Komen VP resigns; an important first step, but a long road to reconciliation remains

The Komen Foundation VP at the center of the Planned Parenthood firestorm, Karen Handel, has resigned.

A few days ago I predicted on Facebook that she’d be gone within a week, but  then retracted the prediction when I learned more about the heavy-Right political leanings of the rest of the board (and the involvement of Ari Fleischer in their strategy development).

On Friday, just before America took its collective brain offline for Super Bowl Weekend, Komen offered up a fake apology that encouraged the public to believe that it had changed its mind and was going to continue funding Planned Parenthood after all, even though its release actually said nothing of the sort. It isn’t clear how many average citizens the ploy fooled, but as I explained on Saturday, it sure as hell clowned the copy desk editors of just about every major news outlet in the country.

It’s hard to say at this point what the motivation is for Handel’s exit. Maybe the board is looking at the numbers and concluding that it still hasn’t done enough to assuage the anger of its donor base, and in this case it needs a scapegoat. Or maybe Handel is taking more personal heat than she’s comfortable with and just said to hell with it.

However, what isn’t happening is a substantive reversal on the part of the Komen organization. That social conservative board, in bed with the repugnant, fork-tongued Fleischer, has not decided that it was wrong. Whatever is going on today is designed to distract the public so that they can find another means of enacting their cynical agenda.

I said last week that three things need to happen before America should even consider giving Komen a penny of its cash or a second of its support. First, Handel must go. Second, the rest of the board must go (and at this point, I think that has to include founder Nancy Brinker, who can no longer be trusted). Finally, as I said Friday, demand “that they work with non-partisan health and women’s groups to replace [Handel and the board] with leaders who will put the well being of American women first.”

One down, two to go. Women’s health should not be subjugated to the whims of a partisan agenda, and Handel’s departure, while welcomed, is nothing more than a small first step on a long, rocky road to reconciliation.

I encourage those dedicated to the cause of cancer research and women’s health generally to do a little research. In addition to Planned Parenthood, there are many other local and national organizations who can put those dollars to valuable use.

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