Pro-life activists are blowing the whistle on President Barack Obama’s claim during an appearance on the “Tonight Show” this week that Planned Parenthood provides mammograms.
“We once again call on President Obama to immediately stop misleading the American people by repeating the falsehood that Planned Parenthood provides mammograms,” Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List). “As she has taken time off to campaign for him full time, perhaps Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards could set the president straight.”
Obama made the comment during his discussion with host Jay Leno on Wednesday night about Senate candidate Richard Mourdock, who came under fire this week for claiming that the pregnancies from abortion are that “something that God intended to happen.”
“[T]his is obviously a part of what’s at stake in this election. You’ve got a Supreme Court that — you know, typically a president is gonna have probably another couple of appointments during the course of his term. And, you know, Roe vs. Wade is probably hanging in the balance,” Obama told Leno. “You’ve got issues like Planned Parenthood where, you know, that organization provides millions of women cervical cancer screenings, mammograms — all kinds of basic health care.”
Pro-lifers have pushed back hard against claims that Planned Parenthood provides mammograms as a way to attack the organization as an abortion provider, not a women’s health facility.
“Last night on the Jay Leno program, President Obama once again misled the public and in particular women, continuing his false advertising campaign that the nation’s top abortion provider, Planned Parenthood, provides mammograms at its clinics,” added Lila Rose, president of the pro-life Live Action, in a statement. “The fact is that while Planned Parenthood, which receives almost half a billion dollars a year in taxpayer funds, does over 300,000 abortions a year at its clinics, it does zero mammograms. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, no Planned Parenthood clinic in the country is authorized to perform mammograms under the federal Mammogram Quality Standards Act.”
Earlier this year, Casey Mattox, senior council with the pro-life Alliance Defending Freedom, discovered via a Freedom of Information Act request that no Planned Parenthood facilities have the certification required to conduct an examination or procedure involving mammography.
On Oct. 17, Planned Parenthood’s senior director of medical services, Deborah Nucatola, clarified that Planned Parenthood provides referrals for mammograms.
“Women rely on Planned Parenthood for referrals for and financial help with mammograms and specialized diagnostic follow-up tests (like ultrasounds and biopsies) when indicated by age, history and/or clinical breast exam,” she wrote in a statement. “Like the vast majority of primary care physicians and ob-gyns, Planned Parenthood doctors and nurses refer patients to other facilities for mammograms based on breast exams, age, or family history. For many women, Planned Parenthood is the only health care provider they will see all year, and thus the only way they will get a referral for a mammogram.”
During the second presidential debate at Long Island’s Hofstra University, the president similarly connected Planned Parenthood with mammograms. Pro-lifers then were outraged, and over 2,000 reportedly called Planned Parenthood offices pretending to want to schedule a mammogram.
The Obama campaign did not responded to request for comment.