Pro-Life VP Karen Handel Resigns From Komen FoundationKatherine Stone
Now that the Susan G. Komen Foundation has reversed its policy decision and decided to continue supporting Planned Parenthood, the chips continue to fall. Today finds the vice president of Komen resigning over the brouhaha.
Many who were vehemently against Komen’s move to stop granting money to Planned Parenthood pointed the finger at Karen Handel, a former Georgia politician known to be pro-life who had joined the organization as vice president of public policy. Handel has now decided to leave.
Her resignation letter, published in full by Gothamist, includes the following:
I am deeply disappointed by the gross mischaracterizations of the strategy, its rationale, and my involvement in it. I openly acknowledge my role in the matter and continue to believe our decision was the best one for Komen’s future and the women we serve. However, the decision to update our granting model was made before I joined Komen, and the controversy related to Planned Parenthood has long been a concern to the organization. Neither the decision nor the changes themselves were based on anyone’s political beliefs or ideology. Rather, both were based on Komen’s mission and how to better serve women, as well as a realization of the need to distance Komen from controversy. I believe that Komen, like any other nonprofit organization, has the right and the responsibility to set criteria and highest standards for how and to whom it grants.
What was a thoughtful and thoroughly reviewed decision – one that would have indeed enabled Komen to deliver even greater community impact – has unfortunately been turned into something about politics. This is entirely untrue. This development should sadden us all greatly.
Many have argued that even despite Komen’s reversal they would stop supporting the nonprofit and find other organizations to support in the fight against breast cancer. Now that Handel has left, do you think the erosion of Susan G. Komen’s support will slow down? Will she be the sacrificial lamb for this whole debacle or will people’s anger continue?