Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images.
A top official at the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation resigned Tuesday following last week's dispute over whether the breast cancer awareness charity should stop supporting Planned Parenthood, the Associated Press reports.
Karen Handel, Komen's vice president for public policy, had supported new grant-giving guidelines that excluded Planned Parenthood from funds for breast cancer screenings on the basis that the organization is under investigation by the government. But others have questioned the validity of that investigation, which is spearheaded by a Florida congressmen and supported by anti-abortion organizations, as well as the fact that Planned Parenthood was the only organization affected by Komen's new guidelines.
Handel stood by the original decision by Komen in her resignation letter (via the AP):
"I am deeply disappointed by the gross mischaracterizations of the strategy, its rationale, and my involvement in it," Handel said in her letter. "I openly acknowledge my role in the matter and continue to believe our decision was the best one for Komen’s future and the women we serve."
Handel is largely seen as the architect of Komen's strategy to stop giving grants to Planned Parenthood. Before joining Komen, she had unsuccessfully run to become Georgia's governor. Her campaign included a strong anti-abortion message, the Los Angeles Times notes.
The news doesn't come as a total surprise: on Monday, Jezebel flagged a job posting at Komen that bore a striking resemblance to Handel's job description.