Planned Parenthood’s Misleading Mammogram Claims

Commentary by Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
Staff Journalist

Even though Planned Parenthood always uses the “we provide access to other services such as mammograms” excuse for needing government funding, pro-life blogger Jill Stanek recently revealed that the organization doesn’t perform mammograms at all but merely refers women elsewhere for these services.

According to Stanek, Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards appeared on the Joy Behar show recently to defend her organization against the various defunding bills now being considered in Congress.

“If this bill ever becomes law, millions of women in this country are going to lose their health care access, not to abortion services, to basic family planning – you know, mammograms, cancer screenings, cervical cancer,” she said.

After the show, Stanek put out the word on her blog that Planned Parenthood doesn’t do mammograms at all, they just refer women for these services.

“The fact is not one Planned Parenthood in America performs mammograms. All Planned Parenthoods do are refer for mammograms,” she writes. “So while Richards was technically correct to add the word ‘access’ before citing mammograms as a service Planned Parenthood provides, I guarantee no one understood her to say anything other than Planned Parenthood performs mammograms, when actually all Planned Parenthood does is merely write down the name of a place to go for mammograms.”

On the same blog, Stanek includes ads from Planned Parenthood clinics in which they advertise “Free Mammograms and Pap Smears” but the fine print reveals that women have to fill out an application for the services which will be provided elsewhere.

In spite of these facts, Planned Parenthood promoters routinely cite services such as mammograms as the reason why the organization deserves tax payer funding. Life News highlights an appearance by Fox News contributor Jehmu Greene who chided people for condemning the organization for the few clinic employees who had been caught on undercover video helping sex traffickers.

“I don’t think it is fair to point to the actions of one employee, who was swiftly fired when these allegations came up, and compare that to the tens of thousands of Planned Parenthood employees that provide mammograms,” Greene claimed.

New Jersey’s popular Governor Chris Christie, who has twice cut off state taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood, seemed aware of these facts when he defended his actions in a recent interview: “I don’t believe that is a priority in a budget where you have to cut $11 billion,” the governor said, according to the Star-Ledger newspaper. “I believe that women have the opportunity to access health care all across New Jersey. Family planning has nothing to do with mammograms, and don’t put the two of them together.”

As Stanek points out, there are more than 1,200 Federally Qualified Health Centers in the U.S. that do provide mammograms and other legitimate health care and women should visit these clinics rather than going to an abortion center:

“There are 1,200 Federally Qualified Health Centers that provide the same care PP does – plus mammograms – along with providing other health care services for the entire family,” Stanek writes. “FQHCs provide much more comprehensive care.”

As Stanek concludes: “Pro-lifers need to call Planned Parenthood and its cheerleaders out every time they try to imply Planned Parenthood performs mammograms. Planned Parenthood is trying to make Americans think that poor and minority women in particular will lose access to mammograms if Planned Parenthood is defunded, which is absolutely false.”

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