Karen Handel at center of Komen controversy

Former Ga. governor candidate quits foundation role

Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012 2:14 PM
Last updated 2:38 PM
  • Follow Government

WASHINGTON — Karen Handel, a top official of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation, who was involved in the controversy over the group’s funding of Planned Parenthood, resigned Tuesday.

Handel  AP
AP
Handel

Handel, a former Georgia gubernatorial candidate narrowly defeated in the 2010 GOP primary by Nathan Deal, acknowledged that she had supported Komen’s decision to pull funding for Planned Parenthood in a resignation letter obtained by the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

However, she said the decision-making process began before she joined the organization last year as vice president for public policy, and was thoroughly vetted and unanimously agreed to at every level within the organization — including at a November meeting of the board.

“The Board specifically discussed various issues, including the need to protect our mission by ensuring we were not distracted or negatively affected by any other organization’s real or perceived challenges,” Handel wrote to Komen’s CEO and founder Nancy Brinker.

Handel also said she was “deeply disappointed by the gross mischaracterization” of her involvement. The policy change, which would have barred grants to organizations under government investigation, was reversed last week. Planned Parenthood is the subject of a probe launched by Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla.) into whether it has used federal funds to pay for abortions.

During her bid for governor of Georgia, Handel ran on a platform of defunding Planned Parenthood. Several former Komen employees have said that Handel was a driving force behind the decision to defund Planned Parenthood.

“Questions about the issue of our involvement with Planned Parenthood significantly ramped up at the time Komen decided to hire Karen,” said John Hammerly, a former senior communications adviser at Komen, who left the Foundation in August 2011.

A Komen board member, John Raffaelli, has disputed that account.

In her resignation letter, Handel, who joined Komen in January 2011, said that “the controversy related to Planned Parenthood has long been a concern to the organization,” and that the de-funding decision was not based on “anyone’s political beliefs or ideology. Rather, both were based on Komen’s mission and how to better serve women, as well as a realization of the need to distance Komen from controversy.”

Handel said she appreciated an offer by Brinker of a severance package, but declined it.

Petitions calling for Handel’s resignation have been circulating on liberal web sites in recent days.

In a statement on Handel’s resignation, Brinker said, “We have made mistakes in how we have handled recent decisions and take full accountability for what has resulted.”

Comments (11) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
Bonk
8
Points
Bonk 02/07/12 - 03:21 pm
0
0
Good riddance. Now the next

Good riddance. Now the next step should be for all those that were in on her little plot to step down as well.

Insider Information
4009
Points
Insider Information 02/07/12 - 04:11 pm
0
0
Kill the babies to "save the

Kill the babies to "save the tatas"!

How ironic that a charity dedicated to finding the cure for breast cancer would fund abortion clinics when there is a link between abortion and breast cancer.

It's like the American Cancer Society donating money to the tobacco industry.

AutumnLeaves
6807
Points
AutumnLeaves 02/07/12 - 04:15 pm
0
0
Well, I wouldn't have quite

Well, I wouldn't have quite worded it that way, Insider Information, but I was thinking along those lines. Good point.

Insider Information
4009
Points
Insider Information 02/07/12 - 04:24 pm
0
0
By the way, Planned

By the way, Planned Parenthood must do cancer screenings the old-fashioned way - by groping its "patients."

Planned Parenthood doesn't have the equipment to perform mammograms.

Makes you wonder.

burninater
9363
Points
burninater 02/07/12 - 04:40 pm
0
0
What this cancer link LIE is

What this cancer link LIE is referring to is the correlation between bearing a child and a decrease in breast cancer rates. Having an abortion no more increases breast cancer rates than being a nun.

And as far as "groping", physical exams are a tried and true diagnostic. It's no more "groping" than prostate exams are sodomy.

Jake
32164
Points
Jake 02/07/12 - 06:36 pm
0
0
Planned Parenthood should

Planned Parenthood should present Karen Handel with some type of award for being responsible for filling their coffers with a record $3 million dollars in less than 3 days. The people spoke with their wallets and said to the Komen foundation, and to Handel in particular, "(Fastening device with threads and a Phillips head) you!".

realitycheck09
307
Points
realitycheck09 02/07/12 - 07:06 pm
0
0
insider - actually, the irony

insider - actually, the irony was that Karen Handel is so "pro-life" that she cut off funding to an organization that saves women's lives by paying for, or providing, breast cancer screenings. And those are actual people that I'm talking about...not clusters of cells.

Bonk
8
Points
Bonk 02/07/12 - 08:33 pm
0
0
I agree with reality check.

I agree with reality check. Roe v Wade ruled that an abortion is a private matter between a woman and her doctor. There is a disturbing number of people out there who would cast all reason aside and send us back 40 years.

madgerman
236
Points
madgerman 02/07/12 - 10:08 pm
0
0
Bonk. At the heart of the
Unpublished

Bonk. At the heart of the issue is the ability of men to control women as if they were an asset. Men can not allow women to make decisions on their own. What is troubling is watching some women who are so anxious for approval by the old man, they will say or do anything submissive just to earn his nod of approval. I say this because if I am not mistaken, men are leading the fight to keep women silent.

KSL
124915
Points
KSL 02/07/12 - 10:14 pm
0
0
Probably instinctive on the

Probably instinctive on the part of males, built into their genetic matter, madgerman. Just like mothers instinctively are protective of their children, although I think that instinct is unfortunately being eliminated from some human mothers for some reason.

KSL
124915
Points
KSL 02/07/12 - 10:15 pm
0
0
Always wondered about my

Always wondered about my clients who were in abusive relationships, yet would not leave.

Jake
32164
Points
Jake 02/07/12 - 10:46 pm
0
0
In all the publicity at least

In all the publicity at least the administrative makeup and salaries have been made public knowledge. Want to give $2 grand to Komen to fight breast cancer? That is only just a part of the $400+ grand that Brinker makes a year. As far as Handel is concerned, I mean who actually needs a "Senior Vice President in charge of Public Policy" in an organization? Wasted money that will never get to the intended women that need it. This whole Pink Ribbon scam has been revealed and has awakened a lot of folks to their agenda.

Jake
32164
Points
Jake 02/07/12 - 11:00 pm
0
0
I have been waiting for the

I have been waiting for the AC to do some sort of spin on this since it has been a hot item for at least a week but I guess the right wing slant that this paper has could not come up with something substantial.

Back to Top

Search Augusta jobs