Planned Parenthood, and far too many commentators, were conned by Komen's milquetoast mea kinda culpa they issued last Friday in a successful effort to quell the furor over their dropping funding for breast exams at Planned Parenthood clinics. A number of us wondered last week whether the inside leaks were true, and Komen dropped Planned Parenthood because their CEO is a huge GOP donor and former Bush appointee, and their senior vice president is an anti-abortion activists who promised two years ago to defund Planned Parenthood.
Komen denied the allegations. Then again, Komen said a lot of things last week. Most of them contradictory. First they killed Planned Parenthood's funding because of the GOP congressional investigation, then they blamed it on their new-found opposition to "pass-through" grants, then in their apology they suggested that the real problem was the investigation, but maybe they'd still kill the grants in the future because of the pass-through.
It was masterful obfuscation considering how amateurish was their handling of the disaster for most of the week.
And now we find out via HuffPost, who has not only talked to an inside source, but seen emails that confirm what that source has told them, that that GOP anti-abortion activist working at Komen was the one behind the secret plan to defund Planned Parenthood. As if we didn't already suspect. Here's Huff Post:
Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the nation's leading anti-breast-cancer charity, has insisted that its since-reversed decision to pull funding from Planned Parenthood arose from a routine change in criteria for grant eligibility that had nothing to do with abortion politics.Komen, famous for its use of pink in everything from blenders to pistols, needs to hand Karen Handel a pink slip. And CEO Nancy Brinker either lied to America in a now-infamous YouTube video posted on the front page of Komen's Web site - a video in which she claimed, remarkably, that the congressional investigation had nothing to do with Komen killing the PPFA funding (contradicting her own staff, and contradicting the apology Komen issued only twelve hours) - or is so incompetent that she had no idea what her own staff was saying all week, or what their apology would say the next morning. Either way, Brinker, at the very least, needs to explain herself as well.
But a Komen insider told HuffPost on Sunday that Karen Handel, Komen's staunchly anti-abortion vice president for public policy, was the main force behind the decision to defund Planned Parenthood and the attempt to make that decision look nonpolitical.
"Karen Handel was the prime instigator of this effort, and she herself personally came up with investigation criteria," the source, who requested anonymity for professional reasons, told HuffPost. "She said, 'If we just say it's about investigations, we can defund Planned Parenthood and no one can blame us for being political.'"
Emails between Komen leadership on the day the Planned Parenthood decision was announced, which were reviewed by HuffPost under the condition they not be published, confirm the source's description of Handel's sole "authority" in crafting and implementing the Planned Parenthood policy.
Handel's strategy to cut off Planned Parenthood involved drafting new guidelines that would prevent Komen from funding any organization that was under investigation by local, state or federal authorities. Since Planned Parenthood is currently the target of a congressional inquiry prompted by House Republicans into the way it uses government funds, the family planning provider would have been immediately disqualified from receiving new Komen grants.
Don't forget that Komen runs the Race for the Cure. At the rate Komen is losing the race for the truth only drastic action will save what has now become a fatally damaged brand.