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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Lisa Bourne

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Pressure mounts as Catholic Relief Services fails to act on VP in gay ‘marriage’

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne
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Rick Estridge, Catholic Relief Services' Vice President of Overseas Finance, is in a same-sex "marriage," public records show. Twitter

BALTIMORE, MD, April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- Nearly a week after news broke that a Catholic Relief Services vice president had contracted a homosexual “marriage” while also publicly promoting homosexuality on social media in conflict with Church teaching, the US Bishops international relief agency has taken no apparent steps to address the matter and is also not talking.

CRS Vice President of Overseas Finance Rick Estridge entered into a homosexual “marriage” in Maryland the same month in 2013 that he was promoted by CRS to vice president, public records show.

Despite repeated efforts at a response, CRS has not acknowledged LifeSiteNews’ inquiries during the week. And the agency told ChurchMilitant.com Thursday that no action had been taken beyond discussion of the situation and CRS would have no further comment.

"Nothing has changed,” CRS Senior Manager for Communications Tom said. “No further statement will be made."

LifeSiteNews first contacted CRS for a response prior to the April 20 release of the report and did not receive a reply, however Estridge’s Facebook and LinkeIn profiles were then removed just prior to the report’s release.

CRS also did not acknowledge LifeSiteNews’ follow-up inquiry later in the week.

“Having an executive who publicly celebrates a moral abomination shows the ineffectiveness of CRS' Catholic identity training,” Lepanto Institute President Michael Hichborn told LifeSiteNews. “How many others who hate Catholic moral teaching work at CRS?”

CRS did admit it was aware Estridge was in a “same-sex civil marriage” to Catholic News Agency (CNA) Monday afternoon, and confirmed he was VP of Overseas Finance and had been with CRS for 16 years.

“At this point we are in deliberations on this matter,” Price told CNA that day.

ChurchMilitant.com also reported that according to its sources, it was a well-known fact at CRS headquarters in Baltimore that Estridge was in a homosexual “marriage.” 

“There is no way CRS didn't know one of its executives entered into a mock-marriage until we broke the story,” Hichborn said. “The implication is clear; CRS top brass had no problem with having an executive so deliberately flouting Catholic moral teaching.”

“The big question is,” Hichborn continued, “what other morally repugnant matters is CRS comfortable with?”

While the wait continues for the Bishops’ relief organization to address the matter, those behind the report and other critics of prior instances of CRS involvement in programs and groups that violate Church principles continue to call for a thorough and independent review of the agency programs and personnel.

“How long should it take to call an employee into your office, tell him that his behavior is incompatible with the mission of the organization, and ask for his resignation?” asked Population Research Institute President Steven Mosher. “About thirty minutes, I would say.”

“The Catholic identity of CRS is at stake,” Hichborn stated. “If CRS does nothing, then there is no way faithful Catholics can trust the integrity of CRS's programs or desire to make its Catholicity preeminent.” 

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Thousands of marriage activists gathered in D.C. June 19, 2014 for the 2nd March for Marriage. Dustin Siggins / LifeSiteNews.com
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Watch the March for Marriage online—only at LifeSiteNews

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WASHINGTON, D.C., April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- At noon on Saturday, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and dozens of cosponsors, coalition partners, and speakers will launch the third annual March for Marriage. Thousands of people are expected to take place in this important event to show the support real marriage has among the American people.

As the sole media sponsor of the March, LifeSiteNews is proud to exclusively livestream the March. Click here to see the rally at noon Eastern Time near the U.S. Capitol, and the March to the Supreme Court at 1:00 Eastern Time.

And don't forget to pray that God's Will is done on Tuesday, when the Supreme Court hears arguments about marriage!

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Hillary Clinton: ‘Religious beliefs’ against abortion ‘have to be changed’

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By Ben Johnson

NEW YORK CITY, April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Speaking to an influential gathering in New York City on Thursday, Hillary Clinton declared that “religious beliefs” that condemn "reproductive rights," “have to be changed.”

“Yes, we've cut the maternal mortality rate in half, but far too many women are still denied critical access to reproductive health,” Hillary told the Women in the World Summit yesterday.

Liberal politicians use “reproductive health” as a blanket term that includes abortion. However, Hillary's reference echoes National Organization for Women (NOW) president Terry O’Neill's op-ed from last May that called abortion “an essential measure to prevent the heartbreak of infant mortality.”

The Democratic presidential hopeful added that governments should throw the power of state coercion behind the effort to redefine traditional religious dogmas.

“Rights have to exist in practice, not just on paper. Laws have to be backed up with resources, and political will,” she said. “Deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs, and structural biases have to be changed.”

The line received rousing applause at the feminist conference, hosted in Manhattan's Lincoln Center by Tina Brown.

She also cited religious-based objections to the HHS mandate, funding Planned Parenthood, and the homosexual and transgender agenda as obstacles that the government must defeat.

“America moves ahead when all women are guaranteed the right to make their own health care choices, not when those choices are taken away by an employer like Hobby Lobby,” she said. The Supreme Court ruled last year that closely held corporations had the right to opt out of the provision of ObamaCare requiring them to provide abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives, and sterilization to employees with no co-pay – a mandate that violates the teachings of the Catholic Church and other Christian bodies.

Clinton lamented that “there are those who offer themselves as leaders...who would defund the country's leading provider of family planning,” Planned Parenthood, “and want to let health insurance companies once again charge women just because of our gender.”

“We move forward when gay and transgender women are embraced...not fired from good jobs because of who they love or who they are,” she added.

It is not the first time the former first lady had said that liberal social policies should displace religious views. In a December 2011 speech in Geneva, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said perhaps the “most challenging issue arises when people cite religious or cultural values as a reason to violate or not to protect the human rights of LGBT citizens.” These objections, she said, are “not unlike the justification offered for violent practices towards women like honor killings, widow burning, or female genital mutilation.”

While opinions on homosexuality are “still evolving,” in time “we came to learn that no [religious] practice or tradition trumps the human rights that belong to all of us.”

Her views, if outside the American political mainstream, have been supported by the United Nations. The UN Population Fund stated in its 2012 annual report that religious objections to abortion-inducing drugs had to be overcome. According to the UNFPA report, “‘duty-bearers’ (governments and others)” have a responsibility to assure that all forms of contraception – including sterilization and abortion-inducing ‘emergency contraception’ – are viewed as acceptable – “But if they are not acceptable for cultural, religious or other reasons, they will not be used.”

Two years later, the United Nations' Committee on the Rights of the Child instructed the Vatican last February that the Catholic Church should amend canon law “relating to abortion with a view to identifying circumstances under which access to abortion services may be permitted.”

At Thursday's speech, Hillary called the legal, state-enforced implementation of feminist politics “the great unfinished business of the 21st century,” which must be accomplished “not just for women but for everyone — and not just in far away countries but right here in the United States.”

“These are not just women's fights. These have to be America's fights and the world's fights,” she said. “There's still much to be done in our own country, much more to be done around the world, but I'm confident and optimistic that if we get to work, we will get it done together.”

American critics called Clinton's suggestion that a nation founded upon freedom of religion begin using state force to change religious practices unprecedented.

“Never before have we seen a presidential candidate be this bold about directly confronting the Catholic Church's teachings on abortion,” said Bill Donohue of the Catholic League.

“In one sense, this shows just how extreme the pro-abortion caucus actually is,” Ed Morrissey writes at HotAir.com. “Running for president on the basis of promising to use the power of government to change 'deep seated cultural codes [and] religious beliefs' might be the most honest progressive slogan in history.”

He hoped that, now that she had called for governments to change religious doctrines, “voters will now see the real Hillary Clinton, the one who dismisses their faith just the same as Obama did, and this time publicly rather than in a private fundraiser.”

Donohue asked Hillary “to take the next step and tell us exactly what she plans to do about delivering on her pledge. Not only would practicing Catholics like to know, so would Evangelicals, Orthodox Jews, Muslims, and all those who value life from conception to natural death.”

You may watch Hillary's speech below.

Her comments on religion begin at approximately 9:00. 

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