Saturday, February 9, 2013
A church friend of mine let me borrow this book. She started reading it but couldn't get through it because she thought it was too political. I had heard about Karen Handel's book about the funding battle between Planned Parenthood and Susan G. Komen which took place just over a year ago, but had not had a chance to read it until now. I have lots of thoughts on this book so here goes...
Karen Handel was VP of Public Policy at Susan G. Komen when the controversy peaked. This book is her explanation of the situation as she saw things. Now for the back story As someone who was well aware of the Planned Parenthood/Susan G Komen longtime partnership, I was paying very close attention to the events in late 2011, early 2012 when rumors that Susan G. Komen was going to end funds to Planned Parenthood. This was great news! I had always wanted to support Susan G. Komen, because the fight to end breast cancer is a great endeavor. Unfortunately, because of their connection to Planned Parenthood, I could never in good conscience support Susan G. Komen. Susan G. Komen announced changes to their granting policy which would directly effect funds they were giving Planned Parenthood. When news of this went public, many such as myself praised the decision, but Planned Parenthood and their allies were vicious as usual in attacking Susan G. Komen. Oddly, although not so surprisingly, the press too saw this as an opportunity to attack Susan G. Komen. This made no sense to me. Why should Susan G. Komen, a charity with a mission to fight breast cancer, be forced to fund abortion giant Planned Parenthood? Susan G. Komen should have been confident in their decision and trusted the American people would eventually be smart enough to recognize this and understand the decision. In a very disappointing turn of events after just 3 days of public outcry from Planned Parenthood, Susan G. Komen reversed course and decided to continue funding Planned Parenthood. Unfortunately, Susan G. Komen lost any credibility they might have had after this decision, and continue to this day supporting Planned Parenthood, which does not even provide mammograms for women. It was just reported on Life News that breast cancer services at Planned Parenthood is down. Everyone who knows much of anything about Planned Parenthood knows that they are in the abortion business. Karen Handel was instrumental, although not solely responsible, in trying to implement the new granting strategy. Her efforts are admirable. If she was the one in charge at Susan G. Komen, I am sure that Susan G. Komen would have followed through with the new granting policy and they would have been much better off in the long run. She resigned from Susan G. Komen soon after their disappointing decision to continue funding Planned Parenthood.
Running for Governor of Georgia
In the first chapter, Karen Handel talks about her disagreements with Georgia Right to Life and her run for Governor in 2010. I found this chapter to be the most frustrating for a number of reasons. First, Karen talks badly about the other candidates for Governor, rehashing arguments she made during her run for Governor. I felt this was unnecessary and seemed a little vindictive to me. Then she discusses her feud with Georgia Right to Life, which I wrote about on this blog when it happened. You can read my blog post about Handel and GRTL here. I was unaware of Karen Handel's personal issues with having trouble conceiving. I sympathize for her and her husband, and understand the sensitivity to the issue of infertility. I (and the Catholic Church for which Karen is a member) disagree with her position on IVF, but I respect her for being honest and saying what she believes. I hope that after all she's been through, she might one day discover the grave problems with IVF. It is very possible that the leadership at GRTL was insensitive in singling out Karen Handel. I was disappointed however that Karen labeled GRTL bullies. GRTL and those of us who are passionately pro life are not bullies of the like of Planned Parenthood. That is not to say we are without fault. We can do a much better job explaining issues and being more empathetic and sympathetic to those who have had difficult circumstances. I also hope that Karen will understand why the Church is against abortion in all cases, even in cases of rape or incest. Karen Handel, as she states in this book is certainly not a Pro-Life hero, but she has done a great service for the pro-life cause whether she wanted to or not.
Susan G. Komen
The reason I was most interested in this book was to learn more about Susan G. Komen. Why did they fund Planned Parenthood in the first place, how did they decided to end that funding, and why in the world did they cave to Planned Parenthood after just 3 days? All of these questions are now answered. I have been a little critical of Karen Handel in the past for her positions on some life issues which many people struggle with, but I must say that she is a very good leader. She joined Susan G. Komen and immediately began to make positive changes. She has backbone and she isn't afraid to make difficult decisions. Unfortunately, the same can't be said for most others at Susan G. Komen who are in leadership positions. It is clear that Susan G. Komen was and is in disarray. One of the greatest problems was that most of the people at Susan G. Komen are supportive of Planned Parenthood and their mission. They knew that the grants they were giving to Planned Parenthood were 'crappy' and was not the best use of their donor's money. Once they finally made the decision to end funding, they quickly changed their mind and caved to Planned Parenthood. Until there is a change in leadership at Susan G. Komen and a complete split from Planned Parenthood, I will not support Susan G. Komen in any way and encourage others to forgo support as well. This is unfortunate, but there are many other great charities to support.
Planned Parenthood is a bully. I have known this for a long time. I have also known that they have lots of allies in the media. Planned Parenthood frequently outright lies about the services they provide and get away with it. They are heavily involved in politics, supporting liberals who will support their abortion agenda, and yet they receive taxpayer dollars. This infuriates me and should you as well! They not only bully pro lifers like me who are sickened by abortion and all the lies Planned Parenthood spreads. Karen Handel better understands, as many pro lifers have known for a long time, how evil Planned Parenthood is and how powerful they have become.
I enjoyed this book. Despite my disagreement with Karen Handel about IVF and abortion in cases of rape and incest, I have much more respect for her after reading this book. I have a little better understanding about her as a person and how she has come to believe the things that she believes. She has convinced me that she is a great leader, and she was a great asset to Susan G. Komen. She looks at most things through a political lens. I personally don't see things this way all the time, but it is very clear that Planned Parenthood has a very strong political agenda. I would encourage all pro life people to read this book. I think there are many things that we can learn, especially about how we need to do a better job at communicating our message. We need more people who are willing to stick their neck out, like Karen, to do something courageous. We need to call out Planned Parenthood when they outright lie. We need to be more loving and understanding with those who don't agree with us on every issue. Many people who disagree with us may simply be ignorant of the issues. It doesn't mean that they are bad people. We need to educate ourselves and we need to share the truth with others in an effective way. We need to demand for charities and our government to end all funding to the evil abortion loving Planned Parenthood. We need to control the message. We need to stay focused. We must stay strong and refuse to be bullied, regardless of the cost.