On Saturday's Fox & Friends, co-hosts Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade attempted to dismiss the importance of Planned Parenthood funding by claiming that services like pap smears are available “at Walgreens.” In response to an email about the segment, a Walgreens spokesperson told Media Matters that they do not offer such services.
The Fox News hosts' remarks came during a discussion of the debate over federal funding to Planned Parenthood. During the budget showdown, Republicans attempted to remove federal funding for the women's health group. Planned Parenthood defenders, such as Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid, have argued that the funding is necessary because it goes to “clinics that provide services like cancers tests that save women's lives and save money down the road by catching diseases that are expensive to treat.”
On April 9, Doocy and Kilmeade responded to Reid by dismissing Planned Parenthood services:
STEVE DOOCY: And the thing about it that was audacious was the fact that he [Sen. Harry Reid] was talking about Planned Parenthood being this great provider where women can get blood pressure checks, and pap smears, and breast --
BRIAN KILMEADE: Which you can get at Walgreens.
DOOCY: --examinations. Exactly right.
“Neither Walgreens, nor its in-store healthcare clinics, Take Care Clinics, offer pap smears or breast exams,” Take Care Clinic spokeswoman Lauren Nestler told Media Matters after being emailed the segment.
The clinics, which are a subsidiary of Walgreens, offer health services like flu vaccines and blood pressure screening at approximately 350 Walgreens stores.
Fox & Friends' false claim about pap smears is the latest in a series of attempts by conservatives to dismiss the importance of Planned Parenthood for women's health services. As Steve Benen noted, “Republicans, like their cable news network, would like the public to believe the preventative health services provided by Planned Parenthood aren't especially necessary or worthy of funding, since they're readily available everywhere -- as if every block in America has a Starbucks, an ATM, and screenings for cervical cancer. Except, that's ridiculous, Fox News lying about it, ironically, only helps underscore the value of Planned Parenthood clinics.”