Media Matters Proves Why Planned Parenthood Doesn't Need Taxpayer Funding

Unintentional consequences, I know. The sleuths of the Media Matters research team and their post drives the point home of why Planned Parenthood does not need taxpayer subsidies for cancer screenings:

In a statement to Media Matters, Felicia Chase Goodman, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Central Texas, explained that through a grant provided by the Susan G. Komen Foundation, Planned Parenthood “provides referrals and pays for mammograms and diagnostic follow up treatment for our patients at area radiology and surgical clinics.” Goodman said that last year alone, Planned Parenthood patients received 609 screening mammograms and 125 diagnostic mammograms. emphasis mine

First, I will say at least we now know where some of the Komen PP money is going. Secondly, while others have hashed out the provider-location argument, I would like to go back to the original point that Planned Parenthood’s CEO Cecile Richards made as the main reason to oppose the Pence Amendment to end PP’s taxpayer funding:

“If this bill ever becomes law, millions of women in this country are gonna lose their health care access-not to abortion services-to basic family planning, you know, mammograms, cancer screenings, cervical cancer.” emphasis mine

Richards immediately pushes the panic button of family planning, mammograms, cancer screenings, and cervical cancer [screenings]. However, as Media Matters shows us, Planned Parenthood’s mammograms are paid for by a grant from the Komen Foundation, while the Breast and Cervical Cancer Services (BCCS) program helps poor or uninsured women receive the services they need.

While MM is obsessing whether the Waco facility provides mammograms, it stripped Planned Parenthood of its main argument on why they need federal funding–I’m sure just what Richards didn’t expect is a blog war where Media Matters inadvertently destroys her claim.

When MM cites that Komen for the Cure Foundation provided a grant to PP, it effectively nullified the argument that PP needs federal funds for “access to” mammograms. Furthermore, Media Matters cites the BCCS, which also provides free mammogram services, in addition to other services, to women:


Program Description

The Breast and Cervical Cancer Services program (BCCS) offers clinical breast examinations, mammograms, pelvic examinations, and Pap tests throughout Texas at no or low-cost to eligible women. BCCS is partly funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP). Congress established the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program in 1991 by enacting the Breast and Cervical Cancer Mortality Prevention Act of 1990 (Public Law 101-354). NBCCEDP was reauthorized in April 2007.

Additionally, a grant from the Breast Cancer Prevention Fund was given to the BCCS:

[snip]

02-07-2011

The Department of State Health Services (DSHS), Breast and Cervical Cancer Services (BCCS) program was awarded a $200,000 grant from the Breast Cancer Prevention Fund (BCPF) to screen women ages 40-49. BCPF is a non-profit organization founded in 2004 with the mission, “to save lives today by providing funds to pay for mammograms for uninsured women”. DSHS BCCS has received BCPF funds for several years. The grant has allowed DSHS to serve an additional 1,488 women.

It is clear that PP refers out (there are no facilities on-site) to contracted providers in which private grants are used to pay for the mammogram services or the services are covered through the BCCS/BCCP program, so the Pence Amendment would not affect the access to the cancer screening services Richards cites.

Planned Parenthood’s false talking point that they need the taxpayers’ money to provide these mammography and cancer screening services is outed by Media Matters. Simply stated, if there is not grant money to pay a PP-contracted mammogram provider (as in the Waco’s PP case), then PP refers clients into the non-PP BCCS/BCCP program.

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