Susan G. Komen for the Cure senior vice president Karen Handel resigned her position Tuesday morning and told the press in the afternoon that her breast cancer charity had politely told Planned Parenthood in December that it would not entertain further grant requests from the abortion giant. This notification, Handel said, gave Planned Parenthood time to unroll a "pre-meditated" campaign last week "that was nothing short of a shakedown to coerce a private entity to give them grants."
Veteran Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter Jim Galloway, who now has an excellent Political Insider blog for the newspaper, transcribed some of Handel's comments at her press interviews Tuesday in Atlanta. (Thanks, Jim.) Handel, who joined Komen last April, said the charity had begun in 2010 an apolitical review of its grant-making effectiveness: "The only place for politics in all of this came from Planned Parenthood, when they launched this vicious, vicious attack on a great organization and perpetrated what was nothing short of a shakedown to coerce a private entity to give them grants."
Handel said that Komen did not expect Planned Parenthood's onslaught last week: "Everybody was taken aback by the fact that this was premeditated, orchestrated. … There were conversations between our organization and Planned Parenthood, letting them know about the change in the criteria and how it would affect Planned Parenthood. And Komen was under the specific understanding that, while it was disappointing, that it was not going to be a media firestorm."
Handel added, "Komen is a breast cancer organization. It's not an organization that knows guerrilla campaigning and guerrilla tactics like Planned Parenthood unleashed on Komen. … This was never about the fight against breast cancer for Planned Parenthood. What it was about, remains about, is the fight to advance Planned Parenthood's agenda. And they sucked Komen into the middle of it, and they used them in all of this. It's a disgrace."