The House votes Thursday on a continuing resolution to fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year. The deal nearly feel apart last Friday over federal funding for Planned Parenthood and whether taxpayers should fund the women’s health center – a moniker pro-lifers contend is cover for their “real job,” abortions.
“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,” said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood on the Joy Behar Show.
Detractors however, point out that Planned Parenthood does not provide mammograms at all, but rather offers referrals. Planned Parenthood’s website explains the process:
“Ask your health care provider, health department, or staff at your local Planned Parenthood health center about where you can get a mammogram in your area.”
In late March, the pro-life group Live Action called 30 Planned Parenthood clinics in 27 different states to ask about the availability of mammograms. Without fail, all the clinics referred the caller to other providers, some admitted that Planned Parenthood does not provide the procedure.
“We do not provide mammograms. Let me give you a number to our family health center ‘cause they’re gonna be able to advise you a littler better than I am because we don’t, um, deal with the health side of it so much. We’re mostly a surgical facility,” Samantha at Planned Parenthood Georgetown, told the Live Action actress.
Former Planned Parenthood director and now pro-lifer Abby Johnson said that Live Action’s sting goes to show that Planned Parenthood is not about women’s health.
“For so long PP has touted that they are a provider of mammogram services. This is just one of the lies that PP uses to draw people into their clinics,” Johnson said. “PP is not able to provide quality services on their own, so they are forced to lie to the public about services they don’t provide–and mammograms are just one of those services.”
A Planned Parenthood spokesman denied that the group claimed to perform mammograms.
“Planned Parenthood provides a wide range of preventive health care services to millions of women through its 800 health centers including contraception, Pap tests, annual exams, HIV and other STI tests, and lifesaving breast exams,” spokesman Stuart Schear told the Washington Post. “Planned Parenthood doctors and nurses provide more than 800,000 breast cancer screenings annually. We offer breast exams at every one of our family planning health centers. Like the vast majority of primary care physicians and OB-GYNs, we refer our patients to other facilities for mammograms when indicated based on a breast exam, age or family history.”
Currently Planned Parenthood receives over $350 million in taxpayer dollars annually.