Fox News interviewed Karen Handel Tuesday afternoon, hours after Susan G. Komen for the Cure Founder & CEO Nancy Brinker accepted Handel’s resignation from the foundation. Handel, who ran for Governor of Georgia on a strong anti-abortion platform and promised to stop state funding of Planned Parenthood, has been service as Senior Vice President of Policy for Komen, the largest breast cancer charity in the United States.
On January 31, the Komen Foundation announced plans to stop funding Planned Parenthood due to the pending Congressional investigation on whether the women’s health organization was using federal funds to pay for abortions. Although Planned Parenthood receives substantial government funding, it is not allowed to use this money for abortions.
Handel has been accused of using her position at Komen to politicize Planned Parenthood, which estimates that abortion consists of approximately 3% of the services it provides. The remaining 97% is dedicated other health service for poor and under-served women.
Handel told FoxNews anchor Megyn Kelly she resigned because she had become “too much of a focal point” in the controversy surrounding Komen’s decision to cut the funding — a decision that was reversed roughly three days after the announcement due to a torrential public outcry.
“Susan G. Komen for the Cure is a truly great organization that has done wonderful things. It has made an extraordinary impact in the fight against breast cancer. I really felt I had a responsibility to step aside so that they could refocus on their mission,” she told Kelly.
Although Handel “resigned,” it’s clear she was encouraged to step down, and she passed on taking the severance package Brinker offered.
Handel denied that she had a political agenda to de-fund Planned Parenthood when she joined the organization and was quick to blame Planned Parenthood for politicizing the debate.
“The mission was always foremost in everyone’s mind: the mission and the women that we serve,” Handel said. “The only group that has made this issue political has been Planned Parenthood.”
Celebrity Photos courtesy of ImageCollect.