Dear Commons Community,
The Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation decision to pull funding from Planned Parenthood added another chapter today with the resignation of Karen Handel, vice president for public affairs. The Huffington Post is reporting that Handel decided to resign:
“following public outcry over the announcement Komen would pull funding from Planned Parenthood. ”
Earlier this week, the Huffington Post reported that Handel drove the decision to defund Planned Parenthood over abortion politics and crafted the strategy to clean up the public relations mess that ensued.
A copy of the text of Handel’s resignation letter appears below.
Text of Handel Letter of Resignation
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.