On Thursday, December 13, FRCwas pleased to host a lecture and panel discussion featuring Karen Handel, former Vice President of Komen for the Cure. Karen was joined by Jeanne Monahan, President of March for Life, and Cathy Ruse, Senior Fellow, Legal Studies atFRC.

The reason Karen is the former Vice President of the Susan G. Komen foundation is detailed in her new book, Planned Bullyhood: The Truth Behind the Headlines about the Planned Parenthood Funding Battle with Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Karen’s story is a fascinating account of how a renowned charity with the purpose of fighting breast cancer became the target of a vicious attack by Planned Parenthood.

The firestorm started when Komen decided to review its grants to other organizations for the purpose of determining which grants were effectively used to fight breast cancer. Since Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) provided no mammogram services, the approximately $700,000 annual grant from Komen to Planned Parenthood fell into the category of non-impactful grants and was slated to be eliminated. According to Karen, when Komen reached out to Planned Parenthood and explained its position, all signs pointed to an amicable break between the organizations. Instead, Komen was completely blindsided by the wrath that was unleashed against it by the media,Hollywood, and executives at PPFA. As Karen related, Planned Parenthood offered up Komen as a sacrificial lamb to protect its abortion agenda.

PPFA is primarily an abortion provider; in fact, they are the leading abortion provider in the U.S.and now require all affiliate centers to provide abortions. Abortion is an extremely lucrative business for PPFA. In 2010, PPFA performed 329,445 abortions, which amounted to $181 million in revenue. Out of PPFA’s total income, almost half (46%) comes from the pockets of American taxpayers. Government funding for PPFA in 2010 reached a staggering $487 million, according to PPFA’s annual report.

The current administration continues to persist in issuing massive grants to PPFA despite evidence that PPFA affiliates have been involved in financial waste, abuse, and potential fraud, according to Alliance Defending Freedom’s comprehensive audit. Additionally, PPFA affiliates have been involved in lawsuits for failure to report statutory rape and sex abuse. Several undercover sting videos by Live Action have shown various affiliates’ willingness to aid and abet the sex trafficking of minors and accept donations for the purpose of aborting minorities.

As many of you know, three days after it announced that its grants to Planned Parenthood would be terminated, Komen retracted amidst relentless pressure, and decided to continue funding Planned Parenthood. Karen’s story is not to be missed, and I encourage everyone to read the book and especially to watch the web cast of the event. The question remains, what can we do?

First, read FRC’s  America’s Abortion Provider: What Everyone Should Know About Abortion pamphlet, and FRC Action’s publication, The Real Planned Parenthood: Leading the Culture of Death to become fully informed on the issues. Additionally, urge your legislators - national, state and local - to not remain silent on the issue of defunding Planned Parenthood. Ask them to participate in any Congressional investigation into the practices of Planned Parenthood. For additional steps you can take to help hold PPFA accountable, please see the America’s Abortion Provider pamphlet.

Any organization that receives a significant portion of its annual budget from the American people should be held accountable for its use of that money. Such an organization should be expected to maintain the highest ethical standards. Planned Parenthood falls miserably short of these expectations. The day for giving them a free-pass is long past.