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Cecile Richards and the Mammogram Issue; Will Her Admission Under Oath Taint Planned Parenthood Even More?

( [email protected] ) Oct 01, 2015 05:15 PM EDT
Lately, it has not been a good time for Planned Parenthood as the organization has been the target of a lot of sting videos.  There are a lot of controversies about these videos as far as how much has been stitched together from the conversations that actually took place, but more doubt has been shed as Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, had to admit certain things about mammograms under oath.  She said something about mammograms back in 2011 which seems contradictory compared to statements made today.
Planned Parenthood Federation president Cecile Richards is sworn in before she testifies before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on Capitol Hill in Washington September 29, 2015. (PHOTO: REUTERS/GARY CAMERON)

Lately, it has not been a good time for Planned Parenthood as the organization has been the target of a lot of sting videos.  There are a lot of controversies about these videos as far as how much has been stitched together from the conversations that actually took place, but more doubt has been shed as Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, had to admit certain things about mammograms under oath.  She said something about mammograms back in 2011 which seems contradictory compared to statements made today. 

According to Breitbart, in a testimony under oath before the House Oversight Committee, Cecile Richards stated that none of its facilities do mammograms.  It should be noted that she seemed surprised that anyone thought otherwise.  Her literal response was "There aren't any Planned Parenthood clinics, I believe, to the best of my knowledge, not any have mammogram machines at their facilities."

Why is the issue of mammograms and Planned Parenthood important?  Because Cecile Richards has appeared on CNN in 2011 during a funding cut debate of Planned Parenthood and said: "If this bill becomes law, millions of women are going to lose their health care access, not to abortion services to basic family planning, mammograms".  LifeAction has called Planned Parenthood facilities around the country to asking for a mammogram, but every facility called stated that they do not do mammograms. 

Richards also said under oath that "we have different kinds of arrangements with, depending on the state, to refer women for mammograms".   In other words, there wasn't really anything that Richards was saying in 2011 to imply that Planned Parenthood has equipment for mammograms in any of their individual offices.  Richards does say that there are people at Planned Parenthood clinics that can do breast exams. 

In fact, any local call to a Planned Parenthood reveals that a "referral" is needed for a mammogram, but their offices are capable of breast exams.  The term "mammogram" is defined by the National Breast Cancer Foundation as "an x-ray that allows a qualified specialist to examine the breast tissue for any suspicious areas".  Planned Parenthood does not have the equipment on their premises to do this, but they will refer them to someone that does. 

Considering that Planned Parenthood has been the target of sting videos lately, this admission on Richards part looks to do a lot of damage to the organization.  For those that see Planned Parenthood as the grand supplier of abortion, this double-talk from Cecile Richards can seem incriminating.  However, the criticism against Cecile Richards can actually be explained, even if Richards was attempting to over-represent what the Planned Parenthood Federation of America does in 2011 and beyond.