How Komen decided to defund Planned Parenthood
By Sarah Kliff,
KAREN BLEIER AFP/GETTY IMAGES
Last spring, the board formed a three-member subcommittee to look into Planned Parenthood funding, according to a former Komen employee.
For the board, Komen staff members discussed scenarios involving cutting off part or all of the funding or maintaining the status quo, said Hammerly and other former employees.
Participants concluded that cutting off all funds would endanger low-income women who depended on the service. A partial cutoff would only compromise the integrity of the grants process and not be enough to satisfy critics, participants said. Staff members decided to recommend continued funding for Planned Parenthood.
“It was our recommendation that we stay the course,” [John Hammerly, a former senior communications advisor at Komen] said. “We thought there could also be significant concern, both from a public standpoint and an affiliate standpoint, if we ceased support.”
In early April, the board subcommittee held a conference call that included three Komen staff members, including Handel. Handel argued for defunding Planned Parenthood. Staff member Mollie Williams, who oversaw Komen’s community grants, argued to maintain funding. Leslie Aun, a communications official, warned of negative publicity if funding were cut off, according to a former Komen employee.
The consensus of the board subcommittee was to keep the funding, the former employee said.
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