Kristen Walker Hatten

Planned Bullyhood: Ex-Komen VP’s tell-all book exposes Planned Parenthood’s dirty tricks

Kristen Walker Hatten
By Kristen Walker Hatten
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September 20, 2012 (LiveActionNews.org) - Unless you are a resident of Georgia or followed the Komen/Planned Parenthood controversy closely, you may never have heard of Karen Handel. Get ready for that to change. Earlier this month her book Planned Bullyhood was released, and kids, it is a doozy.

Did you watch the news, listen to the radios, and read the blogs earlier this year for those 72 tense hours when the controversy was raging and think, “I wonder what’s really going on behind the scenes”?

Well, now you get to find out.

Writing with clarity, credibility, and humility, what Handel reveals about Planned Parenthood’s deceptiveness and manipulative, self-serving tactics will shock even those of you who are familiar with their antics.

Karen Handel was Georgia’s secretary of state and ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2010, at which point she went to work for Susan G. Komen For the Cure as senior vice president of public policy. By the time she joined Susan G. Komen, according to Handel, “for at least a decade, Komen had been considering whether to end funding to Planned Parenthood.”

One reason for this is obvious to anyone with half a brain: Planned Parenthood is a lightning rod for controversy. Whatever argument you may advance about the “health care” services they provide, it is an undisputed fact that they are the nation’s largest abortion provider. Because of Komen’s grants to Planned Parenthood, many – including yours truly – declined to donate money to the otherwise stellar breast cancer non-profit.

(The following happened many times at the Tom Thumb grocery store checkout. Cashier: Would you like to donate a dollar today for breast cancer research? Me: I’d love to. Is it Susan G. Komen? Cashier: Yes! Me: No thanks!)

So yes, one of the reasons Handel was hired was to help formulate a solution to the Planned Parenthood problem. Handel is a Republican, and most of the executives and other key personnel at Komen were Democrats; they referred to Handel as the “righty tighty.” But her “red cred” and intimate knowledge of state government and budgeting made for a good fit to liaise with the many conservative governors and congressmen swept in by the Tea Party tide in 2010.

Ironically, considering her portrayal in the media since the Komen controversy as a baby-saving zealot, part of what may have hurt Handel’s gubernatorial run was her not being pro-life enough. She believes that an exception should be made to abortion restriction in the cases of rape and incest and refused to condemn in vitro fertilization. Georgia Right to Life and other pro-life groups would not endorse her candidacy, and even with Sarah Palin giving her the golden thumbs up, and a strong record of ethics reform and fiscal leadership, Handel lost.

Leaving public life and joining up with Komen, she thought, would be a welcome change to avoid controversy. After all, who doesn’t want to end breast cancer? How could that issue be divisive?

Cue Planned Parenthood.

Handel’s description of the process leading to Komen’s decision to end their grants to Planned Parenthood will make you cringe if, like me, you are annoyed by indecision. They waffled for months, and contrary to what the media would begin to spew after the decision was announced, it was not Karen Handel’s decision to make.

Komen had several good, sound reasons for ending the grants, and none of them had anything to do with a pro-life stance. As mentioned, the culture at Komen was quite Democratic and friendly to Planned Parenthood. Komen’s founder and CEO at the time, Nancy Brinker, was a Republican, but pro-choice. She even sat on a Planned Parenthood board in Dallas in the 1990s. President Liz Thompson was a personal friend of Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards. The managing director of community health was a former Planned Parenthood volunteer and outspoken proponent of the organization. The VP of communications was also a liberal, formerly working for the World Wildlife Fund. The list goes on.

While she was at Komen, from her earliest days, Handel says she “experienced open disdain for Republicans on a regular basis.”

In other words, this was not a situation where Susan G. Komen capitulated to the right because one nefarious ideologue somehow hypnotized them all. The decision was made because in a highly competitive fund-raising market, where every dollar counts, Planned Parenthood’s grants were, in the words of Cecile Richards’s buddy Liz Thompson, “crappy.” They were not “high-quality” grants. Thompson herself was leading an initiative – long before Handel joined Komen – to transition to an “outcomes-based” granting strategy.

Under this new approach, vague goals, such as ‘raising awareness’ or ‘educating women,’ would no longer be enough… We would strive to be more cost effective and efficient by moving away from what is called pass-through grants – whereby dollars are granted to one organization that then contracts with another entity to actually provide the service.

Many long-standing Komen grants, including the vast majority of Planned Parenthood’s grants, would not meet the goals of this new granting model and would be unable to live up to these higher standards and more stringent requirements.

Komen could no longer afford “crappy” grants like those to Planned Parenthood – plain and simple.

In researching the PP grants, Handel found other issues, such as the fact that the twice-yearly audits mentioned in Komen press statements about Planned Parenthood were not happening. Another problem: investigations. The grant contract specifically stated that an organization receiving grants from Komen could not be under investigation. In fact, they had defunded a grant to the Mississippi State Board of Health for this reason. Meanwhile, thanks in no small part to Lila Rose and Live Action, Planned Parenthood was under scores of investigations in several states and even at the federal level. Whether or not the investigations were politically motivated or unfair, under the contract language, was immaterial.

However, the investigation issue still played a much smaller role than the question of the quality of grants – Komen was not getting any real breast cancer prevention bang for its buck out of the $600,000 a year or so it granted to PP – which, by the way, makes up a miniscule fraction of a percent of PP’s annual budget. They get $1.5 million per day from the federal government alone. Yes, you read that right.

Then, in 2011, as Planned Parenthood became more and more politically visible under Cecile Richards’ leadership, more and more Komen donors and race participants began to withdraw from races and withhold support. When Marco Rubio backed out of a race due to Komen’s connection to Planned Parenthood, Handel and all of Komen’s leadership knew it was time to decide one way or the other. Komen was clearly, unequivocally losing money due to its affiliation with Planned Parenthood – money it needed to fight breast cancer.

Their decision to end the grants was not political – it was an attempt to avoid politics. Planned Parenthood was the organization with the political agenda, not Komen. Their mission was to end breast cancer, and it was being compromised by its affiliation with what is arguably the most divisive organization in the country.

From there, it gets reeeeally good.

You see, Komen and Planned Parenthood made a “gentle-ladies’ agreement” to stay out of the media, to handle the split amicably, and to just generally be nice to each other. Not only did Planned Parenthood break this agreement, but it became clear they never intended to honor it in the first place. Not only were they angling to blast Komen in the media, but they decided to use Komen’s completely reasonable, non-political decision to advance the leftist conspiracy about a “war on women.”

Arrayed against Komen was a hostile media, a powerful organization with various political and lobbying arms, and the entire Democratic Party. In fact, DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) actually phoned Nancy Brinker, who described the call as “extremely ugly.” Meanwhile, consultants hired to help orchestrate Komen’s handling of the media were friendly with Planned Parenthood…maybe too friendly. There were leaks. There were outright lies. And there were many even on Komen’s own board who were more concerned with the damage to Planned Parenthood – by losing a fraction of a percent of their budget – than Planned Parenthood’s substantial, measurable damage to Komen.

I’ll let you read the book for the rest because I don’t want to spoil it for you, but suffice it to say, Karen Handel paints a disconcerting picture of an organization that has grown far beyond “health care,” even of the controversial variety. Under Cecile Richards’s leadership, Planned Parenthood has become the radical feminist arm of the Democrat Party and the leftist agenda, and it uses its relationships with innocuous non-profits that everybody loves – like Susan G. Komen – to “pink-wash” its radical agenda and mainstream itself.

Handel’s description of the big cave – when Komen lost its nerve under a powerful surge of media and political pressure and reversed its decision – will turn your stomach. But what will really make you feel sick is the way Komen let Handel become a scapegoat.

If Komen had stuck to its guns, it would have lost some donors, but it was already gaining many more. And it would have proved that it was not a political organization, that it would not let any ideology compromise its fight against breast cancer. Instead, the people at Komen caved. And they’ve paid for it.

Handel’s book is full of many more juicy tidbits and revealing anecdotes. I doubt either organization – Komen or Planned Parenthood – will be happy to read this book. But I was happy to, because now that she knows what she knows, Handel has turned her formidable will and intellect towards defeating the Planned Parenthood machine. We may disagree on a few issues, but I, for one, am glad to have her on my side.

Support Handel and Live Action by clicking here to buy Planned Bullyhood.

Reprinted with permission from LiveActionNews.org

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Judges order Arizona and Indiana to recognize gay ‘marriages’ on death certificates

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By Kirsten Anderson

Two federal judges have ordered Arizona and Indiana to recognize same-sex “marriages” on death certificates, although both states have laws defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman.

In Arizona, Judge John Sedwick ordered the state to issue a death certificate for George Martinez listing his marital status as “married” and his spouse as Fred McQuire.  The two were “married” in California in July, and Martinez died in September.  They had previously sued Arizona to recognize their out-of-state “marriage” as legal – a case that is still ongoing.

In his decision, Sedwick said that the majority of federal appeals courts have found that “marriage laws which discriminate between heterosexual couples and homosexual couples infringe a fundamental right.”  He said he thought it was likely that Arizona’s marriage protection law will soon be overturned. 

Sedwick’s decision applies exclusively to Martinez and McQuire.   The judge explained that given the likelihood of same-sex “marriage” becoming legal in Arizona, he didn’t want McQuire’s “marriage” to be excluded from recognition just because his “husband” died before the law could be overturned.  He said he hoped the decision would prevent “the loss of dignity and status coming in the midst of an elderly man’s personal grief.”

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Meanwhile, in Indiana, Judge Joseph Van Bokkelen presided over an agreement between the state and a lesbian couple, Veronica Romero and Mayra Yvette Rivera, who “married” in Illinois in March. The state agreed to recognize the couple’s “marriage” because Rivera is dying of ovarian cancer, and said they will issue a death certificate bearing Romero’s name as “spouse” when Rivera passes away. 

Indiana opted to concede the case mostly due to its striking similarities to an earlier case the state lost, in which Judge Richard L. Young ordered Indiana to recognize the “marriage” of Niki Quasney and Amy Sandler, who “wed” in Massachusetts in 2013.  Quasney also has terminal ovarian cancer, and the couple had argued that Sandler and her two children would suffer irreparable financial harm if the state does not recognize their “marriage” so that Sandler can collect death benefits when Quasney passes away. 

Both Indiana decisions apply only to the couples named specifically by the court; however, last week, a federal appeals court upheld an earlier ruling by Judge Young declaring the state’s marriage protection law unconstitutional. 

The state of Indiana has appealed that ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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A topless activist with Femen attacks Belgian Archbishop Andrè-Joseph Leonard, who is known for his strong pro-life and pro-family stance.
Jonathon van Maren Jonathon van Maren Follow Jonathon

Why are pro-abortion protesters always taking their clothes off?

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By Jonathon van Maren

I’ve seen a lot of bizarre responses to pro-life activism. There’s the crude picket signs, the illiterate chants, the flashes of violence, the incoherent threats that so often involve used tampons, and even activists dressed up like giant genitalia.

But there is one phenomenon that never ceases to stagger me with its counterproductive stupidity and moral blindness: The increasing prevalence of “feminist” protestors, almost exclusively women, stripping down to “protest” something—usually protection for the pre-born or some other dissent from the totalitarian death cult of the Sexual Revolution.

When people ask me what the weirdest response to pro-life work is and I try to explain this phenomenon, they find it hard to believe. So do I. But yet it happens, time and time again.

The suicidal tendencies of modern-day feminism would be almost laughable if they were not so depressing.

One student stripped down and sat on a folding chair in front of our pro-life display at the University of British Columbia. A few protestors decided to protest the launch of our 2012 national tour by going topless. Then, at a presentation in London, Ontario, a bunch of pro-abortion protesters showed up at a counter-protest organized by the Canadian Auto Worker’s Union, sans clothing. And of course, at last year’s March for Life a topless Femen protestor flung herself at a remarkably composed Catholic bishop as he spoke to the crowd, shrieking “F*** your morals!”

You’d think such behaviour would attract ire rather than admiration. But this is 2014 and most of our municipal governments use our taxpayer’s cash basically to fund a day dedicated to that type of behaviour when the Pride Parade rolls around.

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Instead, these women are now generally referred to as “brave.” Even the popular, but tiresomely far-left website Upworthy recently pushed a video with a street activist protesting harassment by misogynist pigs by standing on the street in her lingerie. (Little tip: Protesting the fact that some misogynists define you by your body by voluntarily showing them what they wanted to see in the first place isn't defiance, it's acquiescence. Protesting the fact that these guys aren't treating you with dignity by acting like you have none is counter-productive. “That guy crudely suggested he wants to see me naked! Well, I’ll show him! By showing him exactly what he wants to see! Wait…”)

A bit of research into the infamous nude activist group Femen (“Our mission is protest, our weapon is bare breasts”) shows just how exploitative (inadvertent though it may sometimes be) this entire phenomenon is. In recent documentary the group’s leader, Viktor Svyatski, admitted that he had perhaps started the group to “get girls,” and that he carefully selected only the most attractive girls for his group. The documentary also revealed that Svyatski had described the Femen girls as “weak,” and was often verbally abusive with them.

Again, the suicidal tendencies of modern-day feminism would be almost laughable if they were not so depressing.

But the phenomenon of public nudity is also more than just incoherent protest—it is a way of forcing people to accept any and all manifestations of the Sexual Revolution. As I noted some time ago:  The public is now regularly subjected to crude and wildly exhibitionist “Gay Pride Parades” and “Slut Walks.” These are not considered to be optional festivals hosted by tiny minority groups. No, politicians who refuse to attend are labelled as heretics by the high priests of the New Moral Order, which is of course not an order at all, but a proud lack thereof.

Liberal activists don’t want the State to be outside the bedroom anymore, they want the State in the bedroom—loudly applauding the acts they see taking place, refraining from any judgment but one of approval, and paying for pills and bits of rubber to ensure that such acts do not go awry and result in reproduction or infection.

Your prayers are not welcome in public, but your privates are. The Emperor has no clothes, and is quite enjoying it—so long as the chilly breezes of moral truth don’t leak out of drafty cathedrals to cause discomfort.  

There may be hope on the horizon, as indicated by the wild popularity of such books as Wendy ShaIit’s A Return to Modesty, as well as increasing disinterest in topless beaches in places like France. Some “feminists” have responded to such trends with irritation, grumbling that all the hard-won ground they had fought for is being spurned by the ungrateful brats of today. But perhaps, instead, many women are realizing that allowing men to freely objectify them in public is not all it’s cracked up to be.

Perhaps people have begun to rediscover a human value that was once enormously prized, but now almost forgotten: Dignity.

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Abortion ‘doula’: I was trained to ‘support’ women choosing gendercide

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By Ben Johnson

A young woman who volunteers as an assistant in the abortion industry says she was trained to be “supportive” of women who chose to have sex-selective abortions and 11-year-olds who opted to remain in a sexual relationship with their much older rapist.

Alex Ronan also describes the conscious decision to lie to patients and the graphic, bloody details of her first year as an abortion doula in an article published Sunday in New York Magazine.

An abortion “doula” – a Greek word that literally means “female slave” – is supposed to comfort women during the abortion procedure. The 23-year-old received her training from Lauren Mitchell, who co-founded The Doula Project with Mary Mahoney in 2007.

“We sat in the park, eating pie,” Ronan remembered:

She gave us a sheet with situations so exaggeratedly horrible they seemed unreal: An 11-year-old in for an abortion who asks for birth control when she’s alone with the doctor. Her mother works nights; she’d been left with a friend who has a twentysomething son. She calls him her boyfriend; he will go to jail. A woman who says she’d like to do another ultrasound to see if it’s definitely a girl, because she’ll only keep it if it isn’t. A drug addict covered in track marks with two kids in the foster-care system who refuses birth control.

“What do you assume?” Mitchell asked of each case. “How can you be supportive?”

The 23-year-old said, as the training went on, she realized these cases were not hypothetical. “Later, I learned from Mahoney that all the examples were real cases that had come from her first six months working as an abortion doula.”

Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers have repeatedly been caught covering up statutory rape – by pro-life sting operations and outraged parents – as well as facilitating sex-selective abortions.

Faced with the reality of abortion, Ronan said she felt “embarrassed” by “the limits of my compassion. I judged these women on the worthiness of their reasons ('Would she really only keep a boy?' I wondered) and found myself questioning why those who come in for late-term abortions had waited so long to decide.”

Soon, she would see cases she would never forget. She bookends her article with two stories that reveal the pain women suffer in the process and the gory details the procedure burned into her mind.

She saw an emergency that ended in a hysterectomy on her first day.

The abortionists moved up the late-term procedure after seeing the woman's reaction to laminaria. “I hear one doctor tell the other that there’s too much blood,” Ronan writes. “They have to cut into Dee’s abdomen to get a clearer picture of what was going on...Eventually, they have to remove the uterus; there isn’t any other way.”

After the procedure, “What’s called the products of conception bucket is mostly filled with bloody gunk. I make out a doll-size arm, fist curled. It feels like I shouldn’t look, but I can’t turn away,” she admits.

Soon, she got her opportunity to “support” a minor in an “abusive” relationship. Afterwards, “Eliana” asked Ronan, “Do you think I’m too young for an abortion?”

“I tell her no. I think she’s making a really responsible choice,” she writes. “She looks at me, says, 'Do you even know how old I am?' I shake my head no. 'I’m 14,' she says.”

Ronan did not indicate that she or anyone at the abortion facility reported the abuse, or encouraged Eliana to do so.

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When abortion volunteers speak to one another, they acknowledge they have seen everything – “the patients who have second thoughts, and the ones who get abortions for reasons that make you feel uncomfortable. These images are the stuff of pro-life campaigns, the ones that try to make women change their minds.”

Rather than help women face the facts, she said she often acts as a “distraction” to women. “When the patients stand, I see the blood stains on the white paper, a little or a lot,” she writes. “I step between them and the bed, to block their view of the blood.” Mitchell suggested doulas make small talk about astrology, but the writer chooses to talk about the Kardashians.

Part of that abortion industry's “distraction” involves lying, Ronan confesses. As a part of the abortion process, you “quickly learn that you do whatever you need to and ... sometimes you are dishonest. In the beginning, I shadow a more experienced doula as she reassures a patient that the woman in the next room screaming wildly is not here for the same procedure, though, of course, she is.”

She has also seen women who did not want to have abortions but feel they have no other option.

“A doula tells me a story about a woman who wanted to continue the pregnancy but had lost her job, run through all her savings, and was living in a homeless shelter.” For this reason, crisis pregnancy centers offer free medical procedures, diapers, baby clothes, and sometimes financial support to struggling mothers.

Another woman chose life too late. She scheduled a second-trimester abortion, because her child might not belong to her boyfriend. That morning, after the two-day procedure had been initiated, he told her they should keep the child anyway. “I can't, though, right?” she asks. “Since she’s already done laminaria, it’s unclear what would happen if she stops at this point.” She ended up aborting to assure the child would not be born with a birth defect. “I don't know what she wants and I don't know that she does, either,” Ronan says.

Ronan also reveals the often icy indifference of the industry to women's suffering.

She remembers another second-trimester patient named “Princess” who began having contractions, yet the doctor pushed her abortion back all day long. When she feels her child coming out, about to be born alive, the doula seeks help, but the coordinator tells her “coolly” that the doctor is unavailable. After she pleads for help, the abortionist dispatches an attending physician who performs the abortion.

“The fetus comes out easily; they put it in the bucket and shove it near me. It is fully intact, curled on its left side, fists closed, knees bent up,” Ronan writes. Looking at the dead child's mother, she thinks to herself, “He sleeps just like you.”

She immediately has “a second thought, an act of distancing: He looks more like an alien than a person.” An employee at Dr. Kermit Gosnell's late-term abortion facility, Sherry West, said one child who was murdered after being born alive screamed and screeched “like a little alien.”

But for all the pain they have witnessed, abortion doulas are relatively unmoved about what they are doing.

Doula Project co-founder Mahoney has admitted “those pictures pro-life activists flash are real.”

“When you see the procedure, you must decide, as a pro-choice person, whether you are in or out,” Mahoney said. “I have never been more in.”

Ronan seems to be in for the long haul, as well. Abortion “strikes me as strangely similar to birth, only the opposite word and a different outcome.”

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