Komen official quits after Planned Parenthood dispute

2:08 PM, Feb 7, 2012   |    comments
Karen Handel photo by AP Graphics
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ATLANTA - An executive with the Susan G. Komen for the Cure breast-cancer charity has resigned after a dispute over funding for Planned Parenthood. The resignation came in a letter obtained by The Associated Press.

Karen Handel announced her resignation as vice president for public policy in a letter to Komen officials Tuesday.

Handel said in her letter that she had supported cutting off funding for Planned Parenthood.

Handel, a former Republican candidate for governor in Georgia, emphasized her opposition to abortion during her 2010 campaign.

Komen announced last week that it had adopted criteria excluding Planned Parenthood from future grants for breast-cancer screenings because it was under government investigation. It cited a probe launched by a congressman at the urging of anti-abortion groups.

The charity reversed that decision days later.

Susan G. Komen founder and CEO Nancy G. Brinker released the following statement:

Susan G. Komen for the Cure's mission is the same today as it was the day of its founding: to find a cure and eradicate breast cancer.

We owe no less to our partners, supporters and, above all, the millions of people who have been and continue to be impacted by this life-threatening disease. We have made mistakes in how we have handled recent decisions and take full accountability for what has resulted, but we cannot take our eye off the ball when it comes to our mission. To do this effectively, we must learn from what we've done right, what we've done wrong and achieve our goal for the millions of women who rely on us. The stakes are simply too high and providing hope for a cure must drive our efforts.

Today I accepted the resignation of Karen Handel, who has served as Senior Vice President for Policy since April 2011. I have known Karen for many years, and we both share a common commitment to our organization's lifelong mission, which must always remain our sole focus. I wish her the best in future endeavors.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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