A former executive for Susan G. Komen for the Cure breast cancer charity says that the decision to defund Planned Parenthood was an attempt to “move to neutral ground.”
After resigning from the charity Tuesday, Karen Handel admitted to Fox News host Megyn Kelly that she was “clearly involved in the process” to defund Planned Parenthood’s breast cancer screening program.
“Last time I checked, private non-profit organizations have a right and a responsibility to be able to set the highest standards and criteria on their own without interference, let alone the level of viscous attacks and coercion that has occurred by Planned Parenthood,” she explained.
“I resigned because it was clear that all of this had gotten to the point where it was ratcheted so high. I was too much of a focal point, and Susan G. Komen for the Cure is a truly great organization.”
Kelly noted that prior to joining the Komen foundation, Handel had made her opposition to Planned Parenthood clear while running to be governor of Georgia.
“The only group that has made this issue here political has been Planned Parenthood,” Handel insisted.
“But people believed it was a front for the truth, this stuff about we have to defund Planned Parenthood because they are under congressional investigation,” Kelly pointed out. “Because of all the organizations that Komen funds, only one ended up being defunded, and that was Planned Parenthood. So, it didn’t smell right. It didn’t pass the smell test.”
“You know, I think the congressional investigation along with the various state investigations, those were a factor in the decision,” Handel replied. “But make no mistake about it, it was a bigger picture than that. There was a granting criteria as well as the controversies that were surrounding Planned Parenthood. It’s no secret, Megyn, that Komen and other organizations that were funding Planned Parenthood had been under pressure for some years — long before my time — that had been going on and the pressure around the controversy.”
“Komen was doing it’s level best to move to neutral ground,” she added.
Earlier this week, emails obtained by The Huffington Post revealed that Handel was working within the organization to drive the defunding process by “pumping up and magnifying the attacks against Komen and the anti-Planned Parenthood protests.”
Watch this video from Fox News’ America Live with Megyn Kelly, broadcast Feb. 7, 2012