Though President Obama has stated that women “rely” on Planned Parenthood for vital health procedures such as mammograms, the Food and Drug Administration denies that to be true. In fact, the FDA indicates that no Planned Parenthood facility in the United States is licensed to do mammograms.
During Tuesday’s presidential debate with GOP contender Mitt Romney, Obama declared:
When Gov. Romney says that we should eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood, there are millions of women all across the country who rely on Planned Parenthood for not just contraceptive care; they rely on it for mammograms, for cervical cancer screenings. That’s a pocketbook issue for women and families all across the country, and it makes a difference in terms of how well and effectively women are able to work.
The FDA is responsible for the licensing of mammography centers to own and operate mammogram machines. If a facility owns or operates a mammogram machine without a government license, it could result in a $10,000 fine. According to the FDA, Planned Parenthood does not perform mammograms.
The Department of Health and Human Services made the same statement following an FOIA request four months ago. CNS News notes:
Last June, the Department of Health and Human Services said in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request that no Planned Parenthood clinic in the United States has mammogram equipment.
An April 2 Freedom of Information request to the FDA from the Alliance Defense Fund asked for “All currently active certificates to operate a mammography facility issued by the FDA or by any state or entity designated to provide such certificates by the FDA for Planned Parenthood Federation of America, any affiliate of Planned Parenthood Federation of America or any entity whose name included ‘Planned Parenthood.’”
The HHS responded in a letter on June 4 that said, “In your request you asked for the following, all currently active certificates to operate a mammography facility for Planned Parenthood. In response to your information request, we have performed a thorough and diligent investigation of our records and there are no adverse events for these firms. Unfortunately our search did not uncover any documents pertinent to your request.”
Live Action, who had already exposed Planned Parenthood for its support of child sex trafficking last year, released recordings on YouTube in March 2011 which revealed that 30 Planned Parenthood clinics in 27 cities do not provide mammograms.
According to Live Action’s website:
Every Planned Parenthood, without exception, tells [the Live Action caller] she will have to go elsewhere for a mammogram, and many clinics admit that no Planned Parenthood clinics provide this breast cancer screening procedure. "We don’t provide those services whatsoever," admits a staffer at Planned Parenthood of Arizona. Planned Parenthood’s Comprehensive Health Center clinic in Overland Park, KS explains to the caller, "We actually don’t have a, um, mammogram machine, at our clinics."
The YouTube video begins, “In light of recent scandal and proposed federal budget cuts, Planned Parenthood has launched a multi-million-dollar public relations campaign.” It then cuts to recordings of the various phone calls made to Planned Parenthood clinics that reflect a failure to provide vital healthcare services such as mammograms.
The recordings directly contradict claims put forth by Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards, who, in an appearance on the Joy Behar Show, declared that the Planned Parenthood defunding bill would deny “millions of women in this country” access to vital healthcare services including “basic family planning [and] mammograms.”
Lila Rose, founder of Live Action, told CNSNews.com:
When you repeatedly hear pro-Planned Parenthood, pro-abortion politicians, whether it’s [Vice President] Biden or President Obama or Planned Parenthood executives pushing this lie [about mammograms], it’s because this is their whole case for the public to justify taxpayer funding.
They want to protect that money. They want to do everything they can to protect that interest. Because the majority of Americans consider themselves against taxpayer-funded abortions — more Americans consider themselves pro-life than pro-choice — they realize they are not on the side of the people, and so they have to win their political game with lies about services that Planned Parenthood does provide.
Karen Handel, former vice president for policy at the Susan B. Komen Race for the Cure, indicates that Planned Parenthood merely serves as the “middle-woman,” referring women to mammography providers.
Planned Parenthood also refers women to breast specialists when a potential abnormality is found and follow-up tests are needed. And with the organization’s expanded breast health initiative, Planned Parenthood will be able to cover the cost of this specialized care for more women.
Assertions that Planned Parenthood performs vital services for women attempt to focus public attention away from the primary function of the mammoth business. Between the years 2008 and 2010, Planned Parenthood performed 985,731 abortions. Meanwhile, it received nearly $500 million in taxpayer dollars between 2009 and 2010.
As noted by The New American’s Dave Bohon, Obama’s attempts at redirecting public attention from Planned Parenthood’s real purpose — that is, performing abortions — have paid off:
As for Obama, Planned Parenthood has continued to reward him for his staunch support, announcing on October 16 that it would shell out some $578,000 for new radio ads in Ohio and Virginia attacking Romney for his pro-life positions. According to LifeNews, the abortion giant has already spent some $5.7 million targeting Romney, who insists that he opposes abortion except in the case of rape, incest, and to protect the life of the mother.
Photo: Planned Parenthood supporters demonstrate outside of Hofstra University, the site of the presidential debate, Oct. 16, 2012, Hempstead, N.Y.: AP Images