Karen Handel: Komen gave Planned Parenthood time to organize ‘shakedown’

I’m now transcribing a pair of interviews that Karen Handel gave this afternoon on her resignation from Susan G. Komen for the Cure – one week after the breast cancer charity reversed itself on a decision to sever financial ties with Planned Parenthood.

Karen Handel, after resigning as senior vice president of public policy for Susan G. Komen for the Cure, is interviewed  by members of the news media in Atlanta on Tuesday. Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

Karen Handel, after resigning as senior vice president of public policy for Susan G. Komen for the Cure, is interviewed by members of the news media in Atlanta on Tuesday. Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

Handel said nothing bad about her former employer – far from it. But in essence, she said that, by giving Planned Parenthood notice in mid-December, Komen allowed the group time to organize a national “pre-meditated” operation “that was nothing short of a shakedown to coerce a private entity to give them grants.”

Last week, Komen had said that Handel, hired as senior vice president in April, had nothing to do with the adoption of the charity’s policy. Clearly that’s not true, given her statements below. But Handel said Komen would have to explain the contradiction, not her.

Handel has quickly become the focus of pro-choice forces in the country – two years after her GOP run for governor, during which some pro-life forces in Georgia declared she wasn’t sufficiently sincere about the abortion issue.

“The irony of the this does not escape me,” Handel said. She was first asked about the reason for her resignation, which she described as voluntary:

Handel:”Clearly, I had become an incredible focal point around all this, and it wasn’t good for Komen. And what was in the best interest of the organization was for me to step aside, do this with you and let the organization move forward and re-focus on its mission.”

What was the motivation for the Komen attempt to cut Planned Parenthood grants?

Handel:”A couple things. First, back in 2010, Komen began a – long before my time – an attempted review of its grants, looking to improve the quality of its grants. In looking at that, they determined a couple of things that they really wanted to improve that would give higher impacts in the community.

“…It’s no secret that for a long time, well before my time coming to Komen, Komen was really facing a backlash out there, specific to the controversies surrounding the Planned Parenthood grants.

“That controversy started to intensify over the summer, with over a dozen – if not two dozen – Catholic dioceses around the country telling parishioners, don’t support Komen, leaving race teams, donor questions, et cetera. And I was tasked with identifying options that would allow us to move to neutral ground around this. So that we weren’t on either side of an issue that – pro-life or pro-choice, we all know there are differing positions on that.

“…Options were presented, and it was vetted at every level of the organization. The board reviewed it, and it was determined to move forward.”

How much of this had to do with your personal opposition to abortion?

Handel: “Absolutely none. I’m a professional, and when I come to Komen, my No. 1 priority is the fight against breast cancer, our mission, and the women that we serve. The only place for politics in all of this came from Planned Parenthood, when they launched this vicious, vicious attack on a great organization and perpetrated what was nothing short of a shakedown to coerce a private entity to give them grants.

“I think that all of us need to consider – this is a private, non-profit. And the last time I checked, they had every right, and indeed the responsibility, to set not only the highest criteria for quality grants, but the highest standards they can for their grantees.

“…For an outside organization to come in, in the way that Planned Parenthood did, and conduct a shakedown to force them to reverse, is absolutely outrageous.”

Did this surprise you?

Handel:“Everybody was taken aback by the fact that this was premeditated, orchestrated…. There were conversations between our organization and Planned Parenthood, letting them know about the change in the criteria and how it would affect Planned Parenthood. And Komen was under the specific understanding that, while it was disappointing, that it was not going to be a media firestorm.

“Unfortunately, Planned Parenthood chose to go another direction. Komen is a breast cancer organization. It’s not an organization that knows guerrilla campaigning and guerrilla tactics like Planned Parenthood unleashed on Komen…”

“Keep in mind that the grants for Planned Parenthood were $680,000 out of Planned Parenthood’s $1 billion. For an organization to try to purport itself as a breast services organization is simply not true. It’s abundantly clear that this was never about the fight against breast cancer for Planned Parenthood. What it was about, remains about, is the fight to advance Planned Parenthood’s agenda. And they sucked Komen into the middle of it, and they used them in all of this. It’s a disgrace.”

Like I said, more to come. Check back here in a few.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter, or connect with me on Facebook.

167 comments Add your comment

Truthsayer

February 7th, 2012
4:18 pm

Leave it to a Right Winger… A Conspiracy… Ya.. That is what it is…

Nah, it could never be that the Vast MAJORITY of the National Public DOES NOT AGREE WITH YOU.. That could NEVER be it.. The Arrogance, Paranoia, and Outright Narcissism is Unreal!
Good Riddance to Bad Right Wing Rubbish. My Gosh, it’s always some Conspiracy, or Left Wing Bias with these people. They never can seem to get it through their Thick Right Wing Heads that it is not.. We the People simply do not agree with or Like them or their Beliefs.

Bob

February 7th, 2012
4:24 pm

Who cares. Only in America do we continue to recycle our political trash.

James Dobson

February 7th, 2012
4:26 pm

That’s some real twisted logic poor Karen is throwing out there.

Dirk

February 7th, 2012
4:31 pm

The abortion issue is a great divider during election season when only the news can talk about it and just show the nutjobs. When you pull real people into it, and the means to telegraph their voices (via Internet), we quickly see that we were right to call that silly minority exactly what they are… Nutjobs!

clyde

February 7th, 2012
4:39 pm

This one is a real duck.

hnbc

February 7th, 2012
4:41 pm

How does Handel know that Planned Parenthood had a, to use her own words, “… pre-meditated … shakedown … ” to get monies to support them?

Where’s the evidence?

I saw where someone wanted evidence that Handel was behind this Komen scheme and that person has gotten it with Handel’s resignation? Wonder if that same person wants to know about the Planned Parenthood evidence that Handel is whining about.

Handel, like Palin and Bachman, need to get back in their corners and stay there.

jane

February 7th, 2012
4:41 pm

Grants are given based on the organization meeting certain criteria. If PP didn’t meet the requried criteria, they should lose all funding. Why would any organization grant funds to PP if when you chose to not renew the grant, they take to negative press? If I was a member of a board looking at grants to PP, I would vote no based on this story. Period.

Joe Mama

February 7th, 2012
4:44 pm

Why on EARTH would SGK put themselves in the position of being beaten up in the media for their change in policy, and in the position of losing donations when people chose to cut SGK out entirely and instead donate directly to PP?

Karen Handel’s story might sound convincing, but her claim just doesn’t wash. Besides, correspondence has leaked out of SGK that makes it quite clear that Handel was largely responsible for pushing the ‘cut PP’ argument at SGK. It looks to me like Handel’s up to her old tricks of blaming everyone else in sight and leaving a job only partly done.

And she thought she would have made a good Governor. :roll:

Aquagirl

February 7th, 2012
4:45 pm

Nice to see the Catholic hierarchy took time off from fondling little boys to complain about adult women getting healthcare.

SBinF

February 7th, 2012
4:50 pm

You don’t understand….the ‘leak’ is all a part of the liberal conspiracy to undermine Handel and her God-given conservative values.

Don’t be such a sheep!!!11!1

Terry

February 7th, 2012
4:51 pm

I don’t make much money & I don’t want my tax dollars going to places like Corporate Cronies, NPR and certainly not to places that perform abortions & I’m pro-choice.

clyde

February 7th, 2012
4:53 pm

Aquagirl—Multitasking is the word;not time off.

GoodJobKaren

February 7th, 2012
4:55 pm

Absolutely disgusting to see liberals try to attack another conservative woman for standing by her morals, beliefs, and faith.

Just remember, there is only one judge that we all answer to, and He’s watching . . . continue down the road YOU choose, at your own eternal peril.

I choose to follow what is good and right, and stay in the light of truth, and I choose life. Everyone’s life, right, left, liberal, conservative. I will pray for your poor misguided souls to change your ways and live in the light and change this country, one at a time, to help the least of those, the poor, the abused, and the especially the unborn who can’t fight back when attacked by Planned Parenthood’s tools of death in their mother’s womb.

red herring

February 7th, 2012
4:55 pm

IMHO a woman should have the right to choose on her own—-the taxpayer shouldn’t be required to fund her choice.

Voice of Reason

February 7th, 2012
5:02 pm

SGK screwed it big time here. They made a great decision to disassociate themselves with the abortion machine called Planned Parenhood. But then, they didn’t have the courage to stand by that (correct) decision in the face of progressive liberal pressure, all while exposing themselves to many who did not know they were funding abortions to begin with. End result…lose lose.

James Dobson

February 7th, 2012
5:03 pm

So apparently Komen was just about to inform Penn State they were going to rescind that grant, eh Karen?

Somewhere, Nancy Brinker is calling Karen Handel all kinds of curse words.

GaBlue

February 7th, 2012
5:04 pm

Aquagirl: Hahaha! GOOD one!

GoodJobKaren: By your works we will know you. Your words don’t mean diddly. Why are you praying for our souls when you could be out there feeding hungry children whose daddies left their mommies with no money or help, or cleaning out your guest room to move in a pregnant drug addict facing felony charges, so she’ll have a safe, warm place to gestate, or down at the Capitol fighting education cuts and cuts to health services for poor women? If prayers are the best you can do, you’re not trying.

James Dobson

February 7th, 2012
5:06 pm

Its really funny to read the wingnuts whine about every dollar to Planned Parenthood going towards the forced abortion of some young innocent girl (that’s what they think).

Just a Flirt

February 7th, 2012
5:06 pm

“She said the charity was concerned that some Roman Catholic Dioceses had encouraged believers not to give to Komen because it supported Planned Parenthood.”

This quote is from the main article. It is the word “believers” that drives me nuts. The word that should be used is “members”. Another misappropriated word is “faith”, as in “faith organizations”. It should be “religious organizations”, with the adjective “conservative” or “liberal” or “Pentacostal”, etc., to denote which religious affliation the religion has. I wish journalists would stop using unfactual euphemisms to createand support the illusion (and delusion) that conservative religious organizations and their members are the only faith-believing people on this planet.

Joe Mama

February 7th, 2012
5:07 pm

SBinF — “You don’t understand….the ‘leak’ is all a part of the liberal conspiracy to undermine Handel and her God-given conservative values. Don’t be such a sheep!!!11!1″

I see what you did there.

JAWJA

February 7th, 2012
5:07 pm

A professional WHAT? What did Handel do before she became a political hack? With a GED on her resume,what sort of business would hire her as a VP of anything. She’s much ado over nothing. A puppet for the right wing conspiracy.

mrw

February 7th, 2012
5:08 pm

The irony is an organization (PP) that pushes choice makes such a big deal out of an organization being free to make its own choices about grant recipients.

Chris

February 7th, 2012
5:09 pm

Pre meditated? As if anyone could have orchestrated this response. People who supported Komen care about women’s health and many had very positive experiences themselves with PP. SJK has given about three different versions, now, of what happened and why they decided to cut out PP. At no time did they announce how they would deliver health screening services to low income women, who are served by PP. Did they plan to build a whole new network of clinics? The fact is, they simply decided to stop offering screening to low income women, and that is what made everyone really mad.

BillS

February 7th, 2012
5:14 pm

Kaen was a loser and still is. Worse, by her half-wittish actions, she has endangered a women’s health organization she worked for. She deserves only shame.

CobbGOPer

February 7th, 2012
5:14 pm

Politicians just love the abortion issue. While we all fight and call each other names over an issue that should be at the absolute bottom of our priority list, they quietly spend up our money as quickly as they can confiscate it. Brilliant.

GoodJobKaren

February 7th, 2012
5:16 pm

GaBlue, part for the course from the misguided liberals. I volunteer at 4 different charities, one of which specifically feeds the poor (although it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find someone in need of food, it seems everyone is on food stamps these days). 5 years ago, every home I visited would need the bags of food we bring to their homes, now they ask me not to bother and “save it for someone who really needs it”. No, GaBlue, I do the work and walk the walk, quietly, not to impress you, but because it’s the right thing to do and the decent thing to do (and what our Lord expects me to do, to help the least of those, and to treat others as I’d want to be treated).

My entire family, including my kids, volunteer at a charity that helps those women who can’t afford the child, or are scared to bear the child, to help pay her bills and support her and find a family to adopt that child.

My Archbishop was at the Capitol just today fighting for what you asked for, I had to work and would have been there as well, but was there in spirit.

Prayers are the best I can do, because God is just a little bit more powerful than I, but I do get in the boat and row with Him so I can be His hands and feet here on earth.

Please consider that yes, I do walk the walk. And those that volunteer with me for that past 14 years I’ve done these works (since I woke up and figured out I’m part of the problem if I’m not part of the solution) are in the vast majority conservative. We do have liberals also, and we work well together, but by and large most of us are conservative. Just like most of our financial donors are conservative.

I’d also like to consider the fact that God expect us to treat others as we’d like to be treated and to help the least of those in our society when you choose to think that an unborn child would want to be treated the way PP’s abortion doctors treat them as they literally rip them limb from limb. Is that how you’d want to be treated. Is that what God wants? Of course not.

So yes, I’ll keep praying because that is the best I can do, but I’ll also keep working my tail off in any free time I have to help those in need, because it’s the right and decent thing to do. And yes, most homes I go into are full of Obama voters. That’s ok. I still love them and will do anything I can do to help them. Hopefully God works through me to lift them up and help them to see the light and the truth.

Old Hippie

February 7th, 2012
5:18 pm

Does this mean that awful woman is coming back to Georgia?

zeke

February 7th, 2012
5:19 pm

for folks like goodjobkaren, i wonder how they will be judged on their compassion of the living….

JAWJA

February 7th, 2012
5:21 pm

Clearly…..isn’t that one of Newtie’s buzz words?

santhony

February 7th, 2012
5:22 pm

I wrote my letter to Komen Foundation criticizing the PP decision immediately after reading the news item. If PP organized a “shakedown” I wasn’t aware of it when I stamped my letter and put it in the mail. Furthermore, Handel has publicly stated that she wanted to defund Planned Parenthood. She’s a true believer and won’t stop until she manages to force her beliefs on everyone.

Use your power 99%

February 7th, 2012
5:24 pm

Ladies and gentlemen … the reigning queen of republican spin (until Sarah Palin comments, that is) …

KAREN HANDLE (applause, boo, hiss)

Use your power 99%

February 7th, 2012
5:25 pm

Ladies and gentlemen, the reigning queen of the republican spin machine (until Sarah Palin comments, that is) …

KAREN HANDLE! (applause; boo; hissssss)

Better Medicine

February 7th, 2012
5:26 pm

I don’t care what Karen Handel says, those stupid babies had it coming to them. Every last one of them.

GoodJobKaren

February 7th, 2012
5:26 pm

“i wonder how they will be judged on their compassion of the living”

I’m very hopeful it goes something like this “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”

Just looked in my casebook, I’ve visited and hopefully helped 53 families consisting of 163 men, women and children since February of last year. But again did not do this trying to impress you, but since you asked, I do truly hope He judges me on that (and not on my many other faults), or at least it helps even out my ledger . . .

Mahopinion

February 7th, 2012
5:27 pm

Here we go, the pride of Georgia. Over weight. Over made up. And under brained.

Joe Mama

February 7th, 2012
5:29 pm

GoodJobKaren — “And yes, most homes I go into are full of Obama voters. That’s ok. I still love them and will do anything I can do to help them. Hopefully God works through me to lift them up and help them to see the light and the truth.”

Did you ever consider the possibility that your God is working through *them* to lift *you* up and to help *you* see the light and the truth?

Perhaps you should consider whether or not you’re guilty of the sin of pride when you imagine yourself as the paragon for others to follow. Maybe your God is showing you how he wants you to be, not showing others how you suppose they should be.

Mahopinion

February 7th, 2012
5:30 pm

Red herring- this isnwhere knowledge is power. The tax payer doesn’t fund abortions. Google the Hyde Ammendment.

Oshakawanaca

February 7th, 2012
5:30 pm

I am disappointed in Karen. Why she feels it’s necessary to inject the poison of partisan politics into the awarding of breast cancer research and treatment grants is beyond me.

And I am really sick of both ends of the ideology spectrum trying to inflict their warped beliefs on the rest of us.

Mahopinion

February 7th, 2012
5:33 pm

Holy cow…how long is goodjobkaren’s arm? She must get tired patting herself on the back. Net those lips are pretty swollen from all her horn blowing, too.

zeke

February 7th, 2012
5:34 pm

goodjobkaren, your moniker reveals more than your good works…..

GoodJobKaren

February 7th, 2012
5:36 pm

“Did you ever consider the possibility that your God is working through *them* to lift *you* up and to help *you* see the light and the truth?”

“Perhaps you should consider whether or not you’re guilty of the sin of pride when you imagine yourself as the paragon for others to follow. Maybe your God is showing you how he wants you to be, not showing others how you suppose they should be.”

Actually you are 100% correct. It took me about 5 years of “look at me, don’t I feel good” after doing the work to realize the fact that God uses the poor to sanctify us (me) by working through someone in a tough spot to show me compassion, and how fragile life is, and how to truly care about one another. The whole point of the work isn’t for me to help those in a tough spot, but it’s for God to help me through the work. It’s a very beautiful thing. When Jesus walked the earth, he began, as a baby, in a manger. Not even the poorest of the poor were born in mangers at that time. And he continuously went to the poor, he didn’t go to the rich man’s house, he went and preached to the poor and the sick and the downtrodden.

That’s my point of God working through me, to try to show people one at a time the biggest lie your liberal leaders shove down the poors throat, that only they care about the poor. Not true. If you truly care about someone, you want the best for them and you want them to achieve and be able to support themselves. No one feels good sitting in poverty day after day relying on food stamps and welfare. Everyone deserves a chance to truly live the American dream and be able to work and support themselves.

Joe Mama

February 7th, 2012
5:38 pm

GoodJobKaren — “That’s my point of God working through me”

Never mind, ma’am. The question went right over your head.

Have a good evening.

honested

February 7th, 2012
5:38 pm

handel is gone,
check
Relationship with Planned Parenthood back to normal,
check
Planned Parenthood donations up 440% for the year,
check
Still a mystery what SGK does with the majority of the money collected.
check

World is back to normal.

Aquagirl

February 7th, 2012
5:45 pm

Never mind, ma’am. The question went right over your head.

Maybe someone can raise her cross a little.

Mike

February 7th, 2012
5:46 pm

I am not sure which party I am with but I am all for free abortions for the poor. If they can’t afford a $400 abortion then they surely can’t afford a child that will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars over time. My tax dollars will end up paying for that kid’s entire life. Maybe I am cynical but it’s better than being a religious nut job!

Mahopinion

February 7th, 2012
5:56 pm

But Mike, you silly boy. You know that once that child is born these right wingers couldn’t care less what happens to them. Cut aid to Medicaid. Cut public education. Cut any chance that parent has to raise them in a safe neighborhood.

After all, it’s no longer a fetus. Now it’s just a tax drain on society.

This is Mrs. Norman Maine

February 7th, 2012
5:58 pm

tsk, tsk. Karen, Karen, KAREN!! You have no one to blame for this fiasco but yourself. Using words like “premeditated” and “shakedown” just makes you appear bitter and unhinged. You tried to use Komen to advance your political agenda. It didn’t work. Do the right thing; accept defeat, look inward and use this time to reflect on the way you are living your life. More importantly, do your reflecting somewhere else other than Georgia. Good luck…..

duke

February 7th, 2012
6:01 pm

Today I got a newsletter from Scott Lively, a missionary whom I support. In 1986 he was delivered from a 16-year bondage to drugs and alcohol. He was one of those whom the Lord turns completely around, and puts to work immediately. At an early stage in his Christian walk, when most of us still have at least one foot in our former sins, he found himself selected to be the spokesperson for a statewide series of pro-family ballot measures. He writes, “I watched the gates of Hell open, and all the demons came out to attack us. It was an experience few in this world have ever shared. Death threats, bomb threats, vandalism, mail tampering, phone tampering, character assassination (at the highest levels of the news media), dirty tricks of every sort, and lawsuits (I was sued four times, for $11 million).” The worst of it was from the homosexuals, and he has made that the main focus of his world-wide ministry. After he gave a sermon against homosexuality at a church in Chicago, a large concrete block was thrown through the window, with a threatening note from homosexuals posted on it. The police did not consider it a hate crime, a raw example of the double-standard. The local news media refused to cover it. The essence of this is anti-family. The state will become god, and the state will become the head of every family. He says there is a global campaign to suppress the Christian anti-homosexual argument; and in America it has been so successful that except for the issue of homosexual marriage, the Christian argument against homosexuality is not even heard in this country. Until recently, the one exception was the internet. But recently when a sermon he gave at a church in Sacramento, California, was posted on the church’s website, the internet hosting company blocked it as hate speech.

He says that for many years he thought it was best to couch the argument against homosexuality in secular terms. The evidence of history indicates that when a nation becomes so morally degenerate that it openly embraces homosexuality, it will soon be conquered by barbarians. Now he says, “Only God’s Word has the power to overcome the lies of the adversary, so today I disregard all the common ‘wisdom’ about marketing strategies and such like. Instead I boldly state the truth of God, without apology or hesitation.”

Bobby

February 7th, 2012
6:01 pm

Gotta agree with you Mike; as for Karen Handel, I have grave doubts about her self grandizing statements. She knew exactly what would happen when the announcement came that one women’s group would no longer fund another over a political issue. Maybe she’ll to join the board of Focus on the Family.

Bobby

February 7th, 2012
6:03 pm

Duke, you need to simply reread your history books. Homosexuality has always existed even in Biblical times. You are stating only your own truth, not that of God.