Hot off of the presses; Komen veep Karen Handel has resigned from the foundation as part of the fallout from last week’s highly-controversial decision by Komen, to cease funding grants to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. In a letter of resignation to the org, Handel stated that she was;
“…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.”(1)
Handel’s role in the controversy has been a subject of contention, with Komen founder and CEO Nancy Brinker having previously stated that Handel had no part in the defunding decision.(2) Three days after announcing the decision to defund, Komen reversed course, citing the backpedal as being in the best interests of the women that the organization serves.
In a statement acknowledging Handel’s departure, Brinker stated the following:
“We have made mistakes in how we have handled recent decisions and take full accountability for what has resulted, but we cannot take our eye off the ball when it comes to our mission. To do this effectively, we must learn from what we’ve done right, what we’ve done wrong and achieve our goal for the millions of women who rely on us…I have known Karen for many years, and we both share a common commitment to our organization’s lifelong mission, which must always remain our sole focus. I wish her the best in future endeavors.”
Ms. Karen Handel ran unsuccessfully for the office of Governor of Georgia in 2010, on a conservative platform. During her run, Handel was supported by other far-right conservatives, including former 2008 Republican veep candidate Sarah Palin, who stumped for Karen during her campaign.(3)
At any rate, one thing is for sure; that the Susan G. Komen Foundation has, in the past week, created its own identity crisis. Will it be “Komen for the Conservative Cause,” “Komen for the Cure” or learn how to equitably balance the two, if that is even possible?