, they were redirected from the regular site (www.komen.org) to an artificial site made by the hackers (ww5.komen.org). The job was so inclusive that even in search engines, you were only able to find the hacked site,” Gather.com reported.
The hackers re-designed a Komen banner ad that promoted its marathon to read “Help us run over poor women on our way to the bank.”