“A teaching moment about politics and Komen.” By Samantha King, CNN

When the Komen foundation bowed to pressure from anti-abortion activists to stop most of its funding of Planned Parenthood, the furor was swift and forceful. Komen’s decision was frequently described in the media and in the online outcry as a “betrayal” — of its mission, of the millions of Americans who run in its Race for the Cure every year, and of the women whom Komen and Planned Parenthood serve. But to people familiar with the foundation, the decision was hardly a surprise. Under the perky pink ribbon at the center of Komen’s brand lies a distinctly conservative orientation shaped over three decades by the foundation’s political and corporate alliances. Despite its carefully cultivated nonpartisan image, the foundation’s connections to the Republican Party are deep and longstanding. Last year’s hiring of Handel, an anti-abortion Republican, to head Komen’s public policy efforts was not a sudden swing to the right, as some commentators have implied. Even a cursory glance at the group’s corporate partners could help explain why so much of its funding goes to detection and treatment.

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