Washington Post FactChecker gives claim “Three Pinocchios”
By Dave Andrusko
As Congress works on a repeal and replacement for Obamacare, pro-abortion Democrats are recycling many myths that have been debunked many times. Today the Washington Post’s Factchecker addressed “[Senator] Schumer’s claim that ‘millions of women turn’ to Planned Parenthood for mammograms. [Pro-abortion Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is the Senate minority leader.]
Michelle Ye Hee Lee begins with a March 7 tweet from Sen. Schumer
“#Trumpcare cuts @PPFA funds, hurting millions of women who turn there for mammograms, maternity care, cancer screenings & more.”
Her very first observation is
There are some claims about abortion and Planned Parenthood that just won’t go away. One of them is the repeat claim about Planned Parenthood and mammograms. So of course, Schumer’s tweet caught our attention.
As we have discussed before, in October 2015 Michelle Ye Hee Lee gave Three Pinocchios to a similar assertion. At that time she concluded
The myth that Planned Parenthood actually offers mammogram X-rays to patients has been long debunked, and needs to stop being repeated. Planned Parenthood does not administer mammograms, but it keeps being perpetuated by the group’s supporters, including celebrities whose claims have a wide reach.
The category Three Pinocchios means the assertion contains “Significant factual error and/or obvious contradictions.”
So why the emphasis on providing mammograms?
Mammograms have come to symbolize whether Planned Parenthood truly is a health-care organization, as supporters say, or mainly an abortion provider that masquerades as a reproductive health organization, as opponents say. Supporters of Planned Parenthood point to mammograms to illustrate the organization’s role in cancer screening and prevention for women.
Supporters of Planned Parenthood often use slippery language to use this talking point. We previously gave Three Pinocchios to claims that Planned Parenthood “provides” mammograms and other types of care for “millions of women.” In light of Schumer’s tweet, we reviewed the facts again.
Planned Parenthood does referrals for mammograms, and some affiliates host free mammography mobile vans for low-income and uninsured women. It does not have mammogram machines at its affiliate clinics. The Food and Drug Administration’s list, updated weekly, of certified mammography facilities does not list any Planned Parenthood clinics.
She notes, Schumer “greatly exaggerates the universe of women who rely on Planned Parenthood for mammograms. In 2014, the most recent data, it made about 11,000 referrals for mammograms — less than 1 percent of the total number of patients that Planned Parenthood served that year.”
What about in comparison to community health centers? Michelle Ye Hee Lee writes
So just based on the numbers of patients, community health centers offer far more mammograms either on site or via referrals than Planned Parenthood clinics do.
Federally qualified health centers provide more radiological services, including mammograms, than Planned Parenthood clinics, according to the Congressional Research Service’s 2015 report comparing the two types of health centers.
Michelle Ye Hee Lee’s analysis lengthy can be read in its entirety here.