The Truth Behind the Planned Parenthood Funding Battle
by Karen Handel
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Two non-profit organizations had a big fight about one funding the other, and the author Karen Handel was caught in the middle; the result is this book. Here's the story:
That pretty much sums up the book; the remaining 276 pages detail the fight between Komen and Planned Parenthood, making Handel's case that Planned Parenthood are "bullies", as referenced in the title, and that they spent a fortune fighting Komen to ensure that other organizations would dare not similarly defund them.
Planned Parenthood gets lots of federal funding; Planned Parenthood also provides abortion services. They keep the abortion services separate from the federal funding, but that's why the organization is controversial.
Susan G. Komen For the Cure is a breast cancer funding organization -- they are not controversial -- the invented the ubiquitous pink ribbons shown on the book's cover. Komen funds other organizations that fund breast cancer research, and accordingly provided funds to Planned Parenthood annually.
Komen decided, under Karen Handel's leadership, to stop funding Planned Parenthood because, according to Handel, they really did very little breast cancer-related research, and also because some Komen members objected to Planned Parenthood's abortion services. Planned Parenthood claimed that it fell under the general category of women's health services, and fought the defunding -- effectively, because (as Handel points out on p. 158), Planned Parenthood routinely undertakes large-scale lobbying and publicity.
The whole fight, according to Handel, showed that Planned Parenthood was a bully, and on Komen's part, was a "black smudge on the pink ribbon" (p. 246).
Planned Parenthood's "Battle" with Komen ended up with Komen reversing the defunding and Handel resigning. Although Handel was not solely responsible for the defunding decision, as a "public figure" she took the blame in the press -- and as a response, wrote this book.
At OnTheIssues, we complain in our book reviews about Inside Baseball: when a book has too much insider information about campaigns, and hence has too little interest the vast majority of outsider readers. The same applies to this book, but in a different context. This book details, from an insider's perspective, the funding battle, with an enormous amount of detail. We find "Inside Baseball" to be pointless reading when applied to a political campaign -- of interest mostly to the people involved, or to those who wish they were similarly involved. This book, too, might be of interest to those involved with these two organizations, but it is just far too much detail for most readers.
To Handel's credit, she avoids the biggest problem of most "Inside Baseball" books, which provide an insane amount of detail which serves only to make the author look important: this book is free of the sin of self-aggrandizement. But Handel does fall for the other "Inside Baseball" sin of the military metaphor (like the way-too-Inside-Baseball book, The Battle for America 2008):
Handel claims her pro-life views were not the rationale for defunding Planned Parenthood -- that it was primarily a financial decision based on restructuring Komen's grant programs to better focus on their mission. Handel claims that Planned Parenthood only even knew she was pro-life because she had run for Governor previously. Probably both of Handel's assertions are true -- she makes a compelling case, in great detail of course -- but a one-sided representation just begs for a response (there are plenty on the Internet; just google "Komen vs. Planned Parenthood"). OnTheIssues is more interested in Handel's other views on other issues. We found some in this book, hidden among the endless details of her "battle," and we excerpt them below. But the endless details of her battle are just too endless. This book should have been a 10-page essay, omitting the remaining 266 pages of endless details.
- "The Escalation": subchapter section heading, p. 140
- "Ready for combat": one of many military metaphors, p. 145
- "Implosion": chapter title, p. 219
- "DEFCON 4", which Handel thinks means "state of war", p. 190
-- Jesse Gordon, editor-in-chief, OnTheIssues.org, February 2014
| OnTheIssues.org excerpts: (click on issues for details)
Karen Handel: FactCheck: Yes, ObamaCare allows states to fund abortions.
The above quotations are from Planned Bullyhood
The Truth Behind the Planned Parenthood Funding Battle
by Karen Handel.
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