New Komen Pro-Life VP Credited for Planned Parenthood Cuts

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 31, 2012   |   7:57PM   |   Washington, DC

The decision by the Komen for the Cure breast cancer group to stop funding the Planned Parenthood abortion business is making huge waves today and a little known decision to hire a pro-life vice president may be responsible for it.

In 2010 Georgia Republican Secretary of State Karen Handel decided to run for governor to replace outgoing pro-life Governor Sonny Perdue, who was term limited, on a platform of defunding Planned Parenthood.

“I am staunchly and unequivocally pro-life. I believe in the sanctity and inherent dignity of human life, and I will be a pro-life governor who will work tirelessly to promote a culture of life in Georgia,” Handel said. “I believe that each and every unborn child has inherent dignity, that every abortion is a tragedy, and that government has a role, along with the faith community, in encouraging women to choose life in even the most difficult of circumstances…. since I am pro-life, I do not support the mission of Planned Parenthood.”

Pressing for Planned Parenthood de-funding, Handel said, “During my time as Chairman of Fulton County, there were federal and state pass-through grants that were awarded to Planned Parenthood for breast and cervical cancer screening, as well as a ‘Healthy Babies Initiative’…Since grants like these are from the state I’ll eliminate them as your next Governor.”

Ironically, Georgia Right to Life refused to extend to Handel its endorsement — instead going with five of the other candidates seeking the nomination against her. Dan Becker, the Georgia Right to Life president who is a key leader in the personhood movement, told LifeNews at the time that “Handel proclaims herself pro-life; however, she does not meet the 21st century demands of being pro-life.”

Despite that, Handel received the endorsement of pro-life former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin and some pro-life advocates criticized GRTL for its decision.

After her loss in the 2010 GOP primary, Handel moved on to other things and, eventually, in April 2011, was named Senior VP for Komen.

“In her role at Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Handel will be responsible for leading the organization’s federal and state advocacy efforts, including management of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure® Advocacy Alliance. Handel has been working with Komen as a consultant for advocacy since January,” Komen said at the time.

The pro-abortion side definitely thinks Handel’s involvement has something to do with the decision.

“Komen’s new Senior Vice President of Public Policy, Karen Handel, not only has a long anti-choice history, but pledged to eliminate grants for Planned Parenthood to provide breast and cervical cancer screenings when she ran for governor of Georgia in 2010,” complains ThinkProgress.

While Jezebel adds, “Karen Handel, who was endorsed by Sarah Palin during her unsuccessful bid for governor of Georgia in 2010, has been the Foundation’s Senior Vice President for Public Policy since April 2011. During her gubernatorial candidacy, she ran on an anti-choice platform, vowing that if elected, she’d defund Planned Parenthood.”

“How curious! A person with what looks like a personal vendetta against Planned Parenthood joins the ranks of an organization that provides funding to Planned Parenthood, and soon, that organization “defunds” Planned Parenthood,” it adds.