In the course of evaluating a claim made by the Alliance Defending Freedom, a prolife group, PolitiFact Georgia's crack investigators learned from a spokesperson for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America that the organization "does not provide mammograms at any of its health centers." Since such facilities must be licensed by the Food and Drug Administration, no PPFA facility can legally perform a mammogram.
The claim ADF made in a tweet is that "ZERO @PPFA facilities are licensed to do mammograms." On August 21, despite PPFA's de facto acknowledgment that ADF is correct, PolitiFact Georgia determined that ADF's claim is only "Half True."
Here are several paragraphs from PolitiFact's tortured "logic." In the process, the web site's April Hunter admitted that there was an agenda-driven reason to evaluate the claim (bolds are mine):
Numbers don't tell whole story on mammogram claim
... "Zero Planned Parenthood facilities are licensed to do mammograms," the Tweet read. "Planned Parenthood, women don’t need you!"
... is it a false flag to talk about essential women’s health care such as mammograms in the debate over Planned Parenthood? PolitiFact has been down this road before, but it’s worth a repeat trip given the defunding debate stirred by those stealth videos.
... Supporters (of PP) denounce the effort as an effective cut to women’s health care, citing the gynecological, referral and medical services the agency also provides.
Casey Mattox, the senior counsel at the anti-abortion Alliance Defending Freedom, said he was attempting to cut off that debate by using the maps to point out that Planned Parenthood does not provide mammograms.
"You can’t go there and actually get a mammogram, which is what most people assume when they hear you can go there and get cancer screenings for breast health," Mattox said. "That is, at best, misleading, if not directly false."
ADF's Mattox is too kind. Such a claim in regards to mammograms — the word often substituted for "cancer screenings" when Planned Parenthood supporters forget to be careful in their language — is "directly false."
The agenda is clear. Planned Parenthood performs hundreds of thousands of abortions per year, garners a great deal of compensation in its disposal of baby body parts, and is in danger of losing its funding in several states. So Hunter needed to come up with some form of defense for the group in the face of an obviously true claim.
Continuing with the PolitiFact writeup:
Mattox is correct, by Planned Parenthood’s own acknowledgement, that the organization does not provide mammograms.
But does that mean there is no need for Planned Parenthood when it comes to accessing the tests?
I'm going to stop there. The "best" argument Hunter made is a about "access." That's not an argument; it's a dishonest distraction.
The ADF claim has nothing to do with "access" — which, in regards to mammograms, as NewsBusters commenter "Lambchopstix" noted at a different post on Saturday, isn't meaningfully restricted in Planned Parenthood's absence.
ADF's claim is about existence, period. Planned Parenthood facilites are not licensed to perform nor do they perform mammograms.
ADF's claim is indisputably true. PolitiFact's "Half-True" evaluation is fundamentally dishonest and obviously agenda-driven.
Always wishing to be helpful, I would suggest that the so-called fact-checking web site should rename itself PolitOpinion.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.