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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Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin

PBS defends decision to air pro-abortion documentary ‘After Tiller’

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By Dustin Siggins

Under pressure for showing the pro-abortion documentary "After Tiller" on Labor Day, PBS' "POV" affiliate has defended the decision in response to an inquiry from LifeSiteNews.

The producers of the film say their goal with the documentary, which tells the stories of four late-term abortion doctors after the killing of infamous late-term abortionist George Tiller, is to "change public perception of third-trimester abortion providers by building a movement dedicated to supporting their right to work with a special focus on maintaining their safety.” 

POV told LifeSiteNews, "We do believe that 'After Tiller' adds another dimension to an issue that is being debated widely." Asked if POV will show a pro-life documentary, the organization said that it "does not have any other films currently scheduled on this issue. POV received almost 1000 film submissions each year through our annual call for entries and we welcome the opportunity to consider films with a range of points of view."

When asked whether POV was concerned about alienating its viewership -- since PBS received more than $400 million in federal tax dollars in 2012 and half of Americans identify as pro-life -- POV said, "The filmmakers would like the film to add to the discussion around these issues. Abortion is already a legal procedure."

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"This is an issue that people feel passionately about and will have a passionate response to. We are hopeful that the majority of people can see it for what it is, another lens on a very difficult issue." 

In addition to the documentary, POV has written materials for community leaders and teachers to share. A cursory examination of the 29-page document, which is available publicly, appears to include links to outside sources that defend Roe v. Wade, an examination of the constitutional right to privacy, and "a good explanation of the link between abortion law and the right to privacy," among other information.

Likewise, seven clips recommended for student viewing -- grades 11 and beyond -- include scenes where couples choose abortion because the children are disabled. Another shows pro-life advocates outside a doctor's child's school, and a third is described as showing "why [one of the film's doctors] chose to offer abortion services and includes descriptions of what can happen when abortion is illegal or unavailable, including stories of women who injured themselves when they tried to terminate their own pregnancies and children who were abused because they were unwanted."

Another clip "includes footage of protesters, as well as news coverage of a hearing in the Nebraska State Legislature in which abortion opponents make reference to the idea that a fetus feels pain." The clip's description fails to note that it is a scientifically proven fact that unborn children can feel pain.

The documentary is set to air on PBS at 10 p.m. Eastern on Labor Day.

Kirsten Andersen contributed to this article.

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Pete Baklinski Pete Baklinski Follow Pete

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He defended ‘real’ marriage, and then was beheaded for it

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By Pete Baklinski

A Christian man was executed during the night by a high-profile ruler after making an uncompromising defense of real marriage.

The Christian, who was renowned for his holiness, had told the ruler in public that his relationship with his partner was “against the law” of God. The Christian’s words enraged the ruler’s partner who successfully plotted to have him permanently silenced.

John the Baptist was first imprisoned before he was beheaded. The Catholic Church honors him today, August 29, as a martyr and saint.

While John’s death happened a little less than 2,000 years ago, his heroic stance for real marriage is more pertinent today than ever before.

According to the Gospel of Mark, the ruler Herod had ‘married’ his brother’s wife Herodias. When John told Herod with complete frankness, “It is against the law for you to have your brother’s wife,” Herodias became “furious” with him to the point of wanting him killed for his intolerance, bullying, and hate-speech.

Herodias found her opportunity to silence John by having her daughter please Herod during a dance at a party. Herod offered the girl anything she wanted. The daughter turned to her mother for advice, and Herodias said to ask for John’s head on a platter.

Those who fight for real marriage today can learn three important lessons from John’s example.

  1. Those proudly living in ungodly and unnatural relationships — often referred to in today’s sociopolitical sphere as ‘marriage’ — will despise those who tell them what they are doing is wrong. Real marriage defenders must expect opposition to their message from the highest levels.
  2. Despite facing opposition, John was not afraid to defend God’s plan for marriage in the public square, even holding a secular ruler accountable to this plan. John, following the third book of the Hebrew Bible (Leviticus 20:21), held that a man marrying the wife of his brother was an act of “impurity” and therefore abhorrent to God. Real marriage defenders must boldly proclaim today that God is the author of marriage, an institution he created to be a life-long union between one man and one woman from which children arise and in which they are best nurtured. Marriage can be nothing more, nothing less.
  3. John did not compromise on the truth of marriage as revealed by God, even to the point of suffering imprisonment and death for his unpopular position. Real marriage defenders must never compromise on the truth of marriage, even if the government, corporate North America, and the entire secular education system says otherwise. They must learn to recognize the new “Herodias” of today who despises those raising a voice against her lifestyle. They must stand their ground no matter what may come, no matter what the cost.

John the Baptist was not intolerant or a bigot, he simply lived the word of God without compromise, speaking the word of truth when it was needed, knowing that God’s way is always the best way. Were John alive today, he would be at the forefront of the grassroots movement opposing the social and political agenda to remake marriage in the image of man.

Click "like" if you want to defend true marriage.

If he were alive today he might speak simple but eloquent words such as, “It is against God’s law for two men or two women to be together as a husband and wife in marriage. Marriage can only be between a man and a woman.” 

He would most likely be hated. He would be ridiculed. He would surely have the human rights tribunals throwing the book at him. But he would be speaking the truth and have God as his ally. 

The time may not be far off when those who defend real marriage, like John, will be presented with the choice of following Caesar or making the ultimate sacrifice. May God grant his faithful the grace to persevere in whatever might come. St. John the Baptist, pray for us!

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The Wunderlich family Mike Donnelly / Home School Legal Defence Association
Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus

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German homeschoolers regain custody of children, vow to stay and fight for freedom

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By Thaddeus Baklinski

One year to the day since a team of 20 social workers, police officers, and special agents stormed a homeschooling family’s residence near Darmstadt, Germany, and forcibly removed all four of the family’s children, aged 7 to 14, a state appeals court has returned custody of the children to their parents.

The reason given for the removal was that parents Dirk and Petra Wunderlich continued to homeschool their children in defiance of a German ban on home education.

The children were returned three weeks after being taken, following an international outcry spearheaded by the Home School Legal Defense Association.

However, a lower court imposed the condition on the parents that their children were required to attend state schools in order for them to be released, and took legal custody of the children in order to prevent the family from leaving the country.

In a decision that was still highly critical of the parents and of homeschooling, the appeals court decided that the action of the lower court in putting the children in the custody of the state was “disproportional” and ordered complete custody returned to the parents, according to a statement by the HSLDA.

The Wunderlichs, who began homeschooling again when the court signaled it would rule this way, said they were very pleased with the result, but noted that the court’s harsh words about homeschooling indicated that their battle was far from over.

“We have won custody and we are glad about that,” Dirk said.

“The court said that taking our children away was not proportionate—only because the authorities should apply very high fines and criminal prosecution instead. But this decision upholds the absurd idea that homeschooling is child endangerment and an abuse of parental authority.”

The Wunderlichs are now free to emigrate to another country where homeschooling is legal, if they choose, but they said they intend to remain in Germany and work for educational freedom.

“While we no longer fear that our children will be taken away as long as we are living in Hessen, it can still happen to other people in Germany,” Dirk said. “Now we fear crushing fines up to $75,000 and jail. This should not be tolerated in a civilized country.”

Petra Wunderlich said, "We could not do this without the help of HSLDA,” but cautioned that, “No family can fight the powerful German state—it is too much, too expensive."

"If it were not for HSLDA and their support, I am afraid our children would still be in state custody. We are so grateful and thank all homeschoolers who have helped us by helping HSLDA.”

HSLDA’s Director for Global Outreach, Michael Donnelly, said he welcomed the ruling but was concerned about the court’s troubling language.

“We welcome this ruling that overturns what was an outrageous abuse of judicial power,” he said.

“The lower court decision to take away legal custody of the children essentially imprisoned the Wunderlich family in Germany. But this decision does not go far enough. The court has only grudgingly given back custody and has further signaled to local authorities that they should still go after the Wunderlichs with criminal charges or fines.”

Donnelly pointed out that such behavior in a democratic country is problematic.

“Imprisonment and fines for homeschooling are outside the bounds of what free societies that respect fundamental human rights should tolerate,” he explained.

“Freedom and fundamental human rights norms demand respect for parental decision making in education. Germany’s state and national policies that permit banning home education must be changed.

"Such policies from a leading European democracy not only threaten the rights of tens of thousands of German families but establish a dangerous example that other countries may be tempted to follow,” Donnelly warned.

HSLDA Chairman Michael Farris said that acting on behalf of the Wunderlichs was an important stand for freedom.

“The Wunderlichs are a good and decent family whose basic human rights were violated and are still threatened,” Farris said.

“Their fight is our fight," Farris stressed, "and we will continue to support those who stand against German policy banning homeschooling that violates international legal norms. Free people cannot tolerate such oppression and we will do whatever we can to fight for families like the Wunderlichs both here in the United States and abroad. We must stand up to this kind of persecution where it occurs or we risk seeing own freedom weakened.”

Visit the HSLDA website dedicated to helping the Wunderlich family and other German homeschoolers here.

Contact the German embassy in the U.S. here.

Contact the German embassy in Canada here.

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