Austin Ruse is a leading pro-life Catholic who has been working in Washington, D.C. following the Komen-Planned Parenthood funding story more closely than anyone else.
Ruse’s relationships with Komen and Komen officials were such that he became the leading pro-life advocate helping the majority of Americans who oppose abortion to understand what the breast cancer charity was thinking and doing. He helped LifeNews and the leading pro-life organizations sort out Komen’s decisions earlier in the week and helped lead the fight to rally pro-life advocates around Komen’s apparent decision to cut Planned Parenthood funding.
“Today the Susan G. Komen Foundation made an announcement that appears that they have reversed themselves on funding of Planned Parenthood. While I do not believe they have reversed themselves, it may turn out to be the case. We do not know,” Ruse told LifeNews Friday afternoon in response to Komen’s latest statement.
“At this point, pro-lifers should cease their support of the Susan G. Komen Foundation. We should wait and see what happens. We know there are five more Komen grants to Planned Parenthood in the pipeline. If any more come up, we will know we have lost and Planned Parenthood has won,” Ruse says.
Ruse blames Planned Parenthood for sabotaging what should have been a reason to celebrate Komen and its anti-breast cancer work.
“Planned Parenthood told the Komen Foundation ‘either give us money or we will destroy you.’ They were aided and abetted in this hostage taking by the mainstream media,” he said. “What happened this week was nothing short of a Mafia shakedown campaign by Planned Parenthood against the Susan G. Komen Foundation.”
“I do not regret the work I did over the past days on this issue, neither should any pro-lifer. I only regret we could not have done more to make Komen strong and able to fight off the thuggish abortion giant, Planned Parenthood,” Ruse told LifeNews. “What the week has shown is that Planned Parenthood, an organization that is under criminal investigation all over this country, will stop at nothing to maintain their stranglehold on organizations like the Susan G. Komen Foundation. We should continue to pray for Nancy Brinker and all of her colleagues at the Susan G. Komen Foundation.”
Most pro-life groups are now taking the wait and see approach, though Eric Scheidler of Pro-Life Action League is hopeful.
“Having grown up in the pro-life movement, I know better than to take ANYTHING the mainstream media says at face value, especially when it comes to abortion,” he said. “So when I saw this morning’s Associated Press headline declaring “Komen drops plan to cut Planned Parenthood grants,” I knew I had to see for myself what Komen was really saying. It turns out the reality is rather far from what that AP headline says. Here’s what I’ve learned, in a nutshell.”
“This morning Susan G. Komen for the Cure issued a statement “apologizing” for the their recent decision not to give any more grants to Planned Parenthood. BUT — and this is a big “but” — they didn’t actually say they will resume giving Planned Parenthood grants. What they DID say is that Planned Parenthood can apply for grants in the future. But that’s no guarantee they’ll get them. And given the fact that Planned Parenthood doesn’t actually DO mammograms — which is what those grants are for — it seems unlikely they will. We’ll just have to wait and see.”
But the pro-life activists agrees with Ruse.
“So what does this mean for us pro-lifers?” he asked. “First, it means that we cannot support Komen with financial gifts — not before we see they’ve actually stopped giving to Planned Parenthood for good,” he said. “Second , it means that we all need to draw attention to the REAL foe in this story, Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood has basically executed a mafia-style shakedown on Susan G. Komen for the Cure.”
“They were willing to TOTALLY DESTROY the nation’s largest breast cancer research and education organization, rather than lose the $600,000 in grants — a pittance to them — they got from Komen.”
Human Life International president Fr. Shenan J. Boquet is on the same page.
“The evolving situation regarding the Susan G. Komen Foundation and Planned Parenthood is still very murky. The media have been actively spinning this story since it began, and many ambiguous statements have been released. We hope our supporters will calmly discern the facts of the situation before reacting,” he said. “At this moment it is unclear whether today’s statement issued by Susan G. Komen indicates that they will continue long-term funding of Planned Parenthood, or whether it indicates that they are trying to calm the waters so that they can move forward and make funding decisions in a less turbulent sea.”
“It is important to note, as many have, that both the original and the updated statement by Komen indicated that they will honor their five existing grants to Planned Parenthood. This is not “news,” as these grants were never going to be canceled. While we do not condone these grants, it does not change the story for pro-lifers. It is also true that Planned Parenthood may continue to apply for grants from Komen, regardless of the new policy. It is unclear, however, whether Planned Parenthood will qualify and ultimately receive grants under the new guidelines initiated by Susan G. Komen,” he continued.
Boquet called for stopping support of Komen.
“We encourage pro-lifers to refrain for the time being from giving financial support to Susan G. Komen. At the same time we ask that you not attack, as some have already begun to do, Susan G. Komen in the midst of this process. Such an attack is likely to push Komen back to funding Planned Parenthood,” he said. “We want to encourage our supporters to continue positive encouragement of Susan G. Komen to take a stand for women’s health by not supporting Planned Parenthood with future grants. Write letters and send emails. Ask them to take a truly life-affirming and pro-woman stand by no longer funding the nation’s largest provider of abortions. Our immediate goal is to encourage them to defund Planned Parenthood.”