Senior Komen Breast-Cancer Charity Executive Quits Amid Planned Parenthood Row

National Journal Staff
National Journal

A high-ranking executive at the Susan G. Komen for the Cure breast-cancer charity resigned on Tuesday amid a dispute over its decision to withdraw funding from women's health organization Planned Parenthood, the Associated Press reports.

Karen Handel announced her resignation in a letter sent to other Komen officials on Tuesday, saying she had supported the funding cut. Speculation had fallen on Handel as the source of the decision, made last week, to withdraw funding from Planned Parenthood after a probe was launched by a conservative congressmen, at the suggestion of anti-abortion groups.

Handel was appointed to Komen last April, and she was quick to point out her strong Republican credentials. She had the backing of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin in a failed 2010 bid to become the first female governor of Georgia, one that was spiced up by debates and negative advertising over Handel’s position on abortion rights.

Handel complained about the attacks on her position and said she was “staunchly and unequivocally pro-life” in a blog post at the time.

Planned Parenthood raised nearly $3 million from more than 10,000 donors over three days, following an announcement.