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February 8, 2012

Komen executive resigns and criticizes Planned Parenthood

Komen executive resigns and criticizes Planned Parenthood

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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

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Karen Handel, who was vice president of public policy for Susan G. Komen for the Cure, resigned yesterday, one week after the organization took flak for its decision not to fund Planned Parenthood. At her announcement, Handel criticized Planned Parenthood for leading an “orchestrated, clearly pre-meditated attack on Komen.”

Karen Handel in 2010 while she was Secretary of State in Georgia.
Image: MMAFightFan.

The Komen Foundation is known for raising awareness of breast cancer and for its funding of breast cancer screening.

Handel was a former Republican candidate for governor in the state of Georgia where she took a pro-life stance, but she lost the primary race to current Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, who took office in 2011. Unlike others at Komen, Handel said the organization faced pressure from groups that were against abortion to do something about its funding to Planned Parenthood.

Cquote1.svg I have known Karen for many years, and we both share a common commitment to our organization’s lifelong mission, which must always remain our sole focus. Cquote2.svg

Nancy Brinker

She said Komen’s process for creating a policy that allowed the foundation to decline funding for any organization that was under investigation, even if it was not a criminal investigation, was a “thoughtful and thoroughly reviewed decision … that has unfortunately been turned into something about politics.” Handel said while the guidelines behind the split were created before she had obtained her position at Komen, she was one person in the group who decided to apply them to Planned Parenthood and halt Komen’s funding.

In her statement, Handel said she was “deeply disappointed by the gross mischaracterizations of the strategy, its rationale, and my involvement in it.”

Handel declined a severance package from Komen.

Nancy Brinker, who is Komen’s chief executive and founder, admitted the foundation made mistakes in handling the Planned Parenthood decision last week. “I accepted the resignation of Karen Handel,” Brinker said. “I have known Karen for many years, and we both share a common commitment to our organization’s lifelong mission, which must always remain our sole focus. I wish her the best in future endeavors.”

While the Komen Foundation has since reinstated its funding of Planned Parenthood, several other board members have also resigned since the controversy began.



Related news

  • “Susan G. Komen Foundation reneges on Planned Parenthood funding cuts” — Wikinews, February 4, 2012
  • “Susan G. Komen Foundation stops funding to Planned Parenthood” — Wikinews, February 2, 2012

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February 4, 2012

Susan G. Komen Foundation reneges on Planned Parenthood funding cuts

Susan G. Komen Foundation reneges on Planned Parenthood funding cuts

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Saturday, February 4, 2012

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Susan G. Komen for the Cure has announced it will continue to fund breast cancer screening and educational programming on breast health run by fellow US-charity Planned Parenthood and its affiliates. This news comes shortly after Komen announced it would cut funding to Planned Parenthood due to an ongoing investigation.

Komen for the Cure founder Nancy Brinker in 2009
Image: Cliff.

Komen has changed its internal criteria for grant funding. Previously, it would not support any organization under investigation of any kind; now it says it will only cut support if the investigation involved is “criminal and conclusive”. The old criteria disqualified Planned Parenthood because it was under investigation by United States House Energy Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Chairman Representative Cliff Stearns.

In a statement on Komen’s website, the Board of Directors and founder Nancy G. Brinker wrote, “We want to apologize to the American public for recent decisions that cast doubt upon our commitment to our mission of saving women’s lives. The events of this week have been deeply unsettling for our supporters, partners and friends and all of us at Susan G. Komen. We have been distressed at the presumption that the changes made to our funding criteria were done for political reasons or to specifically penalize Planned Parenthood. They were not.”

Planned Parenthood said in response to the restoration of Komen’s funding, it was “enormously grateful”.

Since the cuts were announced, Planned Parenthood gained $3 million (€2.3m, £1.9m) in donations and 10,000 new Facebook likes. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg personally pledged $250,000 (€190k, £158k). 26 US Senators signed a public letter to the charity; in it they said, “It would be tragic if any woman — let alone thousands of women — lost access to these potentially lifesaving screenings because of a politically motivated attack.”



Related News

“Susan G. Komen Foundation stops funding to Planned Parenthood” — Wikinews, February 2, 2012

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This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

February 2, 2012

Susan G. Komen Foundation stops funding to Planned Parenthood

Susan G. Komen Foundation stops funding to Planned Parenthood

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Thursday, February 2, 2012

US Navy Adm. Samuel J. Locklear III completes crosses the finish line of the annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure

Susan G. Komen for the Cure has stopped funding breast cancer screening and educational programming on breast health run by fellow US-charity Planned Parenthood and its affiliates. The Komen institute cites an ongoing investigation, while Planned Parenthood blame political pressures.

Planned Parenthood received nearly $700,000 from the Komen Foundation last year alone. In the last five years, the funding from the foundation has granted 170,000 women breast exams.

Leslie Aun, a spokesperson for the Komen Foundation, said the organization adopted a new rule that does not allow grants or funding to be awarded to organizations that are under legal investigation. Komen’s policy disqualified Planned Parenthood due to a pending investigation on how Planned Parenthood spends and reports its money that is being conducted by Representative Cliff Stearns. Stearns is investigating whether taxes are used to fund abortions through Planned Parenthood in his role as chairman of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, which is under the umbrella of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

“While it is regrettable when changes in priorities and policies affect any of our grantees, such as a longstanding partner like Planned Parenthood, we must continue to evolve to best meet the needs of the women we serve and most fully advance our mission,” Aun said.

Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, said, “While this is deeply disturbing and disappointing, we want to assure women who rely on Planned Parenthood for breast care that we’re still here for them, and we always will be. The new fund we’re launching to support these services will ensure that the Komen Foundation’s decision doesn’t jeopardize women’s health.”


 
This story has updates
 
See Susan G. Komen Foundation reneges on Planned Parenthood funding cuts, February 4, 2012
 

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This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

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