Following the controversy surrounding Susan G. Komen for the Cure's initial announcement that it would end its relationship with Planned Parenthood, right-wing media have tried to downplay Planned Parenthood's efforts to fight cancer, claiming that Planned Parenthood doesn't provide mammograms and does “nothing to prevent breast cancer.” But this ignores the numerous cancer-related services Planned Parenthood annually provides to women -- including more than 1.5 million cancer screenings and preventative services in 2010 -- such as breast exams, mammogram referrals, and screenings for other types of cancer; moreover, contrary to right-wing claims, some Planned Parenthood clinics do indeed provide mammograms.
“They Don't Even Do Mammograms”: Right-Wing Media Downplay Planned Parenthood's Efforts To Fight Cancer
Fox's Sandy Rios: Planned Parenthood Does “Nothing To Prevent Breast Cancer. They Don't Even Do Mammograms.” On the February 2 edition of Fox News' America Live, host Megyn Kelly discussed Komen's decision to end Planned Parenthood funding with Fox News contributors Sandy Rios and Jehmu Greene. Rios claimed: “I think it's a fabulous decision. ... They do nothing to prevent breast cancer. They don't even do mammograms.” Rios also added, “They're taking money from Susan G. Komen under false pretenses.” [Fox News, America Live, 2/2/12]
Weekly Standard: Planned Parenthood “L[ied] About Providing Mammograms.” A February 2 Weekly Standard post claimed that Planned Parenthood's president has “falsely claim[ed] on national television that the group provides mammograms.” From the post:
Last spring, Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards went on CNN and claimed that if Congress cut off funding to Planned Parenthood “millions of women are going to lose access, not to abortion services, to basic family planning, you know, mammograms.” But as pro-life activist Lila Rose documented in a video, Planned Parenthood does not provide mammograms.
This story is worth recalling in light of the news this week that the Susan G. Komen foundation, one of the nation's largest breast cancer charities, has cut off funding (more than $600,000) to Planned Parenthood. Cecile Richards wrote that the foundation's decision to “end its support of lifesaving breast cancer screening at Planned Parenthood health centers comes as a blow to women across America.”
Now obviously Planned Parenthood's role as America's largest abortion practitioner seems to be a significant factor in Komen's decision. Many Americans who would like to fund breast cancer research without lining the pockets of abortionists have pushed Komen to end its Planned Parenthood grants in recent years.
But why does Planned Parenthood feel entitled to a private charity's donations, especially considering the fact that Planned Parenthood's president falsely claims on national television that the group provides mammograms? Isn't Komen free to give its money to organizations that do more than provide mammogram “referrals” and breast cancer screenings? [The Weekly Standard, 2/2/12]
Hoft: Komen Ended Planned Parenthood Funding Because “They Don't Do Mammograms.” In a February 2 post on his blog Gateway Pundit, Jim Hoft wrote, “There was a simple reason why the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure stopped funding the Planned Parenthood abortion group. They don't do mammograms.” [Gateway Pundit, 2/2/12]
But Planned Parenthood Provides Access To Mammograms As Well As Numerous Other Breast Cancer Services
Planned Parenthood Provides Access To Mammograms By Referring Patients To Locations That Perform The Service. From Planned Parenthood's website:
Breast cancer screenings, such as breast exams or mammograms, help detect breast cancer in its earliest, most treatable stage. These breast cancer detection tools can save lives. More than nine out of 10 women who detect breast cancer early live at least five years -- and many live much longer.
Planned Parenthood doctors and nurses teach patients about breast care, connect patients to resources to help them get vital biopsies, ultrasounds, and mammograms, and follow up to make sure patients are cared for with the attention they need and deserve. [PlannedParenthood.org, accessed 2/3/12]
Planned Parenthood: “Ask ... Staff At Your Local Planned Parenthood Health Center About Where You Can Get A Mammogram In Your Area.” From Planned Parenthood's page of frequently asked questions about mammograms:
Where Can I Get a Mammogram?
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. [PlannedParenthood.org, accessed 2/3/12, emphasis original]
AP: “The Change Will Mean A Cutoff Of Hundreds Of Thousands Of Dollars In Grants, Mainly For Breast Exams.” A January 31 Associated Press article about Komen's decision noted that "[t]he change will mean a cutoff of hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants, mainly for breast exams." From the AP:
The nation's leading breast-cancer charity, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, is halting its partnerships with Planned Parenthood affiliates -- creating a bitter rift, linked to the abortion debate, between two iconic organizations that have assisted millions of women.
The change will mean a cutoff of hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants, mainly for breast exams.
Planned Parenthood said the Komen grants totaled roughly $680,000 last year and $580,000 the year before, going to at least 19 of its affiliates for breast-cancer screening and other breast-health services.
According to Planned Parenthood, its centers performed more than 4 million breast exams over the past five years, including nearly 170,000 as a result of Komen grants. [Associated Press, 1/31/12, via NPR]
Planned Parenthood: “Planned Parenthood Doctors And Nurses Provide Nearly 750,000 Breast Cancer Screenings Annually.” In a January 31 press release responding to Komen's decision, Planned Parenthood noted that its health centers “provide nearly 750,000 breast cancer screenings annually.” From the press release:
Over the past five years, Planned Parenthood health centers with Komen program funding have provided nearly 170,000 clinical breast exams out of the more than four million clinical breast exams performed nationwide at Planned Parenthood health centers, as well as more than 6,400 mammogram referrals out of 70,000 mammogram referrals. Anti-choice groups in America have repeatedly threatened the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation for partnering with Planned Parenthood to provide these lifesaving cancer screenings.
Planned Parenthood's quality, accessibility and affordability make it a leader in identifying breast cancer early when there is the best chance of successful treatment. Nationwide, Planned Parenthood doctors and nurses provide nearly 750,000 breast cancer screenings annually, offering risk assessments, breast exams, breast health information and education, and diagnostic and surgical referrals. [Planned Parenthood, 1/31/12]
Planned Parenthood: Komen Funds “Allowed PP Health Centers To Provide Nearly 170,000 Breast Exams” And “6,400 Mammogram Referrals.” On January 31, Planned Parenthood Action Fund wrote on Twitter that support from Komen “allowed [Planned Parenthood] health centers to provide nearly 170,000 breast exams & 6,400 mammogram referrals.” From Twitter:
[Planned Parenthood Action Fund, 1/31/12, via Twitter]
Planned Parenthood: “Low-Income Women” Are At “Immediate Risk” If Komen Ends Planned Parenthood Funding. In a response to Komen's decision on its website, Planned Parenthood stated:
At immediate risk are low-income women, many located in rural and underserved communities, served by 19 Planned Parenthood programs funded by the Komen Foundation. This funding has enabled designated Planned Parenthood health centers to provide women with breast health education, screenings, and referrals for mammograms -- lifesaving care for women where Planned Parenthood is their only source of health care. [PlannedParenthood.org, accessed 2/1/12]
For more on Planned Parenthood's history of providing breast cancer screenings and services to women, SEE HERE.
And It's Not Just Breast Cancer Services: Planned Parenthood Provided More Than 1.5 Million Cancer-Related Services In 2010
In Addition To Giving Patients Mammogram Referrals, Planned Parenthood Provides Other Cancer Screenings In Its Clinics. According to a Planned Parenthood fact sheet, Planned Parenthood clinics provided more than 1.5 million cancer screening and prevention services in 2010, the most recent year for which data is available. These cancer-related services accounted for 14.5 percent of the services performed by Planned Parenthood in 2010.
[PlannedParenthood.org, Affilate Services Summary, accessed 2/3/12]
Contrary To Claims, Some PPFA Clinics Indeed Provide Mammograms -- Thanks To Grants From Komen
As Of March 2011, Texas Planned Parenthood Clinics Did Offer Mammograms -- “Through Grants From The ... Susan G. Komen Foundation.” In a March 2011 statement to Media Matters, Felicia Chase Goodman, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Central Texas, said:
Planned Parenthood of Central Texas is proud to provide comprehensive breast cancer screening for our patients, including mammography when needed. Through grants from the Central Texas affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Foundation and our participation in the Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening (BCCS) program (through the Texas Department of State Health Services), PPCT provides referrals and pays for mammograms and diagnostic follow up treatment for our patients at area radiology and surgical clinics.
Through these grants, in 2010 PPCT patients received 609 screening mammograms and 125 diagnostic mammograms; breast cancer was detected in 20 women. For most of these patients, Planned Parenthood is their only healthcare provider.
Through our participation in the BCCS program, patients who are diagnosed with breast or cervical cancer can be enrolled in the Medicaid for Breast and Cervical Cancer (MBCC) program, which ensures that they receive the necessary treatment to fight cancer. [Media Matters, 3/31/11]
Waco, TX, Planned Parenthood Has Provided More Than 2,000 Mammograms Since 2001. From a Waco, TX, Planned Parenthood Newsletter:
In 2009 we provided 487 mammograms and 162 diagnostic follow-up procedures for our patients. Since this program began in 2001, we have provided 2,683 mammograms to low-income women. [Waco Planned Parenthood, Spring/Summer 2010]
Texas Department Of State Health Services Lists Planned Parenthood Clinics As Breast Cancer Service Providers. The Texas Department of State Health Services includes Planned Parenthood of Central Texas in Waco in its list of Breast and Cervical Cancer Services providers. [Breast & Cervical Cancer Services Clinic Locator, accessed 2/2/12]
Tucson, AZ, Planned Parenthood Hosted “Free Mobile Mammography Clinic.” From Planned Parenthood's Website:
Planned Parenthood Arizona will host a free mobile mammography clinic, supported by Pink365. Mammography has proven to be the single most beneficial tool in detecting early and treatable cancer. The goal of screening exams, such as mammograms, is to find cancers early before it has a chance to grow and treatment works best. [PlannedParenthood.org, 8/07/09]
This Is Nothing New: Right-Wing Media Have Long Pushed Smears And Falsehoods About Planned Parenthood
For right-wing smears and falsehoods about Planned Parenthood, SEE HERE.