Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the breast cancer awareness group, is coming under criticism again — this time for referring women to the Planned Parenthood abortion business for mammograms Planned Parenthood doesn’t provide.
In March, officials with Live Action conducted an undercover investigation by calling Planned Parenthood centers nationwide. They learned that Planned Parenthood doesn’t have machines to perform mammograms and, despite advertising to women that they can contact the abortion business for them, it refers all women seeking mammograms to other health care providers.
“We don’t provide those services whatsoever,” admitted 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.”
In April, following criticism of Komen because it provides grants to Planned Parenthood that it has said are in part, to provide mammograms, Komen officials admitted Planned Parenthood doesn’t do mammograms.
“When a mammogram is indicated, a patient is often referred to a local program, such as the state’s breast and cervical cancer program. In other cases, the Komen Affiliate’s grant to Planned Parenthood may include funds to pay for mammograms outright. When this happens, a local provider performs the mammogram, and is then reimbursed by Planned Parenthood using the Komen grant funds,” Komen admitted.
Following up on the controversy, John Jansen of the Pro-Life Action League was curious to know whether Komen would continue to refer women to Planned Parenthood for mammograms.
“I’m looking for a clinic where my mom could go to get a free mammogram,” Jansen wrote from his email account in late April. “Someone told me that she can get one at Planned Parenthood, is that true?”
Komen responded to the email with three referrals for Jansen: a listing of local Komen affiliates, a link to the Centers for Disease Control and links to Planned Parenthood.
“Women can make an appointment for low-cost breast health services with the clinic nearest them,” Komen says and includes a link to the Planned Parenthood web site and its toll-free phone number.
Jansen said, “You’ll notice, of course, that this form letter response didn’t actually answer my question. And so even though I knew what the answer would be, I did as I was advised, and then I responded to Komen, ‘I called the 1-800 number for Planned Parenthood and they connected me to the clinic closest to where I live, but when I called them they said they don’t do mammograms.”
“Komen’s representative then replied by slightly modifying the form letter she had previously sent and removing any reference to Planned Parenthood,” he indicated.
Last week, Jansen conducted a followup from a different email address and directly asked Komen if Planned Parenthood does mammograms, saying, “I seem to remember hearing that they offer mammograms. Can you confirm whether they do?” Jansen said he figured he would get the same email back and, although a different Komen employee responded, he received the same email with the three links, one of which promotes Planned Parenthood.
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.
“Given the public relations black eye that Planned Parenthood has suffered these past few months, you might think that Komen would want to distance itself from Planned Parenthood,” Jansen concludes. “But then you’d be wrong.”
Last year, Komen spokesman John Hammarley confirmed 20 of Komen’s 122 affiliates have made donations to Planned Parenthood and, in 2009, those contributions totaled $731,303. He also confirmed Komen affiliates contributed about $3.3 million to the abortion business from 2004-2009.
ACTION: Contact Komen for the Cure to ask it to stop referring women for nonexistent mammograms at Planned Parenthood at http://ww5.komen.org/Contact.aspx