Black cloud, silver lining
Planned Parenthood Federation of America lays off staff after investment scam leaves major donor in financial ruin
New York (CNA) -- Suffering declines in funding caused by the economic crisis and the Bernard Madoff investment scandal, Planned Parenthood Federation of America is laying off around 20 percent of its staff.
About 30 people were laid off early last week, Crain's New York Business reports.
"As with many other nonprofit organizations, Planned Parenthood has had to make staff reductions at our headquarters due to the challenging economic times facing our country," Maryana Iskander, the organization's chief operating officer, said in a statement. "While taking this action is never easy, we want to ensure the millions of women and men who rely on Planned Parenthood as a health care provider that the reductions will not impact our ability to deliver care to those in need."
A significant portion of the organization's funding came from the Florida-based Picower Foundation, listed as the 71st-largest in the nation by the Council on Foundations.
The Picower Foundation was one of the few major funders of pro-abortion groups.
According to Crain's New York Business, it gave $484,000 to Planned Parenthood, $600,000 to the Center for Reproductive Rights, and $200,000 to the ACLU's Reproductive Freedom Project last year.
The foundation claimed assets of $1 billion and distributed more than $70 million in grants between 2004 and 2007 in support of its stated mission to advance "education, medical innovation and an equitable and inclusive society."
The Picower Foundation was forced to close in December due to financial problems with its assets, which were managed by Bernard Madoff.
Last December Madoff's investments were exposed to be a massive $50 billion Ponzi scheme.