You've heard the news: Komen's new Senior VP is Karen Handel, who in 2010 ran unsuccessfully for governor of Georgia and stood as an anti-abortionist opposing Planned Parenthood. Handel is opposed to stem cell research and is a supporter of crisis pregnancy centers which are unregulated Christian centers whose goal is to convince women to not have abortions: "there were federal and state pass-through grants that were awarded to Planned Parenthood for breast and cervical cancer screening, as well as a 'Healthy Babies Initiative,'" Handel wrote. She continued, "Since grants like these are from the state I'll eliminate them as your next Governor."
(Handel...doin' it WRONG)
Handel has made good on her distorted beliefs and cut ties and funding with Planned Parenthood clinics. One of the few clinics offering a sliding fee scale for women. These clinics provide full GYN care and in some areas of the country are the only resource for women with limited or no health insurance. For the nineteen Planned Parenthood clinics receiving funding from Komen to lose this income may complicate the proper diagnoses of breast cancer for the women affected. Unfortunately, with breast cancer, survival and quality of life is directly impacted by this timeline. It's disgusting that politics should in any way become entangled with healthcare—but in this country it is.
The anti-choice opposition, which includes Handel, insists that Planned Parenthood is the single largest abortion provider. This is incorrect. Statistically, abortions make up only about 3% of their services. The majority of their clinic time is dedicated to a range of services assisting women's health. So, why would Komen hire someone with this agenda and these right-wing views in the first place?
A person with a deep political agenda such as Karen Handel should NEVER be put in control of women's healthcare.
How it all went down:
—Since 2005 Komen has been under pressure to sever ties with Planned Parenthood from right-wing pro-lifers;
—Planned Parenthood (PP) has long been dodging the Republicans, religious right, and anti-choice attempts to end their state and federal funding;
—House Republicans have fought to stop their federal funding, while the Democratic-controlled Senate and President Obama have blocked these attempts;
—Karen Handel, who has publicly stated her desire to end PP state and federal funding, is then hired as Komen's Senior Vice President
—Rep Cliff Stern (R-Fla) initiates a congressional investigation