Emails released over the weekend to Huffington Post’s Laura Bassett directly contradict earlier denials by The Komen Foundation that controversial anti-Planned Parenthood crusader and Vice President of Public Policy Karen Handel was the force behind the decision to strip the group of funding. In short, the group has been lying this whole time.
According to Komen staffers, Handel has been looking for a reason to de-fund Planned Parenthood and even coordinated messaging and efforts with former Bush administration lackey Ari Fleisher. But don’t take my word for it. Take Handel’s.
“If we just say it’s about investigations, we can defund Planned Parenthood and no one can blame us for being political.”
Handel and Fleisher crafted the strategy which included a change in guidelines that would prevent Komen from funding any organization that was under investigation by local, state or federal authorities. This ginned-up pretext was then used to justify the funding decision, and despite the fact that several other Komen beneficiaries are also under investigation, Planned Parenthood was the only organization that saw its funding jeopardized.
After a tidal wave of public pressure that spanned gender and political affiliations Komen relented and announced it would continue funding Planned Parenthood for the remaining of its grant cycle. The decision was celebrated as a reversal, but a close look at the language shows there’s plenty of reason to think the announcement was more PR spin to make the bad press die down than an actual policy change. And given this latest news there is really no reason to take the charity’s word on anything.
Photo from guisse95 via flickr.