Planned Parenthood NYC Getting $20K from Kiehl's Amid Birth Control Fight

By Danielle Tcholakian on July 8, 2014 4:40pm 

 The new Kiehl's store will have a grand opening party Thursday night.
The new Kiehl's store will have a grand opening party Thursday night.
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DNAinfo/Danielle Tcholakian

NOHO — On the heels of a series of controversial Supreme Court decisions limiting access to birth control, Planned Parenthood of New York City is celebrating its largest cash donation in history from a local business.

Cosmetics giant Kiehl's has donated $20,000 to Planned Parenthood of New York City, in honor of a soon-to-open Kiehl's location at 223 Mulberry St., just a few blocks from a Bleecker Street Planned Parenthood clinic.

Planned Parenthood of New York City spokeswoman Adrienne Verrilli credited New York City-based artist Marilyn Minter with helping to facilitate the donation, calling her "an inspiration."

Verrilli said the donation, which will be exchanged during Thursday's official store opening where Minter will be present and where one of Minter's paintings will be on permanent display, is going to be a huge morale boost for the staff.

"Obviously we've had a lot of really bad news lately so it's really terrific to get such support from our new neighbors," Verrilli said, referencing a series of recent Supreme Court decisions that have outraged family planning advocates and supporters.

Most recently, the high court ruled to allow crafts company Hobby Lobby to refuse to provide some forms of contraception to their employees. The courts also cleared the Christian-faith-based Wheaton College in Illinois to not notify the health department when they refuse to provide staffers with birth control coverage. And lastly, the court struck down laws enforcing a "buffer zone" around abortion clinics that kept protestors a minimum distance away.

The Thursday night Kiehl's store opening will feature actresses from the TV show "Orange is the New Black," including Selenis Leyva. There will also be tote bags designed by Minter sold to benefit Planned Parenthood of New York City.

Kiehl's did not immediately comment.

Verrilli said Planned Parenthood is always appreciative of the support it gets, both from donors as well as from volunteers.

She cited support from a group of men and women who volunteer to travel from all over the city to personally escort patients past protestors and into the clinic on Saturdays, which is the clinic's busiest day and the day it receives the most protestors. Volunteers also escort patients during the week, to shield them from protesters, she said.

"They're amazing," Verrilli said. "I was just here last Saturday and you just want to hug them all."

The Kiehl's grand opening party will be held at the new location at 223 Mulberry St. on July 10 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. The first 50 people who arrive before 6:30 p.m. will get a gift card worth up to $1,000 toward a Kiehl's shopping spree. 

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