The anti-abortion group Live Action has released another video that attempts to expose Planned Parenthood's "lies." While previous videos were populated with colorful fake pimps and prostitutes, this one focuses on a topic sure to capture the public's attention: mammograms.
According to the Washington Post, the group settled on this salacious topic after Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards said on the Joy Behar Show that the organization provides mammograms. The group released this statement:
"Opponents of defunding Planned Parenthood have argued in Congress and elsewhere that the organization provides many vital health care services other than abortion, such as mammograms. Most prominently, Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards recently appeared on The Joy Behar Show to oppose the Pence Amendment to end Planned Parenthood's taxpayer subsidies, claiming, ‘If this bill ever becomes law, millions of women in this country are gonna lose their healthcare access - not to abortion services - to basic family planning, you know, mammograms.'"
As shown in the video, the group secretly recorded phone conversations between a woman pretending to want a mammogram and Planned Parenthood employees at 30 clinics in 27 states. In every call, the woman is told she'll need to go to another healthcare provider because the clinic doesn't do mammograms.
Lila Rose, the president of Live Action, claims this proves,
"Planned Parenthood is first and foremost an abortion business, but Planned Parenthood and its allies will say almost anything to try and cover up that fact and preserve its taxpayer funding."
Click to viewThe problem is Planned Parenthood never said it provides mammograms. This may shock you, but Live Action misconstrues the facts in the video. The comment about mammograms appears around the four minute mark in this video from the Joy Behar Show.
What Richards says, in a long response to Behar's question, "Is that the real reason they're targeting Planned Parenthood, because of the abortion services?" is:
"What's going to happen as a result of this — if this bill ever becomes law, millions of women in this country are going to lose their health care access, not to abortion services, to basic family planning. You know, mammograms, cancer screenings, cervical cancer.
A Planned Parenthood spokeswoman says that Richards was referring to the overall effect the GOP is having on women's healthcare, not the group specifically. Even if Richards was referring to Planned Parenthood, and simply misspoke when she added "mammograms" to the list, this isn't evidence of a massive campaign to lie about what the organization really does. Planned Parenthood readily admits that it doesn't provide mammograms, but it does refer women to where they can get them.
The only reason Live Action is focusing on what may have been a minor flub or unclear wording is that it wants to paint Planned Parenthood as a duplicitous operation. The reality is that Planned Parenthood provides millions of women with contraception, Pap smears, annual exams, STD test, physical breast exams — and yes, safe and legal abortions — even if they wouldn't be able to afford it otherwise.
Planned Parenthood Challenged On Purported Mammogram Claim [Washington Post]
Mammograms [Planned Parenthood]