Thursday, February 02, 2012

The Race to the Right

It is sickening to read the news about the "Race for the Cure" organization being taken over by anti-choice activists and cutting off their funding for Planned Parenthood.

Here is the background, from The Atlantic.
The nation's leading breast-cancer charity, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, which has spent nearly $2 billion over the past 30 years for breast cancer education, health services, research, and advocacy, has announced that it will end its longtime partnership with the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The announcement has sparked bitter debate among representatives from all concerned parties, highlighting the ongoing debate over abortion.

Planned Parenthood, currently the largest provider of reproductive health services in the United States, is widely known for helping women to obtain abortions and contraceptives. But those services, despite their high profile, account for only 38 percent (PDF) of the organization's work. And though Republicans often portray Planned Parenthood as strictly an abortion provider, using the phrase to incite anger among pro-life constituents and gain support for cuts to federal funding -- it comes largely through the Title X and Medicaid programs -- the fact is that the organization devotes most of its money and manpower to screening for breast, cervical, and testicular cancers; treating menopause; testing for sexually transmitted diseases; and more.

The money provided by Susan G. Komen for the Cure went to just a fraction -- about 19 according to one report -- of Planned Parenthood's more than 85 affiliates. And it was all -- roughly $680,000 last year and $580,000 the year before that -- used for breast-cancer screening and other breast-health services for low-income, uninsured, and under-insured women. Who Is Behind Susan G. Komen's Split From Planned Parenthood?

If you have been conscious at all you are aware that the Nutty Ones hate Planned Parenthood even more than they hate the Girl Scouts. Show a hand here -- how many women reading this got their birth control pills from Planned Parenthood when they were younger, or went to Planned Parenthood for a pap smear or a mastectomy? Yes, that would be almost all of you. Planned Parenthood provides health care for women who can't afford it otherwise. It is not only minority women but young women from all socioeconomic backgrounds.

And yes, they provide reproductive services. And yes, that includes contraception and abortion. Regardless of whether you yourself choose to have one, abortions are a legal medical procedure.

The question though is, why did this organization suddenly decide to cut off Planned Parenthood? The answer is chilling.

Late last year the organization adopted a new policy that said, in part, that any recipient of funding has to prove that it "is not currently under a local, state or federal formal investigation for financial or administrative impropriety or fraud."

That sounds reasonable, and you can imagine it passing through a committee or a vote without much argument. But it turns out that a crazy rightwing Florida Congressman, Cliff Stearns, had launched a kind of investigation in the House to determine whether Planned Parenthood had received federal funds to provide abortions. Remember, abortion is legal, he is not investigating whether they broke the law, but only if the government gave them support that went to abortion services.

So you take the new policy, point to this bogus investigation, and voila, no money for Planned Parenthood. Smooth move, nobody saw that coming.

But then the question is, why did they do that?

The only way to understand this is to say that Susan B. Komen was infiltrated by rightwing operatives. How does that happen? It happens by people not being vigilant.

Last year, Komen hired Karen Handel, an anti-choice conservative who had run for governor of Georgia, endorsed by Sarah Palin, promising as part of her platform to defund Planned Parenthood. She is now Senior Vice President for Policy at Komen.

RHRealitycheck explains further:
She was originally endorsed in her race by and received money from current GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney, with whom some sources suggest she remains closely allied. Romney, in turn, has suddently become more anti-choice than thou and has promised a federal personhood amendment as well as to defund Planned Parenthood.The Cancerous Politics and Ideology of the Susan G. Komen Foundation

They have more:
Second, sitting on Komen's Advocacy Alliance Board is Jane Abraham, the General Chairman of the virulently anti-choice and anti-science Susan B. Anthony List and of its Political Action Committee. Among other involvements, Abraham helps direct the Nurturing Network, a global network of crisis pregnancy centers, organizations widely known for spreading ideology, misinformation and lies to women facing unintended pregnancy and to use both intimidation and coercion in the course of doing so. Also on the board of Nurturing Network is Maureen Scalia, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, no hero to women's rights and health.

Again, you wonder, how did people like this rise to the top of an organization that purportedly helps women?

Nationwide, Planned Parenthood doctors and nurses provide nearly 750,000 breast cancer screenings annually, offering risk assessments, breast exams, breast health information and education, and diagnostic and surgical referrals. Over the past five years, Planned Parenthood health centers have conducted nearly 170,000 clinical breast exams with funds from Komen, out of a total of more than four million clinical breast exams performed nationwide by Planned Parenthood clinics. Komen grants also supported more than 6,400 out of 70,000 mammogram referrals made by Planned Parenthood. These are affiliate-to-affiliate grants between Komen and Planned Parenthood sister oganizations at the state level.

A large share of the clients served at Planned Parenthood clinics are low-income African-American and Latina women. The National Cancer Institute identifies lack of access to early and effective screening for breast cancer (and hence lack of early treatment) as a primary reason that African-American and Latina women die of breast cancer at higher rates than the general population.

It is not clear how this will affect Planned Parenthood. Maybe it will not be all bad. Here's the Washington Post:
Donors reacting to the Susan G. Komen Foundation’s decision to cut off funding to Planned Parenthood contributed $650,000 in 24 hours, nearly enough to replace last year’s Komen funding, Planned Parenthood executives said Wednesday.

The organization had raised more than $400,000 from more than 6,000 online donors as of Wednesday afternoon, compared with the 100 to 200 donations it receives on an average day, said Tait Sye, a spokesman for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. He said donations were still coming in. Planned Parenthood says Komen decision causes donation spike
If I am reading the news right, Komen donated $680,000 to Planned Parenthood last year and $580,000 the year before. It made nearly that in a couple of days this week, in donations reacting to Komen's move.

I don't know why Komen hired these people and allowed this to happen. They let one monomaniacal fanatic in, and the bad drives out the good. You hate to see it, but the real lesson is that when you see this happening you have to act to stop it. It's too late now. Komen doesn't care about breast cancer, as they have just punished the one organization that does more than anyone to fight breast cancer, especially among poor women.

Komen is dead. Let's see if anyone participates in their races this year.


Anonymous Bose in St. Peter MN said...

It appears that the Atlantic has misquoted Planned Parenthood's PDF in mentioning "38 percent (PDF)" -- it's actually three percent.

February 02, 2012 8:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Planned Parenthood Federation of America's(PPFA) PDF referred to in the Atlantic article shows where the 38% figure comes from. To clarify the first comment above, the pie graph on Page 6 of that PDF shows the caption "Prevention is the cornerstone of our services — 35 percent of our clients received contraception services in 2008" and the pie chart itself clearly reports that three percent is the PPFA expenditure for abortion alone while another thirty-five percent goes for contraceptives alone.

The Atlantic's statement "Planned Parenthood, currently the largest provider of reproductive health services in the United States, is widely known for helping women to obtain abortions and [emphasis added] contraceptives. But those services, despite their high profile, account for only 38 percent (PDF) of the organization's work" is correct. However, Komen's decision to defund PPFA is a big mistake.

Komen needs to realize they have deciding to withhold funding for PPFA on the basis of anti-choice, anti-women GOP Congressmen launching an "investigation" of the group. I hope the IRS tells Komen to change their organization from a 501(c)(3) to a 501(c)(4) now that Komen is no longer a breast cancer charity, but a pro-life breast cancer charity.

The ratio of of Twitter comments last night ran approximately 80 to 1 against Komen's decision to abandon their support of PPFA. Komen will soon learn that with this move, it has lost it's biggest base of contributors, women.

February 02, 2012 10:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Typo at the top of the 3rd paragraph above:

"Komen needs to realize they have deciding to withhold funding for PPFA"

should read

"Komen needs to realize they have decided to withhold funding for PPFA"

February 02, 2012 10:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reactions to the Koman decision:

Dr. Kathy Plesser, a Manhattan radiologist on the medical advisory board of Susan G. Komen for the Cure's New York chapter, said she plans to resign from her position unless Komen reverses its decision to pull grant money from Planned Parenthood.

"I’m a physician and my interest is women’s health, and I am disturbed by Komen’s decision because I am a very strong advocate for serving under-served women," Plesser told The Huffington Post. "Eliminating this funding will mean there’s no place for these women to go. Where are these women to go to have a mammography? Do they not deserve to have mammography?"

With her decision, Plesser joins Komen's top public health official, Mollie Williams, and the executive director of Komen's Los Angeles County chapter, Deb Anthony, both of whom also resigned in protest.

Susan G. Komen, the nation's largest breast cancer charity, announced on Tuesday that it had adopted a new rule against partnering with organizations that are under investigation, and that it would therefore sever ties with Planned Parenthood, which is currently under investigation in Congress. The groups that prompted that investigation are anti-abortion advocacy organizations that have long criticized Planned Parenthood, primarily a women's health and family planning organization, over the fact that some of its clinics offer abortions.

Komen has faced an increasing amount of pressure from the public, women's health groups, lawmakers and even some of its own regional affiliates to reverse the decision and continue its five-year partnership with Planned Parenthood. The $600,000 that Komen donated annually to the organization provided underserved women with free and low-cost breast exams.

Planned Parenthood announced Wednesday that it had received $400,000 in donations in the 24 hours following Komen's announcement. In addition, New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg said on Thursday that he would give $250,000 to Planned Parenthood to help make up for the loss.

“Politics have no place in health care,” he said in a statement. “Breast cancer screening saves lives and hundreds of thousands of women rely on Planned Parenthood for access to care. We should be helping women access that care, not placing barriers in their way."

February 02, 2012 5:54 PM  
Anonymous Favorable responses? From who??? said...

The founder and chief executive for Susan G. Komen for the Cure on Thursday flatly rejected accusations that the organization caved to political pressure in cutting ties to Planned Parenthood, a move that has ignited a firestorm of controversy.

In one of her first live comments since the Tuesday announcement, Ambassador Nancy G. Brinker told NBC’s Andrea Mitchell that the decision was made to revamp and strengthen the way the organization makes grants.

“This is not a political decision,” Brinker told Mitchell. “We operate from one set of standards every day."

Brinker said Komen’s motivations had been “mischaracterized” and that they stemmed from an overhaul of criteria for awarding funds.

“Many of the grants we were doing with Planned Parenthood do not meet the new standards,” Brinker said.

Her comments were challenged by Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., who also appeared on the show. Boxer accused Brinker of trying to “change the story,” in which officials first said that Planned Parenthood funds were being cut because of pending investigations.

“This is a complete revisionist comment she is making about why suddenly Planned Parenthood lost this funding,” Boxer said.

Mitchell questioned Brinker about the apparent growing anger over the decision, including a huge swell of response on Facebook and Twitter in which long-time supporters say they’re cutting up pink ribbons, a longtime symbol of the Komen group.

However, Brinker said she’s heard from many who back the decision.

“The responses that we are getting are really, really favorable,” Brinker said.

Watch the video here

February 02, 2012 6:06 PM  
Anonymous More of the GOP's war on women said...

The House of Delegates tentatively passed a bill Thursday that would ban state subsidies for poor women to abort fetuses with serious birth defects.

The state spent about $2,800 on 10 abortions in 2010. The year before, it spent about $15,000 for 23 abortions.

“I am sad to see today that we have no compassion for the poor,’’ Del. Charniele Herring (D-Alexandria) told her colleagues during debate on the House floor.

Del. Mark Cole (R-Spotsylvania), who introduced the proposal, said the bill merely conforms Virginia law to the federal code. He said taxpayers who believe abortion is wrong should not have to pay for them.

“These are real people who are trying to do the right thing,’’ Del. Vivian Watts (D-Fairfax) said.

A final vote will be taken Friday.

Republicans, in control of both chambers for only the second time since the Civil War, are looking to pass a slew of bills in the 60-day session that take on abortion.

The Virginia Senate passed a bill Wednesday that would require women to have an ultrasound before an abortion, the first of several legislative measures this year that are expected to dramatically alter abortion law in the state.

They include requiring that insurers that cover abortions also offer policies that do not and giving rights to a fertilized egg at the moment of conception.

A Senate committee killed a bill Thursday to ban most abortions after the fetus reaches 20 weeks after a woman testified she terminated her pregnancy after medical problems.

The bill, introduced by Sen. Mark Obenshain (R-Harrisonburg) failed on a vote of 7 to 7. One senator did not vote.
Sen. Janet Howell, a Democrat from Fairfax, says if pregnant women should have to get an ultrasound before having an abortion, men should have to undergo additional medical procedures before getting a prescription for erectile dysfunction.

On Monday Howell expressed her disdain for legislation requiring the ultrasound by proposing an amendment she described as a simple matter of fairness. Her amendment said that before being treated for erectile dysfunction, a man would have to undergo a digital rectal exam and a cardiac stress test.

“We should just have a little gender equity here,” Howell said.

She said if women are going to be subjected to an unnecessary medical procedure, men should be as well.

Howell has been a member of the Virginia Senate since 1992.

The Senate rejected the amendment on a mostly party-line 21-19 vote.

February 02, 2012 6:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim wrote: "Show a hand here -- how many women reading this got their birth control pills from Planned Parenthood when they were younger, or went to Planned Parenthood for a pap smear or a mastectomy?"

When did Planned Parenthood start doing mastectomies? I thought that only hospitals did them. You can go to a Planned Parenthood clinic to have your breasts removed? THAT seems dangerous! I assume that, unless you're a transgender, the only reason you'd have your breast removed would be because of cancer. So the oncologist goes to a clinic to remove the breast?

February 02, 2012 7:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

P.S. Well, I guess it's actually the surgeon who does the operation, but it seems like the oncologist might be involved too. So the two of them trek over to a PP clinic....hmmmmmmmm....I'm just curious how that works!

February 02, 2012 7:22 PM  
Anonymous Wake Up said...

I have heard that PP doesn't actually do mammograms because they don't have mammography machines!!!!!
So, what are we talking about defunding PP of? Pamphlets?
The Komen Foundation did the right
thing. They have to be careful to
stick with their purpose and not throw donated money out like PP does with fetuses.

February 02, 2012 10:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Look who's quoting James O'Keefe and his hooker, Lila Rose.

You'd do better going back to your birther crap. At least you wouldn't be angering the millions of American women voters whose lives have been saved by Planned Parenthood. You can read some of their stories here:

and here:

and here:

and here:

and here:!/latinos4pp

You probably support the GOPers who vote to ban state subsidies for poor women to abort fetuses with serious birth defects. You'd rather FORCE poor women to make the same CHOICE the Santorum's made.

February 02, 2012 11:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking in Woodland Park, Colorado on Tuesday, Republican presidential candidate and self-proclaimed Christian, Rick Santorum told the mother of a child with a rare genetic disorder that she shouldn’t have a problem paying $1 million a year for the prescription drug Abilify because Apple’s iPad can cost around $900 (watch the video).

Santorum said: “People have no problem paying $900 for an iPad. But paying $900 for a drug they have a problem with it keeps you alive. Why? Because you’ve been conditioned to think health care is something you can get without having to pay for it.”

Santorum then repeated the talking point often used by Big Pharma: “Look, I want your son and everybody to have the opportunity to stay alive on much-needed drugs. But the bottom line is, we have to give companies the incentive to make those drugs. And if they don’t have the incentive to make those drugs, your son won’t be alive and lots of other people in this country won’t be alive.”

Except Santorum is plain wrong. Many drugs have been discovered without financial incentive, including the polio vaccine which was discovered by Jonas Salk. Santorum also failed to mention that many countries in Europe have discovered groundbreaking vaccines which sell for much less that U.S. drugs because they are subsidized by their governments.

February 03, 2012 12:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

why should Komen give money to PP from their donations?

if their donors wanted to fund an anti-life organization, they could have given directly to PP?

sounds like they did that in the last few days so what's the whining about?

it's not about the money at all, of course

it's about protecting the right of women to kill their children if they find them inconvenient

btw, aren't insurers required to cover 100% of preventive care under Obamacare?

why does PP have to do it?

February 03, 2012 1:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

why should Komen give money to PP from their donations?

if their donors wanted to fund an anti-life organization, they could have given directly to PP?

sounds like they did that in the last few days so what's the whining about?

it's not about the money at all, of course

it's about protecting the right of women to kill their children if they find them inconvenient

btw, aren't insurers required to cover 100% of preventive care under Obamacare?

why does PP have to do it?

February 03, 2012 1:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

why should Komen give money to PP from their donations?

if their donors wanted to fund an anti-life organization, they could have given directly to PP?

sounds like they did that in the last few days so what's the whining about?

it's not about the money at all, of course

it's about protecting the right of women to kill their children if they find them inconvenient

btw, aren't insurers required to cover 100% of preventive care under Obamacare?

why does PP have to do it?

February 03, 2012 1:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is no need to post your garbage in triplicate.

Look at what public opinion can do: In Reversal, Komen To Continue Funding Planned Parenthood

Let's hope Komen continues to wise up and fires Palin's buddy, Komen VP Karen Handel, who lost her GOP bid to be governor of GA and who created this PR nightmare for the once highly regarded Komen group.

btw, aren't insurers required to cover 100% of preventive care under Obamacare?

It's time to teach some facts.

The Affordable Care Act only applies to people who have health insurance. People without health insurance do not get free annual preventative care. They get the GOP health plan: If you get sick, hurry up and die. Planned Parenthood provides its services to women regardless of their health insurance coverage.

Nearly 18% of women in the United States do not have health insurance, and they are mostly poor women. The percentage of women without health insurance varies widely by state. See the report by the National Women's Law Center by clicking the following link: Women without Health Insurance

Contrary to your defamatory remarks, Planned Parenthood is not an anti-life organization, but has saved the lives of millions of American women.

It's the GOP that is pro-death and wants people to die. The GOP wants to eliminate the Affordable Care Act, which would mean fewer people will be covered by health insurance plans and will die. People with pre-existing conditions AND 2.5 million young adults who can now be covered to age 26 on their parents' health insurance plans would lose the coverage if the GOP gets its way and eliminates the Affordable Care Act. In addition, more elderly Medicare patients would suffer if ACA were to be eliminated as desired by the GOP. Specifically 24.2 million seniors would lose or have to pay for what is now annual free preventative care and 2.65 million seniors would have had to pay $1.5 billion dollars more for their prescriptions or kept splitting their pills and hoping half or quarter doses would keep them alive.

February 03, 2012 1:50 PM  
Anonymous Robert said...

According to Joe Jervis, Komen restored funding to Planned Parenthood today and apologized.

February 03, 2012 1:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's right, Robert.

The first link in the comment immediately above your goes to an NPR article about Komen's reversal.

February 03, 2012 2:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The GOP wants to eliminate the Affordable Care Act, which would mean fewer people will be covered by health insurance plans and will die. "

That's exactly right. By getting Congress to pass the Affordable Care Act into law, President Obama has shown his compassion and how much he cares for US citizens.

Compare Obama's concern for his fellow citizens to GOP candidates like Romney, who said "I don't care about the very poor," Gingrich who said "females have biological problems staying in a ditch for 30 days because they get infections," and Santorum, who said "we have to give companies the incentive to make those drugs," as if saving lives was not an incentive. Where's the compassion in the GOP for women, the poor, and sick people?

February 03, 2012 2:50 PM  
Anonymous Duh said...

DALLAS, Feb 03, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- We want to apologize to the American public for recent decisions that cast doubt upon our commitment to our mission of saving women's lives.

The events of this week have been deeply unsettling for our supporters, partners and friends and all of us at Susan G. Komen. We have been distressed at the presumption that the changes made to our funding criteria were done for political reasons or to specifically penalize Planned Parenthood. They were not.

Our original desire was to fulfill our fiduciary duty to our donors by not funding grant applications made by organizations under investigation. We will amend the criteria to make clear that disqualifying investigations must be criminal and conclusive in nature and not political. That is what is right and fair.

Our only goal for our granting process is to support women and families in the fight against breast cancer. Amending our criteria will ensure that politics has no place in our grant process. We will continue to fund existing grants, including those of Planned Parenthood, and preserve their eligibility to apply for future grants, while maintaining the ability of our affiliates to make funding decisions that meet the needs of their communities.

It is our hope and we believe it is time for everyone involved to pause, slow down and reflect on how grants can most effectively and directly be administered without controversies that hurt the cause of women. We urge everyone who has participated in this conversation across the country over the last few days to help us move past this issue. We do not want our mission marred or affected by politics -- anyone's politics.

Starting this afternoon, we will have calls with our network and key supporters to refocus our attention on our mission and get back to doing our work. We ask for the public's understanding and patience as we gather our Komen affiliates from around the country to determine how to move forward in the best interests of the women and people we serve.

We extend our deepest thanks for the outpouring of support we have received from so many in the past few days and we sincerely hope that these changes will be welcomed by those who have expressed their concern.

About Susan G. Komen for the Cure(R)

Nancy G. Brinker promised her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, that she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer. Today, Susan G. Komen for the Cure works to end breast cancer in the U.S. and throughout the world through ground-breaking research, community health outreach, advocacy and programs in more than 50 countries with a special focus on low-resource and developing nations.

SOURCE: Susan G. Komen for the Cure

February 03, 2012 3:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

More good news, except to the GOP candidates trying to defeat President Obama:

"The United States economy gained momentum in January, as employers added 243,000 jobs, the second straight month of better-than-expected gains.

And in a separate measure, the unemployment rate fell to 8.3 percent, giving a cause for optimism as the economy shapes up as the central issue in the presidential election.

Measured by both the unemployment rate and the number of jobless — which fell to 12.8 million — it was the strongest signal yet that an economic recovery was spreading to the jobs market. The last time the figures were as good was February 2009, President Obama’s first full month in office.

The report sent stocks up by over 1 percent in trading on Wall Street."

February 03, 2012 3:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was the most jobs added since and April and May 2010, when 277,000 and 458,000 jobs were created. But those months were skewed by massive hiring for the census. Before that, the last month with more job creation was March 2006.

The unemployment rate was down two ticks from last month and the lowest since an 8.3 percent reading in February 2009. It was also the fifth consecutive month that the rate has fallen, the first time that has happened since late 1994.

February 03, 2012 3:21 PM  
Anonymous Raise Your Hand said...

Since Planned Parenthood is going to be funded again that means they can continue to do mastectomies (according to Jim who teaches nothing but the facts).
Planned Parenthood: the all-service butcher shops
. . .from breast to babies.
Let's see a show of hands of how
many have been butchered by Planned Parenthood.

February 03, 2012 4:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Komen just can’t wash the stink off it. Now comes news that former press secretary for George W. Bush Ari Fleischer helped guide the Komen Foundation’s disastrous Planned Parenthood strategy. Fleischer personally interviewed candidates for the job currently held by Karen Handel and drilled interested candidates on how they would handle the controversy about Komen’s relationship with Planned Parenthood. Well that explains a lot.

February 04, 2012 9:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Komen's Excuse for Defunding Planned Parenthood Applies to Bank of America Too -- So When Will it Sever Ties With BofA?

Susan G. Komen Foundation Gave $7.5 Million to Penn State In Apparent Violation Of New Policy

February 04, 2012 10:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Most Heroic Response To The Susan G. Komen Foundation You Will Ever See

Warning -- this video is not for the squeamish

February 05, 2012 5:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Karen Handel, Susan G. Komen's Anti-Abortion VP, Drove Decision To Defund Planned Parenthood

WASHINGTON -- Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the nation's leading anti-breast-cancer charity, has insisted that its since-reversed decision to pull funding from Planned Parenthood arose from a routine change in criteria for grant eligibility that had nothing to do with abortion politics.

But a Komen insider told HuffPost on Sunday that Karen Handel, Komen's staunchly anti-abortion vice president for public policy, was the main force behind the decision to defund Planned Parenthood and the attempt to make that decision look nonpolitical.

"Karen Handel was the prime instigator of this effort, and she herself personally came up with investigation criteria," the source, who requested anonymity for professional reasons, told HuffPost. "She said, 'If we just say it's about investigations, we can defund Planned Parenthood and no one can blame us for being political.'"

Emails between Komen leadership on the day the Planned Parenthood decision was announced, which were reviewed by HuffPost under the condition they not be published, confirm the source's description of Handel's sole "authority" in crafting and implementing the Planned Parenthood policy.

Handel's strategy to cut off Planned Parenthood involved drafting new guidelines that would prevent Komen from funding any organization that was under investigation by local, state or federal authorities. Since Planned Parenthood is currently the target of a congressional inquiry prompted by House Republicans into the way it uses government funds, the family planning provider would have been immediately disqualified from receiving new Komen grants.

After the initial uproar when news of the decision broke, the story that Komen told the public was that the cut-off was unrelated to a political agenda against Planned Parenthood.

"While it is regrettable when changes in priorities and policies affect any of our grantees, such as a long-standing partner like Planned Parenthood, we must continue to evolve to best meet the needs of the women we serve and most fully advance our mission," the charity said in a statement this past Tuesday.

Americans United for Life and other pro-life groups have been pressuring Komen for years to cut ties with Planned Parenthood because some of its clinics offer abortions, even though none of Komen's money was used toward abortion services. Handel's internal strategy, the Komen source told HuffPost, was to exaggerate those attacks and use them to convince the leadership that funding Planned Parenthood was a political liability.

"Komen's been dealing with the Planned Parenthood issue for years, and you know, some right-wing groups would organize a protest or send out a mailing every now and then, but it was on a low simmer," the source said. "What Karen's been doing for the past six months is ratcheting up the issue with leadership. Every time someone would even mention a protest, she would magnify it, pump it up, exaggerate it. She's the one that kept driving this issue."

February 06, 2012 4:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The force behind the Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s decision to de-fund Planned Parenthood resigned February 7, 2012 over what she called a “gross mischaracterizations of the strategy, [its] rationale, and my involvement in [the decision]”

Karen Handel had proudly stepped out in front of the issue and maintains she had a role in the decision, but insists it was not politically motivated. And in the very next breath she says “I openly acknowledge my role in the matter and continue to believe our decision was the best one for Komen’s future and the women we serve.”

Handel remained defiant in the face of mounting evidence that she’s just plain lying.

But all of that may be spitting into the wind for Handel who will be remembered as the woman who in a mere 24 hours decimated the Komen brand.

February 08, 2012 12:59 PM  

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