The new book Planned Bullyhood, scheduled for release tomorrow, chronicles the insider perspective of Karen Handel, the former Komen for the Cure vice president who quit after the breast cancer charity reversed its decision and funded Planned Parenthood after deciding to end grants to the abortion giant.
The book contains a section in which Handel essentially accuses Karl Rove of giving Susan G. Komen for the Cure CEO Nancy Brinker bad advise on the Komen-Planned Parenthood fight. As Handel tells it, Rove told Brinker Komen should reverse course and renew funding to Planned Parenthood, while Handel attempted to convince the cancer group’s founder to stay the course on its December 2011 decision to revoke funding to groups like Planned Parenthood that don’t directly provide mammograms for women.
Jill Stanek, a pro-life blogger, highlights the section in a new post, with the citation starting with Handel recalling her own words:
I just said, “You don’t have to apologize to me. But I have to say again that it is a huge mistake. Wait through the weekend. It’s Super Bowl weekend. We know there are op-eds teed up about how outrageous Planned Parenthood is being, that private organizations have the right to make the decisions they believe are best. If we blink now, it’s over and no one will know that Komen stands for,” I implored.
Nancy’s reply stunned me. “Karen, I’ve talked to a lot of people. And even Karl says we have to backtrack. There’s just no other way.”
“Karl? Who’s Karl?”
She looked at me strangely as if I should know exactly who she was talking about. She said, “Karl Rove!”
I started laughing. Just when I thought things could not get more bizarre. What in the world did Karl Rove have to do with anything?
Stanek criticizes Rove, saying she believes he is pro-life but is too politically calculated in terms of how he makes decisions on abortion:
I have received assurances from a source close to him that Karl Rove is pro-life. Many may have already assumed this, since Rove worked a heartbeat away from the most pro-active pro-life president our country has seen since President Reagan, although those sleeping a heartbeat away from both, Laura Bush and Nancy Reagan, were pro-abortion. So osmosis is no guarantee.
But Rove did speak at the National Right to Life Convention in 2008, which gave him street cred. That said, at best Karl Rove is a fair weather friend.
Indeed, Karl Rove gave bad advice. Not only was he instrumental in a decision that left Komen with zero friends rather than one, he demonstrated a total lack of understanding as to why Komen decided to break with Planned Parenthood as well as a lack of understanding of the enemy itself. And business ethics be damned. Rove showed he has a politically calculated hair trigger on controversy surrounding the abortion issue, and he aims his gun at us.
LifeNews reported on Rove’s speech to the National Right to Life convention in 2008. The speech was certainly on point in terms of Rove sounding pro-life themes and taking a pro-life position against abortion.
Not only that, but Rove went as far as to vigorously defend President George W. Bush’s position against any new embryonic stem cell research, which event some Republicans opposed because they favored taxpayer funding.
“It was not an easy decision. I was there and said through the meetings in the Oval Office with bioethicist and scientists and parents with children with diseases who hoped that if only the president would allow the destruction of human embryos their lives would be improved,” he said.
“But we’ve got to be careful about crossing lines that, once crossed, would have devastating effects on our culture,” Rove said. “It would be crossing a very dangerous ethical barrier that would turn life into a commodity.”
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During the Bush presidency, Rove maintained closed relationships with a number of pro-life groups and those relationships paid dividends in terms of pro-life bills signed into law and the machinations of a presidential administration that went out of its way to protect conscience rights of pro-life doctors, oppose abortion expansion at the UN, promote abstinence funding, take on assisted suicide, and even work to ban human cloning.
Rove is very likely pro-life and did assist in pro-life efforts during the Bush White House. While his political acumen is noted, if Handel is right that Rove encouraged Komen to fund Planned Parenthood, he was certainly wrong to have done so. And if he urged Brinker to reverse course, he needs to spend more time looking at polling data showing that pro-life Americans are clearly in the majority.