Former Georgia Secretary of State and candidate for Governor Karen Handel sat down with Marvin Olasky of the Christian-themed World Magazine a few weeks ago to talk about her departure from the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation. It’s an interesting article and includes a full length video (about 58 minutes).
When did Komen tell Planned Parenthood that new grant requests would be unwelcome? The Komen president had a conversation with the Planned Parenthood president sometime around the middle of December and explained all of this—that we weren’t making a judgment on whether or not the issues involving Planned Parenthood were real or perceived, we just knew that they didn’t have anything to do with breast cancer, and we were looking to have a magnanimous break-up. We reassured Planned Parenthood that Komen would make every effort to have a smooth transition.
When pro-life groups learned that Komen would stop giving to Planned Parenthood, did they shoot off fireworks and unroll victory banners? No. Those of us in the organization who had relationships with conservatives in the pro-life community specifically said, No celebrations, please. We wanted to move forward. In our desire not to give a scalp to either side—although arguably it was my scalp that was given—we probably made a mistake. Maybe we should have just let both sides have the debate.
But you thought there would be peace, peace … All of us underestimated the visceral, very political response that Planned Parenthood was going to take. In their world, $680,000 was a miniscule part of their $1 billion budget. This was about politics.
Planned Parenthood had lots of time, from mid-December, to prepare. Why did it attack at the very end of January? Was it pure coincidence that the attack against Komen around abortion rights occurred in the same week that everything escalated around contraception and the White House?