A top official at the Susan G. Komen for the Cure has quit following outcry over the organization's decision to withdraw funding from Planned Parenthood.
Karen Handel, vice president of public affairs at the breast cancer charity, sent her resignation letter Tuesday and in it, acknowledged her involvement with Susan G. Komen for the Cure's decision to sever ties with the health organization.
In her letter, Handel noted that she was "deeply disappointed by the gross mischaracterizations of the strategy, its rationale and my involvement in it" and continued to state that the decision was not made because of politics. Susan G. Komen for the Cure had received added pressure from anti-abortion activists to distance itself from Planned Parenthood.
"Neither the decision nor the changes themselves were based on anyone’s political beliefs or ideology. Rather, both were based on Komen’s mission and how to better serve women, as well as a realization of the need to distance Komen from controversy. I believe that Komen, like any other nonprofit organization, has the right and the responsibility to set criteria and highest standards for how and to whom it grants," Handel wrote in her letter.
She continued: "What was a thoughtful and thoroughly reviewed decision – one that would have indeed enabled Komen to deliver even greater community impact – has unfortunately been turned into something about politics. This is entirely untrue. This development should sadden us all greatly."
Last week, Susan G. Komen for the Cure reversed its decision to cut funding from Planned Parenthood after members of Washington and Hollywood players voiced their disapproval.
"We want to apologize to the American public for recent decisions that cast doubt upon our commitment to our mission of saving women's lives," a Komen statement said at the time.
Earlier in the week, the breast cancer charity decided sever its ties with the health organization and would no longer donate funds for breast-screening grants.