High-Ranking Komen Official Resigns

Those wondering just what was behind the Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s initial decision to stop funding Planned Parenthood and their decision to continue the funding can learn something from Karen Handel, the charity’s vice president for public policy. Handel resigned today from the organization saying that she’s “deeply disappointed by the gross mischaracterizations of the strategy, its rationale,” and her involvement in it. “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,” she wrote in a letter obtained by The Associated Press.

Handel said that the discussion to discontinue funding Planned Parenthood was made prior to her arrival at the charity and was approved by those at the highest levels. She said that the board did not raise any objections to the proposed policy last November.

In her letter, Handel said that the controversy surrounding Planned Parenthood was long a concern to Komen officials.

“Neither the decision nor the changes themselves were based on anyone’s political beliefs or ideology,” she wrote, adding that the decision was based on Komen’s mission, how to better serve women, and a realization of the need to distance Komen from controversy. Komen notified its affiliates of its decision in December.

Handel had supported the decision, which was announced by Komen last week, to exclude Planned Parenthood from future grants for breast-cancer screenings because it was under government investigation. After only three days, Komen caved into pressure from pro-abortion groups, and reversed its decision.

If Komen was trying to distance itself from controversy, they’ve done just the opposite. The reversal of their original decision has done nothing but bring additional scrutiny and controversy to the organization.