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Karen Handel calls Planned Parenthood a 'gigantic bully'

February 10, 2012|By Rosie Mestel, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog

For those who haven't reached the saturation point regarding the fracas surrounding Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s decision — and then reversal — to cease awarding grants to Planned Parenthood for breast-health services, here’s one more snippet of news.

Karen Handel, former senior vice president for public policy at Komen, blasted Planned Parenthood in an interview with the Daily Beast, calling the organization a “gigantic bully, using Komen as its own personal punching bag.”

Handel, who declared her antiabortion views during an unsuccessful run for Georgia governor in 2010, resigned from her Komen position earlier this week. She has since acknowledged her role in the move to drop Planned Parenthood from receiving future Komen grants. In the Daily Beast interview, she said  it was “no secret that for some years — long before my time — Komen was dealing with a controversy regarding Planned Parenthood grants …. We needed to find some options for moving to neutral ground. I was tasked with doing that.”

Handel also said that Planned Parenthood and Komen forged a “gentle ladies’” agreement in December that neither group would go public about the funding withdrawal and that, in return, Planned Parenthood would continue to receive funds that had already been awarded.

Handel said Planned Parenthood orchestrated a social media campaign against Komen, which "doesn’t have the strength in the area of social media.”

The report includes Planned Parenthood’s rebuttal to Handel's comments. (They say “anti-choice” groups released the information first.)

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