Former Komen Exec Karen Handel Fundraising Off Planned Parenthood Debacle
Remember two years ago when the Susan G. Komen For the Cure foundation abruptly dropped its grants to a Planned Parenthood breast-cancer screening program, setting off a national outcry, and prompting the resignation of the Komen official reportedly behind the decision?
The fallout of the debacle is still hurting Komen, which recently reported a 22 percent drop in income over the past year. But the decision to cut off grants to Planned Parenthood seems to be paying off for one person: Karen Handel, the former Komen vice president who was widelyreported to have been the driving force behind split.
Now running for Senate in Georgia, Handel has released a campaign video touting her role in severing Planned Parenthood from Komen and fighting back against the “left-wing groups” and “liberal media” that criticized her.
Back when the news first broke that Komen had dumped Planned Parenthood, Handel denied that the decision was motivated at all by her anti-choice politics, despite reports from sources in the organization that said she manipulated its rules to cast Planned Parenthood out.
The campaign video has a different take, framing Handel as an anti-choice crusader caught in a David vs. Goliath struggle. “As a strong believer in the sanctity of life, Karen Handel had to make a decision: keep quiet in the face of the liberal onslaught, or stand by her convictions,” the video announces.
In speeches and interviews, Handel has made the Planned Parenthood showdown a centerpiece of her biography. She even paved the way for her Senate run by releasing a book calling Planned Parenthood “thugs” and “bullies.”
Whatever Handel’s motivations or role in the Komen/Planned Parenthood split, the whole episode seems to be working out pretty well for her. The decision that Handel advocated for might have left Komen struggling financially, but Handel herself now has the perfect story to prove her status as an anti-choice activist martyred by the liberal media.
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