House Subcommittee Calls Lila Rose's Funder For Abortion Testimony

February 08, 2011 2:56 pm ET — Matt Gertz

Cathy Ruse

Cathy Ruse, senior fellow for legal studies at the Family Research Council, is scheduled to appear this afternoon before Rep. Trent Franks' (R-AZ) House judiciary subcommittee hearing on H.R. 3, the "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act." Ruse oversaw the distribution of a $50,000 grant from an anti-abortion foundation to Lila Rose, the right-wing activist behind the recently released videos smearing Planned Parenthood as aiding and abetting sex traffickers.

Ruse's participation suggests that the Planned Parenthood videos — which Rose claims "prove" that the organization "covers up the abuse of young girls" — will be a topic of discussion at today's hearing. Last week, Ruse appeared on Fox News to trumpet the videos and claim that Planned Parenthood was "trying to change the subject" by pointing out that they had informed the FBI about the visits weeks before Rose's videos were made public.

A 2008 press release announced that Lila Rose had been the recipient of one of the Gerard Health Foundation's 2008 "Life Prizes," which are "overseen by Executive Director Cathy Ruse." At the time, Ruse called Rose "the perfect example of why veterans in the pro-life movement should have great hope in the future." According to the Los Angeles Times, the grant to Rose was for $50,000.

And Ruse's direct role in financing Live Action's dishonest assault on reproductive rights may go beyond the 2008 grant. At the January 22 event announcing "Life Prizes" awards for 2009-2010, the Gerard Health Foundation reportedly announced that Rose had received an additional $125,000 matching grant. Ruse remains listed as Executive Director of Life Prizes on the group's website.

As Political Correction has previously demonstrated, claims from Rose and her organization, Live Action, that the videos in question expose "Planned Parenthood's cover-up of child sex trafficking" are false — the organization had already reported the visits by actors posing as pimps and prostitutes to the FBI.

Nevertheless, Chairman Franks and Vice-Chairman Mike Pence (R-IN) are happy to provide Ruse a platform to use these hoax videos to push for legislation that would severely impact reproductive rights. H.R. 3 goes far beyond status quo bans on government funding of abortion, prohibiting medical tax deductions for the 87 percent of private plans that cover abortion and inducing private insurers to drop coverage of even medically necessary abortions. 

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