- The United Way of Buffalo & Erie County has rescinded a decades-old policy prohibiting funding for agencies that provide abortion services.
The changes come nearly two years after Planned Parenthood of Western New York was denied a request for a $3,000 United Way grant to help cover costs associated with a merger of Planned Parenthood in Erie and Niagara counties.
The United Way at the time was pushing for more mergers and collaborations among area nonprofit agencies, and staff members with the organization encouraged Planned Parenthood, which provides abortions among its many services, to apply for funds. But the staff members were not aware of a “position statement,” used by the organization’s board of directors in governance, which says that programs and providers funded by the United Way “are not involved in the delivery of abortion services.”
…Mollenberg called Planned Parenthood Chief Executive Officer Karen J. Nelson on Tuesday to explain the change.
“Of course, I was delighted to receive this call, and I do look forward to more discussions with the board at the United Way,” Nelson said. “We would certainly treat the United Way as a new funder and one we would like to cultivate a relationship with, the same as any new funder.”