Who Bullied the Susan G. Komen Foundation Into Cutting Funding?

Karen Handel, the recently-departed Komen VP contradicts her organization in explaining the reasoning for defunding Planned Parenthood.


Karen Handel, the former VP of Susan G. Komen for the Cute who recently left after being outted as the architect of their decision to stop funding Planned Parenthood, sheds some light on the fiasco in an interview today with the Daily Beast. At one point in the interview, she insists that the decision was made because "Komen regulations not to fund organizations that have been barred from receiving government funding. Planned Parenthood has been barred from receiving funding in some states" This echoes the argument made by Komen leaders throughout the ordeal.

But elsewhere in the interview, she says:

It's no secret that for some years -- long before my time -- Komen was dealing with a controversy regarding Planned Parenthood grants. The issue would flare up, then die down, then flare up again. It was fairly cyclical. But over the summer, it intensified. More donors said they were pulling out. The issue was ratcheting up. It wasn't dying down. Two dozen Catholic bishops were saying not to support Komen. ... We needed to find some options for moving to neutral ground.

So did Komen stop funding Planned Parenthood because of the spurious Congressional investigation launched against it, or because the group was getting pressured by outside groups? Handel implies it was the latter, while the former seemed to provide some pretty good cover.

Also in the interview, she describes Planned Parenthood as a "gigantic bully" -- but according to the quote above, it seems like it was someone else who bullied Komen into the decision to defund the organization in the first place.

Image: Getty Images.

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Zvika Krieger is a former editor and writer at The New Republic and a former correspondent for Newsweek based in Egypt and Lebanon, covering most of the Arab world. More

Krieger has received fellowships to study topics including the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan, the Kifaya reform movement in Egypt, public health in Bombay slums, religious identity in Kashmir, historical memory in Palestinian refugee camps in the West Bank, and the role of religion in Lebanese politics. He has also reported from such places as Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Libya, North Ireland, Sri Lanka, Japan, and Korea. His work has also appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Guardian, Slate, New York, Arab Reform Bulletin, New Stateman, Chronicle of Higher Education, Daily Star (Lebanon), Cairo Magazine, Jerusalem Post, Christian Science Monitor, and various other publications, and he has appeared as a Middle East analyst on NBC News, CNN, Fox News, and Air America. His writings have earned him awards from the Overseas Press Club, the Scripps Howard Foundation, and the MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies. He is a fellow at the Truman National Security Project. He has a bachelor's degree in Middle East Studies from Yale University and studied Arabic at the American University in Cairo.

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