Komen VP for Public Policy Resigns

She says that Komen's decision about Planned Parenthood was not "about politics."

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Karen Handel (ColorLines)

Karen Handel, a vice president with Susan G. Komen for the Cure, resigned today in the aftermath of the controversy over funding for Planned Parenthood projects, the foundation said.

Handel was accused of being the driving force behind the heavily criticized and now reversed decision to end parts of Komen's long-standing partnership with the reproductive-heath organization.

Read an excerpt here:

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. 

Perhaps there's a lesson here. When an organization's decision -- no matter how well intended -- is made to create "distance" from a manufactured political controversy like the one surrounding Planned Parenthood and abortion, it won't have much success convincing Americans who care about the underlying issues that the move isn't "about politics." Even in a resignation letter.

Read more at ColorLines.

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