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A Tip of the Hat to Planned Parenthood Print E-mail
By Austin Ruse   
Friday, 10 February 2012

You have to give the devil his due. What Planned Parenthood did this past week to Susan G. Komen for the Cure was nothing short of breathtaking. In the span of only a few days, Planned Parenthood showed Komen founder and CEO Nancy G. Brinker that her life’s work in finding a cure for breast cancer could be destroyed.

Planned Parenthood knew in December that new Komen grant-making regulations would exclude Planned Parenthood from getting any further grants for two very good reasons. First, because Planned Parenthood is under legislative and criminal investigations at the federal, state, and local levels. Second, because Komen only wants to grant money it can track to actual results. It is well known that Planned Parenthood does not do mammograms; it farms them out to numerous third parties.

What Brinker could not say is that her group wanted out of the culture wars. They wanted to become abortion neutral. Senior Komen officials had spent an inordinate amount of their time dealing with the complaints of pro-lifers and, most especially, Catholic bishops who believe quite rightly that the Komen Foundation should not fund the nations largest abortion business.

In December, the chief grant maker at Komen resigned, although this was not revealed until last week. It also came out last week that there were deep divisions within the Komen Foundation about defunding Planned Parenthood, which would have gone from getting nineteen annual grants to five this year and none next year.

From December onward, all was quiet. Komen officials hoped, and likely prayed, that Planned Parenthood would not go nuclear on them, as they had done in similar situations. No such luck.

Last Monday an AP reporter started calling around town for quotes about what he had just heard was the defunding of Planned Parenthood by the Komen Foundation. How did he find out? Komen didn’t tell him. Most certainly he found out from his friends at Planned Parenthood. His story was the first strike in what became a media, governmental, and financial tsunami that threatened the very life of the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

Within hours Capital Hill erupted with condemnations of the Komen Foundation for making what abortion partisans said was a calculation not based on women’s health but on pro-life and Republican politics. The Komen Foundation was not helped by the professional incompetence of their spokesman Leslie Aun, who only talked about the Congressional investigation. That fed perfectly into the Planned Parenthood narrative that this was just partisan politics in a political year.

Within a day, major Komen affiliates were complaining to the press. Some threatened revolt, saying they would fund Planned Parenthood no matter what the national board wanted. It has not been reported that some affiliates threatened to leave the Komen family altogether. Many, if not most, of the affiliates are separately incorporated non-profits and could have done just that. Nancy Brinker has less control over Komen affiliates than the pope has over troublesome bishops.


     Amb. Nancy G. Brinker  –  on the defensive

At the very same time, major corporations began threatening to cut Komen grants. Komen’s Facebook page was inundated with hateful messages. At least one city council said Komen might not get permits for events. The American Association of University Women said none of its 600 summer interns could work at Komen.

In the midst of this maelstrom, Nancy Brinker issued a very strong video statement in which she fought back against the malicious campaign against her foundation. If you watch this video and watch her eyes, you can see a women who is absolutely furious.

Then she went on the Andrea Mitchell show on MSNBC. It was a disaster. You can understand why she went there instead of the Fox programs. The MSNBC crowd are her friends and natural allies. Andrea Mitchell was a personal friend and collaborator. But Brinker’s good friend Andrea proceeded to slice and dice her as if she were no better than an abortion clinic bomber.

In the end, Susan G. Komen for the Cure was not prepared for the nuclear attack unleashed upon it. It hadn’t had a communications director for months, and the one it used to have has gone to the press and attacked it. It is a foundation dedicated to funding cancer research and not a political operation. Planned Parenthood is a billion dollar a year political machine that is in the business of killing babies and destroying political opposition.

In the end, Nancy Brinker faced the real possibility that affiliates would leave, personnel would quit, the funding base could be decimated, and the story would have lingered for weeks in the national media. She had little choice but to staunch the wound.

Last Friday morning, she announced what sounded like a reversal. If you read it closely, however, her statement shows little change from the stated policy. Planned Parenthood will get more funding, but that was always the case since five more grants are coming this year. Planned Parenthood is eligible to apply again. This was always the case if they could deal with the new regulations. It could end up being a brilliant document that froze the situation, gave Komen breathing room to eventually do what it wants to do.

Planned Parenthood ran a remarkable campaign. Experienced pro-lifers say they have never seen anything like it. Clearly, Planned Parenthood and its allies, even within the Komen Foundation, care more about abortion than in saving women’s lives. Let’s hope that folks who have not been paying attention now know the real truth about Planned Parenthood.

I am told that Nancy Brinker sees the attacks on the Komen Foundation as attacks on her dead sister, whose death from breast cancer inspired the founding of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. How this will play out is anyone’s guess.


Austin Ruse is the President of the New York and Washington, D.C.-based Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute (C-FAM), a research institute that focuses exclusively on international social policy. The opinions expressed here are Mr. Ruse’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the policies or positions of C-FAM.

© 2012 The Catholic Thing. All rights reserved. For reprint rights, write to: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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Comments (10)Add Comment
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written by Grump, February 10, 2012
You got no chance of winning when the media are lined up against you. Mitchell's interrogation of Brinker was downright hostile. PP was able to mute its role as the nation's No. 1 baby killing machine and emphasize its very limited role in fighting breast cancer.

The PR machine at PP is well oiled, thanks to constant lubrication from the mass media and leftist who rule the social networks.
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written by Ray Ingles, February 10, 2012
What would a Komen Foundation that was "abortion-negative" look like?
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written by Tom, February 10, 2012
At some point, the folks in this country who get stuff done and don't care about the hateful agendas being pushed by the culture, may start asking: Who's John Galt?
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written by bobby, February 10, 2012
This story reminds of a line in the movie "The Godfather" where the Abe Vigoda character tells Sonny (the Robert Duvall character, "Tell Mikey I always liked him, but it was business")
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written by Sue, February 10, 2012
PP aside, I think you are clinging too lovingly to Komen, who has a long and conscious track record of funding PP non-mammograms. What kind of stewardship is that?

Really, why do people have to funnel money through Komen to pay for mammograms anyway - why not just donate to a local hospital or mammogram center. IF you buy the wisdom of mammography anyway, but I won't push that argument here.

Even more than that, you have failed to take Komen to task for failing to take PP to task for boosting breast cancer via abortion and contraception.

A great illustration of Komen's stuck-on-itself nothingness is its rabid pursuit of other charities for supposed violations of its trademark "pink" color or use of its wording "race for the cure".

There are many reasons to take advantage of their hot-and-cold decisions to dump Komen, along with PP. I've had breast cancer in my family, but Komen doesn't speak for me.

Donate to http://www.abortionbreastcancer.com/ or a local hospital to really support breast cancer victims. Or your crisis pregnancy center.
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written by Dan, February 10, 2012
Try this: PP has 2.2 million contraceptive clients. 43% use oral contraceptives. TN breast cancer represents 10-20% of diagnosed breast cancers, and oral contraceptives increase the risk by a factor of 4.2, according to a 2009 federally funced study. Do the math: In this one branch of its operations, PP causes almost 2,000 cases of TNBC each year. Something Komen would be oh, so eager to support?
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written by RoderickA, February 11, 2012
This article's summation of Planned Parenthood's far, and strongly political, reach is the best I've seen to date. It is this kind of reporting we need to see more of.

Also; It seems to me, that while so much emphasis was placed on Planned Parenthood, and its provision of abortions (I can't call it "health services"), there was the loss (or deliberately glossed-over) of the massive good the Komen Foundation has done in the arena of breast cancer research. ...or the fact that one mega-billion-dollar-giant (of reported strong interest in women's health issues: i.e breast cancer in this case) was trying to destroy an other (much smaller) women's health organisation -that only gave roughly $600k last year (I mean this is far, far, beyond any David and Goliath analogy -and in this case this "David" is clearly the looser.)

Where was the press coverage of all the good Komen has done? Isn't interesting that Komen was painted as the clear "bad guy" by Planned Parenthood, and by most of the media?

Well, many thanks for providing us with another point of view.

RoderickA
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written by Louise, February 11, 2012
I would like to know how much money the Komen group has given to research that examines the connection between early abortion and breast cancer. It is my understanding that few cancer research organizations have the courage to go near that research for fear that they will find it. Some have--and found it.

Can you imagine what P.P. would do to discredit any research organization that dared to claim that they had found that link? and how quickly government funding would be withdrawn?

Whenever I get a telephone solicitation for breast cancer research, I say, "No." When they respond, "Thank you," I say, "Don't you want to know why I refuse to donate to such a worthy cause?" When they have listened to my explanation of the link between abortion and breast cancer, especially in young women, the caller usually says, "I didn't know that." I say, "Now you do."

When I get a telephone solicitation for any medical research, I say, "When you can assure me that aborted fetal tissue is not used in any of this organization's research, I'll send you a donation. In the meantime, I don't want to take a chance that I might be supporting such research."
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written by RoderickA, February 11, 2012
I should have better proofread my writing before submitting it. My apologies for the confusion it has caused.

The last half of the second paragraph should have read:

" ...or the fact that one mega-billion-dollar-giant (of reported strong interest in women's health issues) was trying to destroy an other (much smaller) women's health organisation (breast cancer in this case) -that only gave roughly $600k last year. I mean this is far, far, beyond any David and Goliath analogy -and in this case this "David" is clearly the looser."

RoderickA
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written by Julie, February 12, 2012
Come November 6, 2012, when America votes in a real president and the abortion lovers lose their majority in the Senate, it's just a matter of time before Planned "Parenthood" will lose ALL their funding that comes from taxpayers. Just a matter of time PP...it's coming; and that's one thing that is guaranteed.

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