By now, you might have heard about the Susan J. Komen Foundation’s decision to cease funding Planned Parenthood because while Planned Parenthood spends much more contact time in cancer screening, they do perform safe and legal abortions. This appears to largely be the work of Komen’s Vice President of Public Policy Karen Handel:
Komen’s official line on the reason for cutting off funds to Planned Parenthood was a newly-instituted rule that declared that the organization was not to give funds to organizations under investigation at the local, state, or federal level. According to Jeffrey Goldberg at The Atlantic, former employees of Komen told him that the rule was, in fact, designed to single out Planned Parenthood. The former employees told Goldberg that Karen Handel was behind the new rule, which was instituted in December. Employees of Komen also told Goldberg that Handel and her cronies saw the Planned Parenthood Congressional investigation as an opportunity to finally end Komen’s relationship with the family planning organization.
But don’t think Handel’s shenanigans are limited to screwing over poor women who need Planned Parenthood’s services. Nope, she’s also done some other noxious crap (boldface mine):
As a coalition of pro-immigration groups rallied at the state Capitol on Monday, Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel was reacting to a U.S. Justice Department repudiation of her system of verifying citizenship of voters.
In a six-page letter issued last week, and released Monday, Justice Department lawyers said Handel’s office had created a system that “does not produce accurate and reliable information and that thousands of citizens who are in fact eligible to vote under Georgia law have been flagged.”
…Handel and her aides created the system in 2007 under the requirements of the federal Help America Vote Act. The law requires states to verify a voter’s identity at the time of registration, but not necessarily to verify citizenship. In creating the system, Handel’s office extended the verification process to include citizenship —- something the Justice Department said was “discretionary on the state’s part.”
But the system that was created, the federal lawyers found, was flawed and of the 7,000 individuals flagged as potential “non-citizens,” more than 50 percent were actually U.S. citizens.
Furthermore, the department found, those flagged as non-citizens were overwhelmingly black, Asian or Hispanic.
“These burdens are real, are substantial and are retrogressive for minority voters,” Loretta King, the acting assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, said in a letter to the state…
Elise Shore, regional counsel for the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, one of the groups that sued over the system, said Justice’s objection was heartening.
It “recognizes that the state of Georgia has attempted to disenfranchise not only Latino citizens, but Asian-American and African-American citizens as well,” Shore said.
It’s a lot easier to curtail women’s rights when they can’t vote.
Look, any group even marginally to the left of the batshitloonitarian-theocrat alliance known as the modern conservative movement has to realize that you can’t get in bed with these guys. They always push their agenda, and it’s not your agenda–and definitely not that of your supporters. You have to remember who your friends are, and you don’t leave any of them behind out of short-term expediency.
Added ‘past-deadline: Not only has the Komen foundation steered to the right by opposing any embryonic stem-cell related research, but Komen has a history of right-wing ‘healthcare’ advocacy (boldface mine; emphasis original):
In 2000, when I first became a breast cancer activist, one of my first assignments was contacting the senators and members of Congress in my area to encourage their support for the Breast & Cervical Cancer Prevention Treatment Act. The bill was to provide Medicaid coverage for uninsured women diagnosed through the Breast Cervical Cancer Prevention & Screening Act, which had been passed several years earlier. IOW, the Treatment Act was necessary because uninsured women were getting no-cost breast cancer diagnosis, but still had no means to pay for treatment.
Sounds easy, right? You screen and diagnose them, you have to help them get treatment. Except one of my GOP senators didn’t see it that way, and he had another breast cancer group who agreed with him….
Upon calling my GOP senator and speaking with his aide, I was shocked to hear her tell me “Sen.__ can’t sign on as a co-sponsor to the bill because all the breast cancer groups aren’t in agreement on it.” Shocked, I asked her who was opposing it. She told me that Komen opposed the bill. When I asked her why, she explained that Komen felt that treatment for uninsured breast cancer patients should be funded through private donations, like the pink ribbon race. I was speechless, in shock. A phone call to another activist confirmed it was true – Komen was lobbying behind the scenes to kill the bill. A moment later, Sen.__’s aide called me back and begged me not to repeat our conversation to anyone, that she had given me the information by mistake…
In 2009, Komen lobbied behind the scenes to weaken the health care bill (ACA) as it was being debated in Congress. They hired Hadassah Lieberman, wife of Joe, in an effort to convince Joementum to vote against the Public Option. Komen spent over $1 million in 2008 & 2009, on behind the scenes lobbying related to the health care reform bill, so who knows what else was on their agenda.