The Huffington Post reports that Karen Handel, vice president of the Susan G. Komen Foundation for the Cure, was largely responsible for the organization’s since-reversed decision to stop awarding grants to Planned Parenthood Affiliates. Handel is known for having expressed her strongly anti-abortion views during her campaign for governor of Georgia. A source told the Huffington Post that “Karen Handel was the prime instigator of this effort, and she herself personally came up with the investigation criteria. She said, ‘if we just say it’s about investigations, we can defund Planned Parenthood and no one can blame us for being political.’”
Truthout also indicates that Ari Fleischer, George W. Bush’s former press secretary and a vocal critic of Planned Parenthood, was also involved in the Komen Foundation’s decision regarding Planned Parenthood. According to a source, Fleischer was involved in the hiring for Handel’s position and during the interviews, questioned candidates about how they would respond to an ongoing controversy surrounding the Komen Foundation’s relationship with Planned Parenthood.
Last week, representatives from the Susan G. Komen for the Cure announced that it would end its partnership with Planned Parenthood affiliates because the Komen foundation recently adopted a policy, which states that grants may not be given to organizations that are under investigation by local, state, or federal officials. Officials from the organization have since altered the Komen Foundation’s policies and reversed the organization’s decision not to award grants to Planned Parenthood affiliates, following much criticism from women’s rights supporters.
Huffington Post 2/6/12; Truthout 2/4/12