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Planned Bullyhood: The Truth Behind the Headlines about the Planned Parenthood Funding Battle with Susan G. Komen for the Cure Hardcover – September 11, 2012

3.8 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Karen Handel built her career on sound fiscal and organizational management in both the public and private sector. With tremendous perseverance and determination, she has had a successful political and business career. Karen has held senior management positions with several major companies and served as president of one of Georgia’s largest chambers of commerce. Most recently, Karen served as Senior Vice President of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, overseeing its federal and state policy efforts. She has served as Georgia’s first elected Republican Secretary of State, as well as Deputy Chief of Staff to Governor Sonny Perdue. Karen and her husband Steve have been married for twenty years and reside in Georgia.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Howard Books (September 11, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451697945
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451697940
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,544,504 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I had trouble deciding how many stars to give this often interesting but very uneven book. I almost gave up during the introduction, but I persisted and found the book very interesting, except when Handel went into histrionic partisan mode. Handel has led a very interesting life, and if she has done all she says, she has a lot to be proud of.

Karen Handel is the one blamed for leading Komen to drop Planned Parenthood (PP). The thing is, even if it was Handel's idea (she insists it wasn't), she couldn't have done it by herself. She is left in the position of an outside lover whom a reconciling couple has agreed bears all the blame for the infidelity. That saves face and makes it easier to reconcile, but it isn't true. Say what you will, it remains that the infidel agreed to the affair and is the real betrayer. Set up as the scapegoat, Handel is understandably bitter.

Komen, according to Handel, couldn't make up its corporate mind. They wanted to dump Planned Parenthood for a number of reasons including dissatisfaction with their work and also because they were under enormous pressure from the prolife/antiabortion forces. This is a point at which I have problems with Handel. If PP was a bully, so was the Roman Catholic Church, the Baptist Church, et al. They were the other pincher putting pressure on Komen and Handel. Handel goes into the most detail about the Catholic church's backlash, beginning on p.83. Komen has worked with numerous Catholic organizations in the past, both in giving them grants and getting their help raising money. Then the Church, and like-minded organizations, cut all ties unless Komen cut ties with PP.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book reminds me of the scene in Blazing Saddles where the man puts a gun to his own head and threatens to shoot.
If the objective of this book is to bash Planned Parenthood the author pulled the trigger. Planned Parenthood comes across as politically savvy with a strong message and one voice. The Komen organization is portrayed as amazingly out of touch, prone to hiring numerous expensive political PR firms, disorganized and unable to come up with a coherent message. Komen's founder is portrayed as out of touch and not really in control. The author is clearly out of her league and should have stayed in local politics. No matter which side of the debate you are on as to whether Komen should have been founding Planned Parenthood their strategy, decision making and inability to deal with the issue effectively make me question how well the organization will function in the future. To those breast cancer patients hoping for progress or a cure that is a real shame.
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Format: Hardcover
This book was excruciating to read because the author changed her views on abortion when she herself went into politics. Those of us in Georgia who worked with her before she started her professional career of running for office, any office, remember only too well That Karen Handel, and she was a completely different person than this author. She publicly identified herself as a, to quote a Bushism, "compassionate conservative," or a fiscal conservative, one whose social views were out of step with the Republican party she had sworn allegiance to. I am just one of dozens of co-workers who remember Karen being very clearly and publicly pro-choice, and I would swear to this on a stack of Bibles. Again, that was before she sold her soul to win votes. Same with gay issues: she never had any issues with gay rights, and campaigned hard to win the gay vote in Atlanta when she ran for Fulton County Board of Commissioners, until she began her statewide races, when it was necessary to throw her support of gay rights under the bus too, to win the good ol boy vote she railed against but secretly coveted. The expediency with which she changed her views to match her political agenda has been disgusting to observe. Knowing, absolutely knowing, from personal experience, from personal, private, intimate conversations that no one can question because you weren't there, that Karen was once absolutely and comfortably pro-choice, reading this book gave me nothing more than a massive case of schadenfreude. Once upon a time, I loved Karen Handel. She was my boss, she hired me. She was my mentor. I would have followed her to the ends of the earth. That person, and this author, are not the same person. Her victimhood, her sacrifice, her pity party, her blame game -- all of that pales in comparison to the shame she should feel for changing her views for political gain. I thought she was better than that. We all did. My bad. Look what it got ya, Karen.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Handel's great at corporate spin. After voluntarily assuming an executive vice presidency, she pretends that she had no direction in subsequent policy making. Somehow everybody else just ordered her to take the position--and required her to withdraw funding from community organizations assisting with the provision of breast cancer services to low-income women

Huh?? This is where the public outrage over her hire began. And she does not understand that the foundation's mission was supposed to provide breast cancer services to women, period. I'm left scratching my head because this woman is no political newbee. Prior positions included President/CEO of the Greater Fulton Chamber of Commerce, Policy advisor to Georgia Governor Sonny Purdue, and Georgia Secretary of State. She was supposed to have come in already knowing how the public sector works.

But she never comprehends that money from any foundation only goes to a very specific project. Or the profound ramifications withdrawing the foundation money ultimately did create--until it cost her job--and the organization's once-stellar image. Komen's top public health official, who had been aware of the impact this would create, immediately resigned when the policy was first implemented.

Fundraising to the Komen Foundation dropped because masses of women now believed it was not concerned with their health. It was playing politics with their lives. So they donated directly to other organizations which were providing the cancer screening services.

This book does not have me coming away feeling sorry for her. It has me concerned that the Komen Foundation threw away their long-standing image on somebody lacking political-financial savvy.
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