Nearly 2,000 pro-lifers called local Planned Parenthood clinics Oct. 18 to schedule mammograms, after President Obama implied the organization offers the service.
“When Gov. Romney says that we should eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood, there are millions of women all across the country who rely on Planned Parenthood for not just contraceptive care, they rely on it for mammograms,” said Obama Oct. 16 during the second presidential debate.
Planned Parenthood does not actually provide women with mammograms, but refers patients out to other facilities for the exam.
“Call it for what it is … if you're not doing mammograms, don't say that you do them,” Kate Bryan, communications director for Live Action, told EWTN News Oct. 19.
In response to the implication that the organization provides mammograms, the pro-life group And Then There Were None organized “Call Planned Parenthood to Schedule Your Imaginary Mammogram Day.”
Bryan said the idea was generated by And Then There Were None, and that Live Action “thought it was a great idea, to get to the bottom of it and expose the truth.”
Participants called the organization's national toll-free number to be connected to their local center, and were instructed to “tell Planned Parenthood you would like to schedule a mammogram,” according to Live Action's website.
And Then There Were None head, Abby Johnson, told EWTN News they organized the event “because we knew it was something that Planned Parenthood could not ignore.”
The nation's largest abortion provider “does not and has never performed mammograms,” she said. “It is time that Planned Parenthood be held accountable for their lies.”
The event's Facebook page asserted that “President Obama, Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards, celebrities in Hollywood and countless Planned Parenthood supporters claim over and over that they” provide mammograms.
It also showed that 1,975 persons confirmed that they were participating in the event to “call out” Planned Parenthood, a turnout that Bryan deemed “a great success.”
In a February episode of The Joy Behar Show, Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards said that “ if this bill ever becomes law, millions of women in this country are going to lose their health care access, not to abortion services, (but) to basic family planning. You know, mammograms, cancer screenings,” referring to a GOP-backed bill that would have cut funding to the organization.
Bryan characterized Richards' and Obama's comments as claiming Planned Parenthood is “doing all these live-saving treatments,” and “taking credit for” mammograms.
A statement released by Planned Parenthood on Oct. 17 said that “like the vast majority of primary care physicians and ob-gyns, Planned Parenthood doctors and nurses refer patients to other facilities for mammograms based on breast exams, age, or family history.”
The organization does provide clinical breast exams at their facilities.
“For many women, Planned Parenthood is the only health care provider they will see all year, and thus the only way they will get a referral for a mammogram.”
According to the statement, women “rely on Planned Parenthood for referrals for and financial help with mammograms and specialized diagnostic follow-up tests (like ultrasounds and biopsies).”
The claim that Planned Parenthood improves access to mammograms and other health services is often used to maintain taxpayer funding for the group.