Susan G. Komen Official Resigned in Protest Over Planned Parenthood Cut-Off

Founder of Komen Foundation posts a non-explanation explanation
Politics • Views: 29,986

This video is titled “Straight Talk from Ambassador Nancy G. Brinker, Founder and CEO of Susan G. Komen,” the official response to the outrage that followed the Komen Foundation’s defunding of Planned Parenthood breast cancer screening programs.

Brinker says their grants to Planned Parenthood were canceled because they have “new standards,” which for unstated reasons excluded Planned Parenthood.

Notice: she says all this without once mentioning the words, “Planned Parenthood.” And she never explains how Planned Parenthood failed to meet their “new standards.”

Youtube Video

In the Atlantic, Jeffrey Goldberg has a piece on the controversy, citing three sources within the Komen Foundation who say the “new standards” were adopted specifically to give their anti-abortion VP for public policy, Karen Handel, an excuse to cut off Planned Parenthood: Top Susan G. Komen Official Resigned in Protest Over Planned Parenthood Cave-In.

An entirely avoidable, and deeply regrettable, controversy has been raging this week over the decision by the (formerly highly esteemed) Susan G. Komen For the Cure foundation, the world’s leading breast-cancer research advocacy group, to cut its support for Planned Parenthood, which used Komen dollars (about $600,000 annually) to pay for breast-screening exams for poor people. (The Atlantic’s Nicholas Jackson has an excellent summary of the controversy so far.)

Komen, the marketing juggernaut that brought the world the ubiquitous pink ribbon campaign, says it cut-off Planned Parenthood because of a newly adopted foundation rule prohibiting it from funding any group that is under formal investigation by a government body. (Planned Parenthood is being investigated by Rep. Cliff Stearns, an anti-abortion Florida Republican, who says he is trying to learn if the group spent public money to provide abortions.)

But three sources with direct knowledge of the Komen decision-making process told me that the rule was adopted in order to create an excuse to cut-off Planned Parenthood. (Komen gives out grants to roughly 2,000 organizations, and the new “no-investigations” rule applies to only one so far.) The decision to create a rule that would cut funding to Planned Parenthood, according to these sources, was driven by the organization’s new senior vice-president for public policy, Karen Handel, a former gubernatorial candidate from Georgia who is staunchly anti-abortion and who has said that since she is “pro-life, I do not support the mission of Planned Parenthood.” (The Komen grants to Planned Parenthood did not pay for abortion or contraception services, only cancer detection, according to all parties involved.) I’ve tried to reach Handel for comment, and will update this post if I speak with her.

Three sources told me the organization’s top public health official, Mollie Williams, resigned in protest immediately following the Komen board’s decision to cut off Planned Parenthood.

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