(CBS/AP) How's Planned Parenthood doing now that it's no longer receiving grants from the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation? In the 24 hours after the news broke, Planned Parenthood received more than $400,000 from 6,000 donors, the organization said.
Komen, on the other hand, continued to receive heated criticism from some members of Congress, numerous liberal advocacy groups and some newspaper editorial writers. But it was applauded by many conservative religious and anti-abortion groups that abhor Planned Parenthood for its role as the leading U.S. abortion provider.
Planned Parenthood says the funding cutoff was a result of Komen succumbing to pressure from anti-abortion activists. Komen, in a statement issued Wednesday evening, denied that politics played a role and reiterated that its decision was based on newly adopted criteria for issuing grants.
The new criteria bar grants to any organization that's under local, state or federal investigation - including Planned Parenthood, which is being investigated for alleged financial improprieties by a Republican congressman acting with the encouragement of anti-abortion groups.
"We regret that these new policies have impacted some long-standing grantees, such as Planned Parenthood, but want to be absolutely clear that our grant-making decisions are not about politics," the Komen statement said.
Dr. Eric Winer, a breast cancer specialist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston who is chairman of Komen's scientific advisory council, said he was confident that breast-screening availability would not be jeopardized.
"The last thing in the world that anyone at Komen wants to do ... is to decrease the resources that are available to those women," he said. Nonetheless, some members of Komen's nationwide network were unsettled.
Planned Parenthood said the Komen grants totaled roughly $680,000 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.
Andrea Hagelgans, a Planned Parenthood spokeswoman, said the organization was grateful for the outpouring of support since Tuesday evening, when The Associated Press first reported Komen's decision.
"People respond powerfully when they see politics interfering with women's health," she said. "These donations will continue to help expand Planned Parenthood's critical health care services nationwide, especially those affiliates impacted by the Komen cuts."
The progressive group MoveOn.org launched an online petition calling on Komen to maintain its grants to Planned Parenthood. It said 60,000 people had signed in a matter of hours.