Planned Bullyhood by Karen Handel
The Truth Behind the Headlines about the Planned Parenthood Funding Battle with Susan G. Komen for the Cure

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Synopsis

In 2011, Susan G. Komen for the Cure was growing weary of the “pink” being tarnished by its health grants to Planned Parenthood (PPH), whose many controversies were fueling backlash against Komen. They wanted to remove themselves from the pro-life/abortion debate and made what they thought was a rational, reasonable decision: seek neutral ground in the culture war by severing ties with Planned Parenthood—and in turn, eliminate a major headache while opening a new, robust fund-raising channel.

Karen Handel, the organization’s Senior Vice President of Public Policy, was tasked with identifying options to disengage. In November, the Komen management and board decided to move forward. Komen believed that they and PPH had made a “gentle ladies” pact, agreeing to part ways amicably and acknowledging that a media firestorm was in no one’s best interest. Yet, six weeks later, PPH unleashed a media campaign so viral and so seamlessly executed that it must have been in the works for some time. PPH attacked Komen against the backdrop of the Obama administration’s clash with the Catholic Church over contraception. After just three days, following hysterical cries that “Komen was abandoning women,” Komen capitulated and reversed course. Handel—a lifelong pro-life Republican who was raised Catholic—was immediately made the target. She resigned within days of Komen’s reversal. Liberals called her a right-wing Trojan horse. The pro-life community hailed her as a hero. She insists she is neither.

Why did Planned Parenthood attack? Was Komen simply a pawn in something bigger? In this book, Karen Handel finally speaks.

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For at least a decade, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the world’s leading breast cancer organization, had been dealing with the backlash from pro-life conservatives because of its grants to Planned Parenthood, the world’s largest abortion provider. According to Karen Handel, Komen’s Senior Vice President of Public Policy in 2011, the two organizations had mutually agreed to part ways amicably, but then Planned Parenthood surprisingly unleashed a media attack against Komen, waving the banner of women’s health as a shield for its underlying political agenda. Public criticism against Komen intensified with damaging consequences, eventually concluding in Komen’s surrender and Karen’s resignation.

In daring to walk away, Komen had unwittingly ignited a battle in which it became collateral damage in a larger election-year war between liberals and conservatives for the souls (and votes!) of women and the nation’s conscience—with abortion and contraception linked as ultimate wedge issues.

What exactly went on inside this firestorm of controversy? Were there larger forces at play? In this tell-all, highly charged account, Karen Handel breaks the silence and finally reveals what really happened in the winter of 2011.
 

About Karen Handel

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Karen Handel built her career on sound fiscal and organizational management in both the public and private sector. Karen has held senior management positions with several major companies and served as president of one of Georgia's largest chambers of commerce. Most recently, Karen served as Senior Vice President of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, overseeing its federal and state policy efforts. She has served as Georgia's first elected Republican Secretary of State, as well as Deputy Chief of Staff to Governor Sonny Perdue. Karen and her husband, Steve, reside in Georgia. Pam Ward has had many incarnations, including private detective, classical musician, television talk-show host, and actress, having performed in dinner theater, summer stock, and Off-Broadway, as well as in commercials, radio, and film. But she found her true calling reading books for the blind and physically handicapped for the Library of Congress Talking Books program, for which she received the prestigious Alexander Scourby Award from the American Foundation for the Blind. An AudioFile Earphones Award winner, her many audiobooks include Dancing in the Streets by Barbara Ehrenreich, Breaking Free by Lauraine Snelling, The Second Journey by Joan Anderson, and Lion in the White House by Aida D. Donald. She now records from her studio amidst the beauty of the Southern Oregon mountains.
 
Published September 11, 2012 by Howard Books. 304 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Planned Bullyhood

The Washington Times

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Brinker and Komen CEO Liz Thompson decided Komen should pay out all current grants to Planned Parenthood but should not make new ones.

Sep 18 2012 | Read Full Review of Planned Bullyhood: The Truth ...

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