Karen Handel, former vice president at the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation, has released a tell-all book titled Planned Bullyhood, which exposes how Planned Parenthood allegedly "bullied" the Komen foundation into rescinding a policy that would have prevented the nation's largest abortion provider from receiving its grants.
"Komen was shaken down to release money from their charity to Planned Parenthood in a very public way," said Karen Malec in a phone interview with The Christian Post on Wednesday. Malec works with the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer, an international women's organization that is promoting Handel's book.
"When a corporation is faced with this, they need to stand up to the bully. In this case, this is what Planned Parenthood behaves like. They were a bully shaking down the Susan G. Komen foundation," she alleged.
Earlier this year, Susan G. Komen for the Cure revisited a policy change that disqualified groups that were being investigated by the federal government, such as Planned Parenthood, from receiving future grants. After receiving criticism and accusations that the organization was intentionally targeting Planned Parenthood for its abortion coverage, the Komen foundation decided to only disqualify groups based on conclusive criminal investigations.
The controversial decision forced Karen Handel, the vice president for public policy at the Susan G. Komen, to hand in her resignation in February.
"Komen's decision to change its granting strategy and exit the controversy surrounding Planned Parenthood and its grants was fully vetted by every appropriate level within the organization," Handel wrote at the time.
"Neither the decision nor the changes themselves were based on anyone's political beliefs or ideology. Rather, both were based on Komen's mission and how to better serve women, as well as a realization of the need to distance Komen from controversy," she added.
In her Planned Bullyhood book, Handel says that Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards's efforts to pressure the Komen foundation into revising its policy was "one of the most contemptible acts of coordinated bullying in modern American political history."
Handel claims that Richards was supported by many allies, including the Obama administration, 26 U.S. senators, the highest levels of the Democratic National Committee and others. She blames the united power of the "tyrannical left" for pressuring the Komen foundation into restarting its grants to Planned Parenthood, which provides breast health education and screenings but does not offer mammograms, only referrals for them.
Richards, however, has defended her organization, saying that politics should not interfere in making important choices for women.
"There were so many who wanted to contribute that we raised more money than we would have lost," Richards said about Planned Parenthood initially being cut off by the Komen foundation, noting the support her organization received.
Komen has also stood by its decision to revise its policy and grant funds to Planned Parenthood, revealing that it has received public backing for the decision.
"The further away we get from the situation in January, the more they are coming back to us," said Komen foundation spokeswoman Andrea Rader. "We reversed this decision, we have apologized for this and we have moved on."
Handel argues in her book, however, that the Obama administration had blamed the Republican Party for waging a "war on women," and used the incident between Komen and Planned Parenthood to create a "smokescreen" around the particularly adverse impact of unemployment on women.
"The Komen-Planned Parenthood debacle provides a lesson for all corporate and nonprofit leaders who are considering giving Planned Parenthood grants. Like the mafia, once you're in, you are expected to continue paying for life," the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer offered in a statement.