Sources with direct knowledge of the Komen decision-making process said recent policies were adopted specifically to cut funding to Planned Parenthood.
Update: Mollie Williams, the Komen official who resigned to protest the organization's decision to defund Planned Parenthood, sent me a statement, which is reprinted in full at the end of this post.
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.)
- Who Is Behind Susan G. Komen's Split From Planned Parenthood?
- Komen Foundation's Black Eye
- Why Did Susan G. Komen Pull the Plug on Planned Parenthood?
- Stop Fixating on the Overhead of Non-Profits
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 Representative 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.