Now that emails from inside Susan G. Komen for the Cure confirm what we suspected last week — not only was the charity's decision to defund Planned Parenthood nakedly political, but also most definitely spearheaded by anti-choice politician Karen Handel, and the charity most definitely lied about it — the organization's image has never been more tarnished. And that tarnishing wouldn't have been possible without an orgy of lies and bad decisions by Komen's leadership. So why has no one resigned?
The latest nail in the shiny pink coffin containing Komen's credibility came yesterday, when the Huffington Post's Laura Bassett revealed that sources within Komen showed her emails proving that Handel was behind Planned Parenthood's defunding. Apparently Handel was positive that if Komen simply framed the defunding as a rule change, everyone would just accept whatever she said and just go blithely on their merry way.
Handel had taken full advantage of having the ear of Komen leadership for the previous six months, according to the source "magnify(ing), pump(ing)it up, and exaggerate(ing)" anti-abortion groups' protests against Komen in an attempt to build a case for canceling grants to Planned Parenthood. Handel herself drafted the proposed rule change, and Handel herself presented it to the board. After it was approved, Mollie Williams, the organization's top public health official, resigned "on the spot."
Komen's worked tirelessly for the last week to hide the evidence of Handel's crusade. Democratic lobbyist and Komen Board member John Raeffelli told reporters,
We don't want to be pro-choice or pro-life; we want to be pro-cure. We screwed up, I'm saying it. We failed to keep abortion out of this, and we owe the people in the middle who only care about breast cancer and who have raised money for us an apology.
To say Komen "screwed up" here is to put it mildly. Karen Handel has shown herself to be a poor decision maker, a bad liar, and a sore loser who doesn't understand how Twitter works. Whoever penned Komen's whiney and insincere-sounding apology statement presented the public with something that wasn't as much a genuine "I'm sorry" as a "Now you've gone and made me cry!" screed. Nancy Brinker is completely out of touch with the way the modern world of information operates and doesn't seem to understand that a bizarrely Jackie O-like appearance on cable news won't set the record straight, especially if that appearance involves her diverging from her organization's agreed-upon story. Brinker was the one who decided that what her charity needed was to bring some of those famous Bush Administration decision making skills to Komen's hiring practices. The buck ultimately stops with her.
For being a "pro woman" organization, Susan G. Komen for the Cure's leadership sure seems to think women are stupid. And before Komen gets back to curing breast cancer, they better cure their own case of bullshit. This is no longer an issue of funding or not funding Planned Parenthood— this is an issue of an institutional dishonesty and ham-fisted attempts to obscure an obvious political agenda.
Karen Handel, Susan G. Komen's Anti-Abortion SVP, drove decision to defund Planned Parenthood [HuffPo]