Even Washington Post admits that PPFA does not performs mammograms, in spite of Obama’s insistence that it does
By Dave Andrusko
It is by now such a well-documented that Planned Parenthood does NOT provide mammograms that even the Washington Post felt called upon to question President Obama’s latest insistence that PPFA does. This recurring inaccuracy cropped up when Obama appeared on “The Tonight Show” October 24 where he said, “You’ve got issues like Planned Parenthood, where that organization provides millions of women cervical-cancer screenings, mammograms, all kinds of basic health care.”
In an article appearing today in the “Fact Checker: the truth behind the rhetoric” column, the Post’s Josh Hicks writes, “We decided to investigate this issue to determine whether the president really stretched the truth about Planned Parenthood services.” [FYI: “Pinocchios” represent how severely a statement fails to adhere to the truth. The worst rating is four Pinocchios.]
Hicks begins well enough, offering chapter and verse of how “Obama has talked about Planned Parenthood’s supposed mammography services throughout his 2012 campaign.” He cites three examples, but Hick could have easily cited more.
And then you read one of those statements where a non-partisan would ask themselves whether Obama merely “stretched the truth.” Hicks writes
“The problem here is that Planned Parenthood does not perform mammograms or even possess the necessary equipment to do so. As such, the organization certainly does not ‘provide’ mammograms in the strict sense. Instead, its clinics provide referrals and direct low-income women toward resources to help pay for the procedure.”
Hmmm. How to soften the blow? You uncritically recycle the myth that abortion “made up only 3 percent of Planned Parenthood’s services in 2010, according to data from the group.” Too bad Hicks didn’t fact-check that!
Then you continue to put abortion “in context” (my description) by writing that “The organization actually performed more than twice the number of breast exams (747,607) as abortions (329,445) that year .” Too bad that Hicks didn’t read Dr. Randall K. Bannon’s superb piece from yesterday, titled, “Mr. President, Planned Parenthood Does Not Do Mammograms!” (www.nationalrighttolifenews.org/news/2012/10/mr-president-planned-parenthood-does-not-do-mammograms.)
Not only did he debunk (yet again!) the mammogram myth and the 3% misrepresentation, Dr. O’Bannon addressed Hick’s argument about abortion versus breast exams. Using a base figure of $89 for such an exam, “[T]he 769,769 exams (the larger of the two numbers for breast exams and pap smears mentioned above) yields just $68,509,441 in revenues.”
What did PPFA take in from the 329,445 abortions in performed in 2010?
Ignore for the moment that we know that Planned Parenthood clinics advertise and perform more expensive chemical and second trimester surgical abortions), Dr. O’Bannon wrote “[A]t the going rate of $451 given by Guttmacher for a standard first trimester surgical abortion, that would equal $148,579,695 in revenue. That is easily more than double what Planned Parenthood would have taken in from breast exams and pap tests.”
Hicks goes on and on and on, making the case for PPFA. However, he finally concludes
“The president has suggested time and again that Planned Parenthood directly provides mammograms, but the organization only offers referrals and helps women find financial resources for the exams. This suggests an intentional attempt to mislead voters about all the services that are at stake with decisions regarding federal funding for the controversial group.
“Obama’s campaign points out that the incumbent was referring in each case to Planned Parenthood’s broader role as a health-care provider. But that doesn’t make his remarks any less inaccurate.
“We wavered between Two or Three Pinocchios but ultimately decided the president earns Three Pinocchios for his mammogram remarks on ‘The Tonight Show.’ He has repeated them too many times in one form or another for this to be considered just playing with words to generate a misleading impression.”