Komen’s Lie: Handel Was Behind Planned Parenthood Attack All Along

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.

Related Stories:

Susan G. Komen’s Cozy Relationship With Anti-Choice Groups

Susan G. Komen Foundation Also Stops Funding Embryonic Stem Cell Research

Photo from guisse95 via flickr.


Eternal Gardener
Eternal Gardener5 years ago


SeattleAnn S.
Ann S5 years ago

Of course it was a PR spin. It's naive to think otherwise.

Charles Wallace
Charles Wallace5 years ago

I really don't understand how any woman can ever vote for Republicans. They've shown over and over how they don't give a s--t about women! Here is an organization (SGK) which is supposedly dedicated to treating and curing breast cancer (which overwhelmingly affects women, even though men can get it too), but shows that its ACTUAL prime goal is to defund Planned Parenthood. There's no evidence that SGK even considered the effect that their decision would have on women's health. Their main consideration was how to defund PP without any consequences ("... no one can blame us for being political"). Pushed by lifelong Republican WOMEN. How can women have such disregard for women's health? As a ten-year contributor to SGK, I will never give them another dime. It'll all go to Planned Parenthood instead. THAT'S an organization that really cares about women's health! (Men's too!)

Frances C.
Frances C5 years ago

The head lady at Komen who hired Handel must be fired.

Birth control pills for every woman and girl who needs them for free. Tell the church to stay out of the state, and out of women's private lives. This is not the European state and church of old.

Tahni W5 years ago

Please sign this petition asking Care2 to remove the 'click to cure' (Komen) button.
If you want to....


kelly rahach
kelly r5 years ago

Carole C - great idea - replace 'Donate to Komen' with a 'Donate to Planned Parenthood' button.

With earth's poplulation escalating and FORCED abortions coming down the pipeline at us, we need all the planning of parenthood we can get.

Nancy Black
Nancy Black5 years ago

We must wait and see if Komen goes back to funding Planned Parenthood. If not, we don't need to support it. I am also concerned about stem cell research; Komen stopped investing in that. How can we find cures if we are only interested in religion and politics.

Donna C.
Donna C.5 years ago

I lost my oldest daughter to liver cancer.I decided after loosing her I would search for some organization to support as a memorial. SBK did NOT provide information that gave me confidence they were truly concerned about fighting cancer or supporting research.They appear to be a classic -self serving -organization that has little compassion for anything but the bottom line!

Sian R.
Sian R5 years ago

@ David N – “For five minutes they stood up for what was right. Then a group of known murderers threatened them”

Forgive me for being confused, but I thought the “murderers” were those who killed or called for the killing of abortion providers.

nancy b.
Nancy B5 years ago

Susan B. Komen has lost my support.