Blaming coronavirus, Planned Parenthood of Greater New York lays off employees, closes a dozen clinics

Mary Margaret Olohan, DCNF

Planned Parenthood of Greater New York is laying off employees and closing centers, citing strain from the coronavirus pandemic on resources.

Emails obtained by the Times Union show that Planned Parenthood of Greater New York (PPGNY), formed after five Planned Parenthood affiliates merged in January, started terminating and furloughing staff Monday.  The organization’s staff will be reduced by about 28% through either furloughs and reduced hours or through permanent terminations, the Times Union reports.

The Planned Parenthood affiliates in the Bronx, Glenn Cove, Goshen, Hornell, Kingston, Massapequa, Oneida, Rome, Plan Van, Watkins Glen, Project Street Beat, Staten Island, and Monticello are temporarily closed, according to the organization’s website.

PPGNY spokeswoman Jacquelyn Marrero portrayed the closures as due to the coronavirus, but former staff told the Times Union that Planned Parenthood of Greater New York was already facing financial struggles before the pandemic hit.

“Despite our best effort, this pandemic has put an incredible strain on our resources, and unfortunately, though not unexpectedly, the financial effects of this crisis are significant … Sadly, these losses will be catastrophic for PPGNY if we do not take steps now to reduce the financial impact on our organization,” Planned Parenthood of Greater New York President and CEO Laura McQuade wrote in a Monday letter to staff, according to the Times Union.

But McQuade emailed a copy of PPPGNY’s budget to the “PPGNY Team” more than a month before the coronavirus emerged in New York, the Times Union reported, projecting both a $6.2 million deficit for the first six months of the year. The email also projected a $10 million deficit for the entire year.

“If that seems like a lot of money, it is,” she wrote in the email, according to the Times Union.“While it is not uncommon for organizations to experience deficits post-merger as a result of the investments required to integrate, moving forward, we need to break even with enough surplus to invest in staff, ongoing infrastructure needs, services, and programs, so our budget covers our expenses, much like we do in our own households.”

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced March 22 that all non-critical elective surgeries are temporarily canceled in order to preserve personal protective equipment (PPE). While some governors have clarified that abortions are included in their orders cancelling nonessential surgeries, Cuomo did not do so.

PPGNY has not responded to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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