During Battle With Planned Parenthood, Even Karl Rove Advised Komen To Rethink Decision To Defund

A new tell-all book by Karen Handel, the former Senior Vice President for Public Policy at Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation, alleges that during the organization’s weeks-long confrontation with progressives outraged at their decision to pull funding from Planned Parenthood, Republican strategist Karl Rove was advising that Komen reverse course.

In her book Planned Bullyhood, Handel recounts one conversation towards the end of the scandal with Komen Founder and CEO Nancy Binker:

“…If we blink now, it’s over and no one will know what Komen stands for,” I implored.

Nancy’s reply stunned me. “Karen, I’ve talked to a lot of people. And even Karl says we have to backtrack. There’s just no other way.”

“Karl? Who’s Karl?”

She looked at me strangely as if I should know exactly who she was talking about. She said, “Karl Rove!”

If true, it would be an odd juxtaposition with Rove’s tireless work to elect conservatives who have vowed to defund Planned Parenthood to federal office. “Planned Parenthood, we’re going to get rid of that,” Mitt Romney told a Kirkwood, Missouri interviewer in March. Karl Rove, who advises the Romney campaign, has yet to comment on the allegations made in the book or whether he disagrees with the Republican presidential candidate that Planned Parenthood should be defunded.


Earlier this year, Komen found itself in the middle of a self-inflicted imbroglio when they abruptly announced a new policy that immediately disqualified Planned Parenthood — and only Planned Parenthood — from receiving one of the organization’s sizable grants. The backlash against Komen was immediate and unrelenting, ultimately resulting in the firing Handel, a chief architect of the plan to defund Planned Parenthood. Even months after Komen backtracked, the organization was still suffering the consequences of their initial decision.


In a conversation with the Daily Caller, Karl Rove disputes Karen Handel’s version of events, and denied that he advised Komen to restore their funding to Planned Parenthood:

Reached by phone, the prominent Republican strategist said the charge made by former Komen senior vice president Karen Handel in “Planned Bullyhood” is “not accurate.” He declined to elaborate.