We like to complain about empty campaign promises from politicians, but few are literally empty, as in no possibility of ever being honored or met. Barack Obama came close in Tuesday’s debate to making one, however, as he pledged to keep federal dollars flowing to Planned Parenthood so that millions of women can get mammograms, in addition to other services. “There are millions of women all across the country,” Obama intoned in attacking Mitt Romney for opposing federal subsidies to the nation’s largest chain of abortion clinics, “who rely on Planned Parenthood for mammograms, for cervical cancer screenings.”
Actually, they don’t perform mammograms — and even one of their biggest donors admitted it earlier this year:
Planned Parenthood itself has admitted that it does not perform mammograms for women — something the Komen for the Cure breast cancer charity confirmed last year.
LifeNews.com and pro-life blogger Jill Stanek followed up with phone calls to various Planned Parenthood centers and confirmed they do not do mammograms.
Then, the organization Live Action released videotaped footage of calls to 30 Planned Parenthood centers nationwide in 27 different states where abortion facility staff were asked whether or not mammograms could be performed on site. Every one of the Planned Parenthood centers admitted they could not do mammograms. Every Planned Parenthood, without exception, tells the women calling that they will have to go elsewhere for a mammogram, and many clinics admit that no Planned Parenthood clinics provide this breast cancer screening procedure.
“We don’t provide those services whatsoever,” admits a staffer at Planned Parenthood of Arizona while a staffer at Planned Parenthood’s Comprehensive Health Center clinic in Overland Park, Kansas tells a caller, “We actually don’t have a, um, mammogram machine, at our clinics.”
Just for good measure, NRO’s Eliana Johnson recreated the experiment, and came up with the same results:
But Planned Parenthood, with few exceptions, does not provide mammograms. To test the president’s statement in the real world, I called several Planned Parenthood offices in the New York City area today to ask about scheduling a mammogram. “We actually don’t offer that here,” one office told me. “You might want to call 311, they actually have lists of places you could go to.” When I asked, “You don’t provide them like the president said?,” I was told “No.”
Another office told me the following: “We don’t do mammograms, but I could definitely give you other places you could call.” When I mentioned the president’s statement, the woman said, “I’m not even sure because we’ve never offered mammograms.” Of the five offices I called, only the Hempstead, N.Y., location said it offered the service — on Fridays and not by an in-house technician.
Now, one could argue that this is unfair. After all, Eliana and Lila Rose actually called and checked before positing a false statement as fact. Maybe Obama should exercise a little more of that kind of executive oversight on the use of those federal subsidies, huh?
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