Karen Handel, the former Susan G. Komen breast cancer charity executive knows the inside baseball behind Komen’s decision to revoke funding for the abortion business better than anyone.
Handel, the pro-life former Georgia Secretary of State, was involved in Komen at the time it decided to end its funding relationship with Planned Parenthood and decided to get out of the breast cancer group when it back on that decision following a massive blacklash from abortion advocates and intense media pressure.
Now, according to AP, Howard Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, annoucned today that it will be releasing Handel’s book “Planned Bullyhood” on September 11. In the tome, the former senior vice president of public policy at Komen will reveal more about what took place behind the scenes. Ironically, her book comes out just as Komen’s founding CEO, Nancy Brinker, announced she would be stepping down from the organiation along with Komen President Liz Thompson.
Following her departure from the Komen for the Cure breast cancer charity in the wake of the massive attacks waged on it by Planned Parenthood following news that it would cut its funding, Handel slammed the abortion business.
Komen initially decided in December to revise its grant-making process to funds grants to agencies that provide direct health services for women — which would eliminate Planned Parenthood since it does not do mammograms. After Planned Parenthood, Democratic members of Congress and the media pounced on Komen for its decision, Komen clarified that Planned Parenthood would still be allowed to submit grant requests but they may or may not be funded.
“I am deeply disappointed by the gross mischaracterizations of the strategy, its rationale, and my involvement in it,” Handel said in her letter. “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 followed up that letter with various interviews, including an appearance on Fox News, where she told the news station that Planned Parenthood viciously attacked the breast cancer group.
“What was unleashed over this past week was a vicious attack against a great organization,” Handel said, noting that Komen founder Susan Brinker came under personal attacks as well. “I would think all of us should be saddened that an outside organization should put this kind of pressure on another organization.”
“The last time I checked, private non-profit organizations have a right and a responsibility to be able to set the highest standards and criteria on their own without interference, let alone the level of vicious attacks and coercion that has occurred by Planned Parenthood. It’s simply outrageous,” Handel added.
She told Fox News that political pressure from her as a former Georgia Secretary of State and Senate candidate had “absolutely” nothing to do with Komen’s decision, saying, “For Komen, for myself the mission was always foremost on our mind.”
“The only group here that has made this issue political has been Planned Parenthood,” she explained. “I clearly acknowledge that I was involved in the process, but to say I had the sole authority is simply absurd.”
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Handel also said the impending Congressional investigation of Planned Parenthood for fraud, misuse of taxpayer dollars and breaking abortion laws was part of the reason for Komen’s decision along with the desire to end pass-thru grants and provide direct grants to organizations that, unlike Planned Parenthood, provide women mammograms.
“I think the Congressional investigation, along with the various state investigations, were a factor in the decision,” she said. “But make no mistake about it, it was a bigger picture than that. There was the granting criteria, as well as the controversies that were surrounding Planned Parenthood.”
Handel told Fox News the focus on her made it so she should resign.
“I was too much of a focal point,” she said. “I really felt I had a responsibility to just step aside so they could refocus on their mission. I wanted to do the right thing on my own terms, and that’s what I tried to do.”