Karen Handel on Abortion



I cut ties with Planned Parenthood because I was ordered to

One of the rawest and most emotionally-charged moments of the debate came when the two candidates butted heads on health care. Ossoff said Handel "sees fit to impose her own view on Georgians' health care decisions," and cited her short yet high-profile tenure as vice president of public policy at the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Handel resigned from the charity in 2012 and later wrote a book called "Planned Bullyhood" about the group's decision to reverse course on its decision to cut ties with Planned Parenthood because of abortion.

"She imposed her own views and cut off funding for breast cancer screenings at Planned Parenthood," Ossoff said.

"I have been working on women's health issues for nearly my entire life," Handel responded. "I will not be lectured by you or anyone else." She said that she was just one of many employees at Komen and that she carried out the decision to cut ties with Planned Parenthood after being instructed to do so by the Komen board.

Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution on 2017 Georgia House debate , Jun 6, 2017

Chaired Commission with abortion grants, but opposed them

In 2012, Handel resigned from a leadership role with the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation after it reversed its decision to cut ties with the abortion rights group Planned Parenthood. Handel timeline:
  • Nov. 2003: Handel elected to chairwoman of the Fulton County Commission.
  • Nov. 2006: Handel elected Georgia secretary of state--despite a rival's claim that, because the Fulton County Commission approved grants to Planned Parenthood, she supports abortion.
  • March 2009: Handel declares her candidacy for governor. Opponents and Georgia Right to Life criticize her as soft on abortion. Handel blogs that she opposes Planned Parenthood.
  • April 2011: Handel named vice president for public policy for Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
  • Feb. 2012: Handel resigns from Komen after it reverses a decision to stop providing grants to Planned Parenthood.
  • Sept. 11, 2012: Publishes "Planned Bullyhood," a book that largely concerns her tenure at Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
    Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution on 2017 Georgia 6th House race , Apr 18, 2017

    Endorsed by Susan B. Anthony List for pro-life women

    The Susan B. Anthony List is throwing its support to former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel's Senate campaign. The group supports candidates who oppose abortion rights, mostly endorsing Republican women.

    Handel, while at the Susan G. Komen Foundation for breast cancer research, pushed the group to end funding for Planned Parenthood, a women's health organization that provides abortions. The move triggered a huge public controversy, the group reversed its decision and Handel resigned.

    The Susan B. Anthony List touts her fight to keep money from Planned Parenthood in its endorsement: "Karen Handel is a strong, articulate pro-life leader," said the Susan B. Anthony List Candidate Fund President. "Karen fearlessly exposed the false roots of the 'war on women' PR campaign when she called America's largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood, a bully--and busted the myth that they provide mammograms."

    Source: The Hill e-zine on 2014 Georgia Senate race , Mar 4, 2014

    Planned Bullyhood: book exposes Planned Parenthood's tactics

    Karen wrote the book Planned Bullyhood--the Truth Behind the Planned Parenthood Funding Battle. Karen, because of her pro-life beliefs, took the courageous step to stand up to the bully tactics of Planned Parenthood. She exposed the country's leading abortion provider as a liberal political machine willing to destroy anyone or any organization to advance its agenda and secure the continued flow of nearly $1.5 million a day in government funding to its coffers.
    Source: 2014 Senate campaign website www.karenhandel.com, "About" , Jun 6, 2013

    FactCheck: Yes, ObamaCare allows states to fund abortions

    Handel wrote in "Planned Bullyhood" that Planned Parenthood will receive millions of dollars in grants under the federal government's ObamaCare health care law. "Most disturbing, is the fact that ObamaCare will provide coverage for abortions, despite the president's commitment that it would not," Handel wrote on page 161 of the book.

    We want to fact-check: Does the health care law provide a means for coverage for abortions? A US Department of Health and Human Services weblink contradicts Handel's claim that the law provides coverage for abortions. It says the health care law does not pay for abortions, citing a decades-old federal policy called the Hyde Amendment.

    But if a state chooses to, it can use its own funds to cover abortions, & states will continue to have this option under the health care law. So, can women get abortions through the ObamaCare exchanges? It depends which state you reside in. Because that bit of detail was not mentioned, we rate Handel's entire claim Mostly True.

    Source: PolitiFact FactCheck on "Planned Bullyhood", by Karen Handel , Sep 11, 2012

    Pro-life beliefs deepened by failure to conceive

    The emotional pain of not being able to conceive was beginning to take a serious toll. We had even tried fertility treatments, hoping and praying for a miracle. I couldn't bring myself to attend baby showers. News stories about abortion or even just the sight of a mother and baby made my sorrow deeper and more palpable.

    Steve and I had to make a decision--for the sake of our marriage; for my sake. Do we cross the bridge to a life without children of our own or do we stay in a place so filled with pain that it is tearing us apart and destroying us both emotionally? We crossed the bridge--together, with Steve holding my hand the entire way--trusting that God would indeed "make the rough places smooth."

    Out of this very personal, painful struggle, my pro-life beliefs were deepened.

    Source: Planned Bullyhood, by Karen Handel, p. 24 , Sep 11, 2012

    Who am I to prevent a couple from fertility treatments?

    Dan Becker, Georgia's Right to Life president, led the meeting. The discussion seemed to be going well. Then fertility treatments were mentioned.

    I was immediately uncomfortable, and my focus drifted as the sadness and pain of not having a child pushed their way to the surface. Then I thought I heard Becker say something about fertility treatments being immoral, that they would be outlawed.

    What do fertility treatments have to do with pro-abortion or pro-life?

    During our nearly 10-year journey, Steve and I tried nearly every fertility treatment that was available at the time--all to no avail. If a married couple can benefit from fertility treatments, including in vitro, who was I to prevent that couple from being a family--to prevent that woman from being a mom?

    Becker went off on a tangent about the California "Octomom"--as if she was a fair representation of the hundreds of thousands of married couples pursuing fertility in hopes of having even just one child of their own.

    Source: Planned Bullyhood, by Karen Handel, p. 42-43 , Sep 11, 2012

    Planned Parenthood is country's leading abortion provider

    The vast majority of Planned Parenthood activities--97%--are not related to abortion, at least according to Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood distorts its numbers through the way it defines a "service." In calculating its claim that 97% of its services are not abortion-related, Planned Parenthood counts the distribution of a single condom as a service, just like an abortion is counted as a service.

    Whatever the reality, Planned Parenthood is the country's leading abortion provider. In 2010, Planned Parenthood performed 329, 445 surgical abortions or abortions using the RU486 pill, commonly known as the morning-after pill. That's more than 27% of all abortions performed in the US every year. Further, just 841 adoption referrals were made.

    Source: Planned Bullyhood, by Karen Handel, p. 62 , Sep 11, 2012

    End $500M annual federal funding of Planned Parenthood

    The bad guys have to be stopped. One of the 1st steps in stopping them is ending government funding to Planned Parenthood.

    It should concern all of us that an overly political interest group like Planned Parenthood receives nearly $500 million a year-- that's nearly $1.5 million each and every year--in government funding.

    Planned Parenthood's funding is legally funneled to its many political arms to be doled out to candidates who will be Planned Parenthood champions for yet more government funding.

    A corrupt triangle has been empowered: government money flows to Planned Parenthood; Planned Parenthood money is then used to attack its opponents and elect its friends; those friends funnel more taxpayer money to Planned Parenthood. Without their permission, the American taxpayers--that's you and me--have turned into subsidizers not only of abortion but also of political propagandizing. This must end.

    Source: Planned Bullyhood, by Karen Handel, p.272-273 , Sep 11, 2012

    Prioritize on the sanctity of human life

    Karen believes in the sanctity of human life. Karen believes the sanctity of human life must be the priority and the fundamental premise upon which policies are based.

    Karen is pro-life. As a matter of law she believes society may allow for exceptions in cases of rape, incest or when there is a real threat to the mother's life.

    Source: 2013 Senate campaign website, karenhandel.com, "Issues" , Aug 1, 2010

    Adult stem cells but no embryonic stem cells

    Today, with scientific advances that are now a reality and others that are on the horizon, society faces serious new moral and ethical issues. In dealing with these issues, Karen believes the sanctity of human life must be the priority and the fundamental premise upon which policies are based.

    Karen believes that science has shown that adult stem cells have greater scientific and medicinal value than embryonic stem cells. Creating life only to end it and use it for research is wrong.

    Source: 2013 Senate campaign website, karenhandel.com, "Issues" , Aug 1, 2010

    2016-17 Governor, House and Senate candidates on Abortion: Karen Handel on other issues:
    GA Gubernatorial:
    Andrew Hunt
    Brian Kemp
    Casey Cagle
    Hunter Hill
    Jason Carter
    Nathan Deal
    Sonny Perdue
    Stacey Abrams
    Tom Price
    GA Senatorial:
    Allen Buckley
    Amanda Swafford
    David Perdue
    Derrick Grayson
    Jack Kingston
    Jim Barksdale
    John Barrow
    Johnny Isakson
    Michelle Nunn
    Paul Broun
    Phil Gingrey

    Special elections in 2017-18:
    AZ-8:Franks(R, resigned in sex scandal)
    AZ-8:Lesko(R, elected April 24, 2018)
    CA-34:Becerra(D; appointed CA Atty General)
    CA-34:Gomez(D; elected June 6, 2017)
    CA-34:Ahn(D; lost primary)
    GA-6:Price(R; appointed HHS Secretary)
    GA-6:Handel(R; elected June 20)
    GA-6:Ossoff(D; lost election June 20, 2017)
    KS-4:Pompeo(R; appointed CIA Director)
    KS-4:Estes(R; elected April 11)
    MT-0:Zinke(R; appointed DOI Secretary)
    MT-0:Gianforte(R; elected May 25)
    OH-12:Tiberi(R, resigned to become a lobbyist)
    OH-12:Balderson(R, elected Aug. 24, 2018)
    PA-18:Murphy(R, resigned in sex scandal)
    PA-18:Lamb(D; elected April 2018)
    SC-5:Mulvaney(R; appointed OMB Director)
    SC-5:Norman(R; elected June 20)
    TX-27:Farenthold(R, resigned in sex scandal)
    TX-27:Cloud(R, elected June 30, 2018)
    UT-3:Chaffetz(R, resigned for unexplained reasons)
    UT-3:Curtis(R, elected Nov. 7, 2017)
    Retirements as of January 2019 (Republicans):
    AZ-2:Martha McSally
    CA-49:Darrell Issa
    FL-6:Ron DeSantis
    FL-15:Dennis Ross
    FL-17:Tom Rooney
    FL-27:Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
    ID-1:Raul Labrador
    IN-4:Todd Rokita
    IN-6:Luke Messer
    KS-2:Lynn Jenkins
    MI-11:Dave Trott
    MS-3:Gregg Harper
    NH-1:Carol Shea-Porter
    NJ-2:Frank LoBiondo
    NJ-11:Rodney Frelinghuysen
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    NY-27:Chris Collins
    NC-9:Robert Pittenger
    ND-0:Kevin Cramer
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    OK-1:Jim Bridenstine
    PA-6:Ryan Costello
    PA-7:Pat Meehan
    PA-9:Bill Shuster
    PA-11:Lou Barletta
    PA-15:Charlie Dent
    PA-18:Tim Murphy
    SC-1:Mark Sanford
    SC-4:Trey Gowdy
    SC-5:Mick Mulvaney
    SD-0:Kristi Noem
    TN-2:Jimmy Duncan
    TN-6:Diane Black
    TN-7:Marsha Blackburn
    TX-2:Ted PoeTX02'>2
    TX-3:Sam Johnson
    TX-5:Jeb Hensarling
    TX-6:Joe Barton
    TX-21:Lamar Smith
    TX-27:Blake Farenthold
    UT-3:Jason Chaffetz
    VA-5:Tom Garrett
    VA-6:Bob Goodlatte
    WA-8:Dave Reichert
    WV-3:Evan Jenkins
    WI-1:Paul Ryan
    Retirements as of January 2019 (Democrats):
    AZ-9:Kyrsten Sinema
    CO-2:Jared Polis
    CT-5:Elizabeth Esty
    HI-1:Colleen Hanabusa
    IL-4:Luis Gutierrez
    MD-6:John Delaney
    MA-3:Niki Tsongas
    MI-9:Sander Levin
    MN-1:Tim Walz
    MN-5:Keith Ellison
    MN-8:Rick Nolan
    NV-3:Jacky Rosen
    NV-4:Ruben Kihuen
    NM-1:Michelle Lujan-Grisham
    PA-1:Bob Brady
    TX-16:Beto O'Rourke
    TX-29:Gene Green

    Challengers for November 2018 (Democrats):
    MI-13:Brenda Jones
    MI-13:Rashida Tlaib

    Challengers for November 2018 (Republicans):
    CA-49:Rocky Chavez
    HI-1:Cam Cavasso
    ID-1:Russ Fulcher
    NV-3:Danny Tarkanian
    OH-12:Troy Balderson
    PA-14:Rick Saccone
    PA-16:Lloyd Smucker
    PA-18:Rick Saccone
    SC-4:Lee Bright
    TX-27:Michael Cloud
    UT-3:John Curtis
    WA-8:Dino Rossi
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    Vacancies for November 2018 election:
    MI-13:Conyers(D, resigned in sex scandal)
    NY-25:Slaughter(D, deceased March 2018)
    OK-1:Bridenstine(R; resigned to head NASA)
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    Page last updated: Aug 28, 2018