Not News: Richards' False Planned Parenthood Mammograms Claim

In Congressional testimony on Monday and Tuesday, Planned Parenthood head Cecile Richards twisted or failed to tell the truth in several instances.

As shown last night, one of them related to how many of its facilities are involved in the provision of fetal tissue for compensation. Her claim that it's "less than 1 percent" is only plausible if the organization has recently terminated such involvement at many facilities known to have participated in the practice in the recent past. A second more obviously untrue claim, whose falsehood has been completely ignored by the national establishment press, is her contention that "we've never stated" that Planned Parenthood performs mammograms at any of its facilities. Well, yes she has — and as will be seen later, an awful lot of people who you might think would know better still believe the lie.

Shoshana Weissman at the Weekly Standard discredited this howler using a video posted four years ago by the prolife activist group LiveAction.org in an early Tuesday afternoon post:

Today, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America Cecile Richards, testified before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on PPFA's use of taxpayer funding. During testimony, she falsely asserted that, "we've never stated that we did" provide mammograms.

"An affiliate isn't a health center. I think I spoke earlier, we do not have mammogram machines at our health centers. And we've never stated that we did. As was mentioned earlier, for women who who go for a breast exam, if you need a mammogram, your referred to a radiological clinic."

... in 2011, Richards said on CNN that if federal funding is cut off to her organization "millions of women are going to lose access, not to abortion services, to basic family planning, you know, mammograms...."

Besides the obvious point that mammograms have no direct relationship to "family planning," women can't "lose access" to mammograms if facilities which "do not have mammogram machines" close or curtail their operations.

Here is that video, which after showing Richards making the statement she "somehow" forgot, demonstrates what happened when women called various Planned Parenthood clinics to try to arrange for a mammogram:

In a late-August tweet, the Alliance Defending Freedom made the point more comprehensively:

ADFnoMammogramsPP0815

There is no evidence at its main national site that the Associated Press took note of Richards' obviously wrong statement.

A Google News search this morning on "Planned Parenthood mammogram" (not in quotes, sorted by date) returned roughly 100 items dated Monday or later. None of them are from national establishment press outlets pointing out Richards' obviously false statement.

Instead, I found the following examples of members of the press and leftist politicians perpetuating the "Planned Parenthood does mammograms" myth:

  • Michelle Miller, Atlanta Journal Constitution"The nonprofit organization provides mammograms, Pap smears, testing for sexually transmitted diseases — and, yes, at some facilities it performs abortions."
  • At the Washington Free Beacon, and apparently nowhere else, Blake Seitz caught New York Democratic Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney believing the false claim, as she "cited mammograms as an example of 'life-saving services provided by Planned Parenthood' in a statement decrying efforts by 'anti-choice extremists' to defund the organization."
  • Maddy Foley at the web site Bustle.com put in her two cents' worth of dishonesty — "Here are the basics: Planned Parenthood provides health services to women, including mammograms, STD and STI testing, pap smears, and birth control."
  • Rachel Mentor at TV station WVIR in Virginia allowed a Planned Parenthood supporter to lie about the group's capabilities — "Planned Parenthood, of course, performs a lot of important functions in the life of our community. They perform exams and pap smears, and mammograms and a lot of preventative medical techniques that are very important aside from abortions."
  • Ann Friedman at the New Yorker's ironically named "The Cut" blog — "Women know that, no matter where they are in the country and no matter how much money they have, if they can get themselves to a Planned Parenthood clinic, they can get the morning-after pill, a mammogram, a pelvic exam, an abortion, or a referral. Men know they can go there for an STD test or a cancer screening."
  • Bustle.com's Allyson Koerner, in a repeat performance for the web site — "They are vocalizing their support of women's rights, and their belief that Planned Parenthood isn't a bad thing, but a great organization offering all kinds of services, like mammograms, STD screenings, pap smears and birth control, among many others."
  • Jocelyn Gibson at Marshall University's the Parthenon"Planned Parenthood is currently able to offer STD and STI screenings as well as pregnancy tests, mammograms, breast exams and pap smears."

It's not unreasonable to believe that the myth won't die because Planned Parenthood and the left in general don't want it to die.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.

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