Komen official quits after funding controversy

Jenna Wilcox

According to a letter obtained by The Associated Press, a high-ranking official resigned Tuesday from the Susan G. Komen for the Cure breast-cancer charity after controversy over whether the group should give funding to Planned Parenthood.

Karen Handel, the charity’s vice president for public policy, told Komen officials that she had supported the move to cut off funding for Planned Parenthood because the organization was under government investigation.

“I am deeply disappointed by the gross mischaracterizations of the strategy, its rationale, and my involvement in it,” Handel said in her letter. “I openly acknowledge my role in the matter and continue to believe our decision was the best one for Komen’s future and the women we serve.”

The breast cancer charity reversed course after its decision created criticism. Members of Congress and Komen affiliates accused the group’s national leadership of bending to pressure from anti-abortion activists.

Komen Founder and CEO Nancy G. Brinker said she accepted Handel’s resignation and wished her well.