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Former Susan G. Komen Exec: Karl Rove Advised Us to Restore Planned Parenthood's Funding


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

Karl Rove talks in his mobile phone as he walks across the floor before the second session of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2012.Credit: AP

It has been over six months since the controversy surrounding Susan G. Komen for the Cure deciding to pull its funding from Planned Parenthood, only to be besieged on all sides, and decide to reverse course. Yet as something of a miniature, pro-Life Chick-fil-A-style event that was cut short by circumstance, it may still leave a bad taste in some peoples' mouths.

It certainly left a bad taste in the mouth of Karen Handel, the former Komen senior vice president who spearheaded the defunding and resigned in the wake of its being restored. And Handel isn't going quietly. In her new book "Planned Bullyhood," Handel casts blame not merely on Leftist sympathizers with Planned Parenthood for forcing the decision, but even on people who many conservatives would expect to be reliable allies.

Specifically, and most notably, Handel fingers former Bush adviser Karl Rove as having advised Komen to restore its funding, believing that the whole affair had gone too far and damaged their brand. The Daily Caller reports:

Rove’s advice, according to “Planned Bullyhood,” came as Susan G. Komen for the Cure found itself embroiled in a public relations fiasco after announcing it would stop giving money to Planned Parenthood, which has clinics that perform abortions.[...]

In the book, Handel recalls Susan G. Komen for the Cure CEO Nancy Brinker telling her that “I’ve talked to a lot of people. And even Karl says we have to backtrack.”

Handel, who said she didn’t know who “Karl” was at first, recalls Brinker clarifying that she was talking about Rove.

LifeNews originally reported the excerpts, which readers - especially those smarting over Rove's decision to savage Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin - may find rather galling:

I just said, “You don’t have to apologize to me. But I have to say again that it is a huge mistake. Wait through the weekend. It’s Super Bowl weekend. We know there are op-eds teed up about how outrageous Planned Parenthood is being, that private organizations have the right to make the decisions they believe are best. If we blink now, it’s over and no one will know that 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!”

I started laughing. Just when I thought things could not get more bizarre. What in the world did Karl Rove have to do with anything?

Rove's status as an in-demand strategy consulting guru would explain his influence on Brinker - and indeed, his opinion on what is and is not a good public relations policy is something many people would probably take to heart.

Granted, Rove has a fairly decent pro-Life record, at least when it comes to public statements, so this act is arguably out of character. It's also possible that Handel might have spruced up her book by throwing in this sort of reference to a famous GOP consultant, or that Rove might have been misquoted or misunderstood, given that he himself never appears in the book.

Nevertheless, accurate or not, Handel's accusation may strike some as prophetic.

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