Handel, former Georgia Secretary of State and a GOP candidate for governor in 2010, vocally opposed Planned Parenthood and said she was pro-life. The funding cut off from SGK to Planned Parenthood went to breast exams for women in need.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution obtained a copy of Handel’s resignation letter that included this section:
“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.”
To read the complete letter of resignation, visit Peach Pundit. The letter also includes this statement: “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.”
The public uproar forced SGK to reverse its decision and grant more than $600,000 to Planned Parenthood.
As a candidate for governor, Handel was also vocal about her anti-gay views, including opposing marriage equality and gay adoption.
In Atlanta, the Health Initiative began a fundraiser to “send a message to Karen Handel and Susan G. Komen” for defunding an organization that helps women in all areas of reproductive health. The agency raised $1,000 in 24 hours.
Top photo: Former Georgia gubenatorial candidate Karen Handel (file)