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The fallout continues from last week's spat between Planned Parenthood and the breast cancer charity Susan G. Komen For the Cure. Today, a top Komen official resigned. The move comes after the group reversed its earlier decision to cut off funding to Planned Parenthood. NPR's Julie Rovner has this report.
JULIE ROVNER, BYLINE: Komen officials, trying to regain their footing from last week's public relations meltdown, today accepted the resignation of vice president Karen Handel. She was deputy chief of staff to Marilyn Quayle when she was the wife of the vice president in the early 1990s. In 2010, Handel ran unsuccessfully for governor of Georgia, on a platform that included taking state funds away from Planned Parenthood.
Meanwhile, however, two anti-abortion groups released a report intended to urge Republicans in Congress to continue their investigation of the group. The Susan B. Anthony List and the Alliance Defense Fund released a 23-page memo outlining what it said were a series of funding irregularities uncovered in various state and federal audits of Planned Parenthood affiliates.
Marjorie Dannenfelser heads the Susan B. Anthony List.
MARJORIE DANNENFELSER: These problems reveal a pattern of gross financial mismanagement.
ROVNER: Planned Parenthood said in a statement that the allegations in the report were, quote, recycled or overstated.
And Democrats in Congress, like Colorado's Diana DeGette, insist that the entire investigation against Planned Parenthood is a political exercise trumped up by abortion opponents.
REP. DIANA DEGETTE: Planned Parenthood has done everything they've been asked to do. And with their own, private money; with, I think, 3 percent of their services or less, they do do abortions - which the last I heard, were legal in this country.
ROVNER: But on her way out the door, Karen Handel said it was Planned Parenthood making things political. Here she is on Fox News this afternoon.
(SOUNDBITE OF FOX NEWS BROADCAST)
KAREN HANDEL: Last time I checked, private, nonprofit organizations have a right and a responsibility to be able to set the highest standards and criteria, on their own, without interference - let alone the level of vicious attacks and coercion that has occurred by Planned Parenthood. It's simply outrageous.
ROVNER: Handel, however, did acknowledge she pushed to defund Planned Parenthood, a decision for which Komen officials have now apologized.
Julie Rovner, NPR News.
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