The Health Initiative’s fundraising campaign began after news broke that Komen defunded Planned Parenthood. Speculation grew that the decision to do so was likely because avowed Planned Parenthood hater and former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel was recently named Komen’s senior vice president of public policy. The Health Initiative said all donations made in Handel’s name would go directly to fund breast exams of uninsured lesbians with its partner, Planned Parenthood.
Those in Georgia may also remember Handel from her 2010 GOP campaign for governor — one of the most anti-gay campaigns in the state’s history.
Linda Ellis is executive director of the Health Initiative, which is based in Atlanta and serves lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. She said today the fundraising campaign continues even though Komen has now decided to not cut off funding to Planned Parenthood and apologized for the decision that set off a firestorm across the country.
In a post today to Facebook, the Health Initiative praised Komen’s decision to apologize and also thanked its other local partners who work to help women with their health needs:
A little late, but Komen made the right decision. We’re proud of our partnership with Planned Parenthood and the other low cost clinics who are committed to LGBT sensitive care, including the Feminist Women’s Health Center, the Edgewood Clinic and the Center for Black Women’s Wellness. If you, or someone you know, is avoiding care because of lack of insurance, reach out. Through these partnerships, we can help.
The Health Initiative also plans to send Handel a note of thanks for the donations made in her name.
UPDATE: Now it seems people aren’t so sure Komen actually reversed its decision on Planned Parenthood.
UPDATE TWO: If there’s any doubt Handel and her socially conservative politics didn’t play a role in the funding fiasco, she happens to say thanks to several supporters who praise her on her Facebook page.