On P.P. Funding: Observations from Karen Handel

This morning, New Hampshire’s Executive Council will vote on contracts with two abortion providers including Planned Parenthood of Northern New England. Yesterday, Karen Handel of Georgia won a seat in Congress.

So what does Handel have to do with a pending Council vote?

She has offered her thoughts about PP’s funding by governments and private agencies – and she has better reason that most of us for giving thought to the problem. Read here for a brief review of her experience with a breast cancer charity and with Planned Parenthood’s response when the charity decided all too briefly not to hand funds to the nation’s largest abortion provider.

Here are some excerpts from Handel’s book Planned Bullyhood, written in the wake of the Komen/PP debacle that forced her out of a job a few years back. This might explain why Planned Parenthood Action Fund put over $700,000 into the GA-06 race in a futile effort to prevent Handel from winning a seat in Congress.

…[W]hat is clear is this: Planned Parenthood is a powerful and effective combat weapon for the left, willing to put its own political agenda— abortion and its government funding— ahead of women.

…The campaign started with Komen, but it certainly didn’t end with Komen. And it won’t end until we, as Americans, stand up to the perverse tactics of thugs like Planned Parenthood— and the politicians they pay for to do their dirty work.

…Planned Parenthood…said Komen’s decision [to end grants to PP] was political. It was not; it was an economic one— made in the best interest of Komen and, more important, the women that Komen serves….Komen’s board of directors was insisting on real, measurable results and even higher standards of excellence. The grants to Planned Parenthood— about $700,000 in 2011, or less than one-tenth of one percent of Planned Parenthood’s $1 billion annual budget— were not high-quality grants.

…For Planned Parenthood, there was no such thing as neutral. You were either with them or against them. And anybody who didn’t actively support Planned Parenthood was the enemy and had to be destroyed— including a nonpartisan breast cancer foundation doing great work.

…Yes, I was and am staunchly pro-life, but portraying me as [a pro-life] hero wasn’t accurate, either. I believed— and still believe— that breast cancer is not about ideology. Yet when Komen gave up on being neutral and caved to the mafia-style tactics of Planned Parenthood and the left, Komen made it about ideology.

…The Komen incident also exposed an underlying and disturbing truth: Planned Parenthood and its allies are the worst kind of bullies. They were willing to do almost anything to advance their political agenda and ensure the continued flow of nearly $1.5 million dollars a day in government money to Planned Parenthood’s coffers.

…And the bullying won’t stop until it is exposed— and we stand up to it.

[from Handel, Karen (2012-09-11). Planned Bullyhood: The Truth Behind the Headlines about the Planned Parenthood Funding Battle with Susan G. Komen for the Cure (No Series) (Kindle Location 164). Howard Books. Kindle Edition.]

I recommend reading Planned Bullyhood in full. Maybe send a copy to your Executive Councilor.

“Planned Bullyhood” Author Wins as Georgia Voters Send Handel to Congress

As of 10:30 p.m. on June 20, the Associated Press is reporting that Karen Handel has been elected to Congress from Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District. Handel, a Republican, appears to have edged Democrat Jon Ossoff after a campaign that reportedly cost in aggregate about $50 million.

From my April post about Handel’s candidacy:

You’ll recall Handel as the ex-Susan G. Komen exec who probably still has Planned Parenthood’s tire marks all over her back.

In 2012, Handel was senior vice-president of public policy for Komen, a charity supporting research into breast cancer and ways to prevent it. The Komen leadership announced it would stop giving grants to Planned Parenthood, since PP’s work did not advance the Komen mission. No hard feelings on Komen’s part; this was strictly a business decision.

Planned Parenthood immediately went into full punishment mode. PP’s public attacks on Komen, including false claims that Komen was abandoning women, resulted in Komen caving in after only three days. Shame on them, then and now. Handel’s job was among the casualties as Komen attempted damage control.

Handel responded accordingly, with a book she called Planned Bullyhood. As an insider’s view of the 2012 situation, it’s unmatched.

“Planned Bullyhood” Author Runs for Congress from Georgia

Karen Handel, candidate for U.S. Congress from Georgia

Out of the corner of my eye, I’m seeing coverage of a special election in Georgia to fill a Congressional seat. There will be a runoff on June 20 between a well-funded Democrat and a Republican whose name rings a bell: Karen Handel.

You’ll recall Handel as the ex-Susan G. Komen exec who probably still has Planned Parenthood’s tire marks all over her back. 

In 2012, Handel was senior vice-president of public policy for Komen, a charity supporting research into breast cancer and ways to prevent it. The Komen leadership announced it would stop giving grants to Planned Parenthood, since PP’s work did not advance the Komen mission. No hard feelings on Komen’s part; this was strictly a business decision.

Planned Parenthood immediately went into full punishment mode. PP’s public attacks on Komen, including false claims that Komen was abandoning women, resulted in Komen caving in after only three days. Shame on them, then and now. Handel’s job was among the casualties as Komen attempted damage control.

Handel responded accordingly, with a book she called Planned BullyhoodAs an insider’s view of the 2012 situation, it’s unmatched.

Handel ran for U.S. Senate in 2014 and fell short. Now she’s facing an uphill battle in the current Congressional race.

I have no idea what she’s doing or saying as a candidate. The world is littered with nominal Republicans who reflexively chant “jobs-and-the-economy” when Dems call for public funding of abortion providers. I hope Handel hasn’t drifted into that lane.

In any case, now I have a reason to watch the Georgia race. PP’s political machine is no doubt revving up to run over Handel once again.

This post contains an Amazon Associates affiliate link.

 

On this date: Komen cuts off PP $$ (until PP objects)

PP on Pennacook StreetJanuary 31, 2012: The Susan G. Komen for the Cure breast cancer research-and-treatment foundation announced that it would no longer give grants to Planned Parenthood. Komen’s CEO, Nancy Brinker, said “Our issue is grant excellence. [Planned Parenthood clinics] do pass-through grants with their screening grants: they send people to other facilities. We want to do more direct service grants.” There was also concern with Komen leadership because Planned Parenthood was under Congressional investigation.  Komen had also been under pressure from pro-life groups concerned about Komen’s financial ties to PP.

February 3, 2012: Komen reverses its decision.

What happened between those two dates was a lesson and a warning: anyone who tries to stop giving money to PP, however small an amount, will be smeared.  Also, PP shrewdly turned Komen’s decision into a fundraising opportunity, reportedly getting $250,000 in donations within days – donations not earmarked for breast health work, by the way.

Fox News reported at the time that Komen grants to PP totaled roughly $680,000 in 2011 and $580,000 in 2010, “going to at least 19 of its affiliates for breast-cancer screening and other breast-health services.” Those services were (and remain) primarily manual breast exams. PP does not do mammograms, as PP leader Cecile Richards affirmed to a Congressional committee in 2015.

Remember – Komen was planning to pull the PP grants in order to give the money to organizations doing more direct breast-care services. That wasn’t acceptable to PP.

At the time of the Komen flap, Richards decried the politicization of women’s health. “It’s hard to understand how an organization with whom we share a mission of saving women’s lives could have bowed to this kind of bullying. It’s really hurtful.” To the New York Times: “I think there’s really been a chord struck over this issue, this issue of political organizations who are trying to politicize women’s reproductive health. This kind of political bullying — I think folks are just saying, ‘Enough.’”

Komen officials could have swapped stories with her about how hurtful it is to bow to bullies.

One Komen executive, Karen Handel, soon became an ex-Komen executive. She wrote a book, Planned Bullyhood,  in an attempt to set the already-cloudy record straight. From Politifact, September 25, 2012:

“Some critics suggested Handel was behind Komen’s policy decision. But in her book, Handel says Komen had considered ending the relationship with Planned Parenthood ‘for at least a decade,’ as Komen restructured its grant model to focus on measurable outcomes to fighting breast cancer. That focus, she said, excluded much of what Planned Parenthood did.

“In her book, Handel makes pointed statements regarding Planned Parenthood’s services, noting that the organization promoted itself as a provider of mammograms to poor women.  

“‘The truth is, Planned Parenthood does not provide mammograms,’ she wrote. ‘Planned Parenthood refers women to mammography providers, serving as the middlewoman, if you will.'”

Today, Komen affiliates are free to give grants to Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood is still not a breast cancer research organization, nor does it provide mammograms.

“Planned Bullyhood” author running for U.S. Senate

Karen Handel, candidate for U.S. Senate from Georgia
Karen Handel, candidate for U.S. Senate from Georgia

Interesting news from Georgia: Karen Handel is running for U.S. Senate. Handel was once an executive with the Susan G. Komen Foundation. I wrote on the blog last year about how big-time pressure from Planned Parenthood led to Komen reversing a decision that would have discontinued Foundation grants to PP. Handel was thrown under the figurative bus as part of Komen’s effort to pacify PP.

Basic book alert! If you haven’t read Planned Bullyhood, Handel’s account of the whole sorry PP/Komen chain of events, I recommend it. Anyone concerned with women’s health and public policy ought to hear from Handel. (The book was published in 2012 by Howard Books; ISBN 978-1451697940.)

So – what Senate race do you think the abortion-advocacy PACs & 527s will target most heavily next year? Until today, I would have thought protecting Sen. Jeanne Shaheen’s seat would be their #1 concern. Not anymore.