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

By Zvika Krieger

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

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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.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/02/who-bullied-the-susan-g-komen-foundation-into-cutting-funding/252902/