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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Newsbusters Staff

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Disney ABC embraces X-rated anti-Christian bigot Dan Savage in new prime time show

Newsbusters Staff
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March 30, 2015 (NewsBusters.org) -- Media Research Center (MRC) and Family Research Council (FRC) are launching a joint national campaign to educate the public about a Disney ABC sitcom pilot based on the life of bigoted activist Dan Savage. MRC and FRC contacted Ben Sherwood, president of Disney/ABC Television Group, more than two weeks ago urging him to put a stop to this atrocity but received no response. [Read the full letter]

A perusal of Dan Savage’s work reveals a career built on advocating violence — even murder — and spewing hatred against people of faith. Savage has spared no one with whom he disagrees from his vitriolic hate speech. Despite his extremism, vulgarity, and unabashed encouragement of dangerous sexual practices, Disney ABC is moving forward with this show, disgustingly titled “Family of the Year.”

Media Research Center President Brent Bozell reacts:

“Disney ABC’s decision to effectively advance Dan Savage’s calls for violence against conservatives and his extremist attacks against people of faith, particularly evangelicals and Catholics, is appalling and outrageous. If hate speech were a crime, this man would be charged with a felony. Disney ABC giving Dan Savage a platform for his anti-religious bigotry is mind-boggling and their silence is deafening.

“By creating a pilot based on the life of this hatemonger and bringing him on as a producer, Disney ABC is sending a signal that they endorse Dan Savage’s wish that a man be murdered. He has stated, ‘Carl Romanelli should be dragged behind a pickup truck until there’s nothing left but the rope.’ ABC knows this. We told them explicitly.

“If the production of ‘Family of the Year’ is allowed to continue, not just Christians but all people of goodwill can only surmise that the company Walt Disney created is endorsing violence.”

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins reacts:

“Does ABC really want to produce a pilot show based on a vile bully like Dan Savage?  Do Dan Savage’s over-the top-obscenity, intimidation of teenagers and even violent rhetoric reflect the values of Disney?  Partnering with Dan Savage and endorsing his x-rated message will be abandoning the wholesome values that have attracted millions of families to Walt Disney.”

Dan Savage has made numerous comments about conservatives, evangelicals, and Catholics that offend basic standards of decency. They include:

  • Proclaiming that he sometimes thinks about “f****ing the shit out of” Senator Rick Santorum

  • Calling for Christians at a high school conference to “ignore the bull**** in the Bible”

  • Saying that “the only thing that stands between my d*** and Brad Pitt’s mouth is a piece of paper” when expressing his feelings on Pope Benedict’s opposition to gay marriage

  • Promoting marital infidelity

  • Saying “Carl Romanelli should be dragged behind a pickup truck until there’s nothing left but the rope.”

  • Telling Bill Maher that he wished Republicans “were all f***ing dead”

  • Telling Dr. Ben Carson to “suck my d***. Name the time and place and I’ll bring my d*** and a camera crew and you can s*** me off and win the argument.”

Reprinted with permission from Newsbusters

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Jacqueline Harvey

Ending the end-of-life impasse: Texas is poised to ban doctor-imposed death by starvation

Jacqueline Harvey
By Jacqueline Harvey

AUSTIN, Texas, March 30, 2015 (TexasInsider.org)  After five consecutive sessions of bitter battles over end-of-life bills, the Texas Legislature is finally poised to pass the first reform to the Texas Advance Directives Act (TADA) in 12 years. An issue that created uncanny adversaries out of natural allies, and equally odd bedfellows, has finally found common ground in H.B. 3074 by State Rep. Drew Springer.  

H.B. 3074 simply prohibits doctor-imposed euthanasia by starvation and dehydration.

Since H.B. 3074 includes only those provisions and language that all major organizations are on record as having deemed acceptable in previous legislative sessions, there is finally hope of ending the end-of-life impasse in the Texas Capitol.

Many would be surprised to learn that Texas law allows physicians to forcibly remove a feeding tube against the will of the patient and their family. In fact, there is a greater legal penalty for failing to feed or water an animal than for a hospital to deny a human being food and water through a tube.

This is because there is no penalty whatsoever for a healthcare provider who wishes to deny artificially-administered nutrition and hydration (AANH). According to Texas Health and Safety Code, “every living dumb creature” is legally entitled access to suitable food and water.

Denying an animal food and water, like in this January case in San Antonio, is punishable by civil fines up to $10,000 and criminal penalties up to two years in jail per offense. Yet Texas law allows health care providers to forcibly deny food and water from human beings – what they would not be able to legally do to their housecat. And healthcare providers are immune from civil and criminal penalties for denial of food and water to human beings as long as they follow the current statutory process which is sorely lacking in safeguards.

Therefore, while it is surprising that Texas has the only state law that explicitly mentions food and water delivered artificially for the purpose of completely permitting its forced denial (the other six states mention AANH explicitly for the opposite purpose, to limit or prohibit its refusal), it is not at all surprising that the issue of protecting a patient’s right to food and water is perhaps the one point of consensus across all major stakeholders.

H.B. 3074 is the first TADA reform bill to include only this provision that is agreed upon across all major players in previous legislative sessions.

There are irreconcilable ideological differences between two major right-to-life organizations that should supposedly be like-minded: Texas Alliance for Life and Texas Right to Life. Each faction (along with their respective allies) have previously sponsored broad and ambitious bills to either preserve but reform the current law (Texas Alliance for Life’s position) or overturn it altogether as Texas Right to Life aims to do.

Prior to H.B. 3074, bills filed by major advocacy organizations have often included AANH, but also a host of other provisions that were so contentious and unacceptable to other organizations that each bill ultimately died, and this mutually-agreed-upon and vital reform always died along with it.

2011 & 2013 Legislative Sessions present prime example

This 2011 media report shows the clear consensus on need for legislation to simply address the need to protect patients’ rights to food and water:

“Hughes [bill sponsor for Texas Right to Life] has widespread support for one of his bill’s goals: making food and water a necessary part of treatment and not something that can be discontinued, unless providing it would harm the patient.”

Nonetheless, in 2013, both organizations and their allies filed complicated, contentious opposing bills, both of which would have protected a patient’s right to food and water but each bill also included provisions the rival group saw as contrary to their goals. Both bills were ultimately defeated and neither group was able to achieve protections for patients at risk of forced starvation and dehydration – a mutual goal that could have been met through a third, narrow bill like H.B. 3074.

H.B. 3074 finally focuses on what unites the organizations involved rather than what divides them, since these differences have resulted in a 12 year standoff with no progress whatsoever.

H.B. 3074 is progress that is pre-negotiated and pre-approved.

It is not a fertile springboard for negotiations on an area of mutual agreement. Rather it is the culmination of years of previous negotiations on bills that all came too late, either due to the complexnature of rival bills, the controversy involved, or even both.

On the contrary, H.B. 3074 is not just simply an area of agreement; moreover, it is has already been negotiated. It should not be stymied by disagreements on language, since Texas Alliance for Life and Texas Right to Life (along with their allies) were able to agree on language in 2007 with C.S.S.B. 439. C.S.S.B. 439 reads that, unlike the status quo that places no legal conditions on when food and water may be withdrawn, it would be permitted for those in a terminal condition if,

“reasonable medical evidence indicates the provision of artificial nutrition and hydration may hasten the patient’s death or seriously exacerbate other major medical problems and the risk of serious medical pain or discomfort that cannot be alleviated based on reasonable medical judgment outweighs the benefit of continued artificial nutrition and hydration.”

This language is strikingly similar to H.B. 3074 which states, “except that artificially administered nutrition and hydration must be provided unless, based on reasonable medical judgment, providingartificially administered nutrition and hydration would:

  1. Hasten the patient’s death;
  2. Seriously exacerbate other major medical problems not outweighed by the benefit of the provision of the treatment;
  3. Result in substantial irremediable physical pain, suffering, or discomfort not outweighed by the benefit of the provision of the treatment;
  4. Be medically ineffective; or
  5. Be contrary to the patient’s clearly stated desire not to receive artificially administered nutrition or hydration.”

With minimal exceptions (the explicit mention of the word terminal, the issue of medical effectiveness and the patient’s right to refuse), the language is virtually identical, and in 2007 Texas Right to Life affirmed this language as clarifying that “ANH can only be withdrawn if the risk of providing ANH is greater than the benefit of continuing it.”

Texas Right to Life would support the language in H.B. 3074 that already has Texas Alliance for Life’s endorsement. Any reconciliation on the minor differences in language would therefore be minimal and could be made by either side, but ultimately, both sides and their allies would gain a huge victory – the first victory in 12 years on this vital issue.

It seems that the Texas Advance Directive Act, even among its sympathizers, has something for everyone to oppose.

The passage of H.B. 3074 and the legal restoration of rights to feeding tubes for Texas patients will not begin to satisfy critics of the Texas Advance Directives Act who desire much greater changes to the law and will assuredly continue to pursue them. H.B. 3074 in no way marks the end for healthcare reform, but perhaps a shift from the belief that anything short of sweeping changes is an endorsement of the status quo.

Rather, we can look at H.B. 3074 as breaking a barrier and indicating larger changes are possible.

And if nothing else, by passing H.B. 3074 introduced by State Rep. Drew Springer, we afford human beings in Texas the same legal access to food and water that we give to our horses. What is cruel to do to an animal remains legal to do to humans in Texas if organizations continue to insist on the whole of their agenda rather than agreeing to smaller bills like H.B. 3074.

The question is, can twelve years of bad blood and bickering be set aside for even this most noble of causes?

Reprinted from TexasInsider.org with the author's permission. 

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By John-Henry Westen

I can’t believe how quickly our annual Spring campaign has flown by. Now,with only 3 days remaining, we still have $96,000 left to raise to meet our absolute minimum goal.

That’s why I must challenge you to stop everything, right now, and make a donation of whatever amount you can afford to support the pro-life and pro-family investigative reporting of LifeSite!

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For 17 years, we have relied almost exclusively on the donations of our growing army of everyday readers like you: readers who are tired of the anti-life and anti-family bias of the mainstream media, and who are looking for a different kind of news agency.

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This is thanks only to the leaders, activists, and ordinary readers just like you who have recognized the importance truth plays in turning the tides of the Culture.

I want to thank the many readers who helped bring us within striking distance of our minimum goal with their donations over the weekend. 

But though we have made great strides in the past few days, we still need many more donations if we are going to have any hope of making it all the way by April 1st.

In these final, anxious days of our quarterly campaigns, I am always tempted to give in to fear, imagining what will happen if we don’t reach our goal.

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