Fact Checks

Does Planned Parenthood provide mammograms?

28 Jan, 2013


During the second debate of the 2012 Presidential Election, Barack Obama said that Planned Parenthood provides mammograms:

When Governor 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, for cervical cancer screenings.


When The Komen Foundation announced in February 2012 that it would no longer provide grants to Planned Parenthood — partly due to the fact that Planned Parenthood does not directly provide mammograms – Planned Parenthood began a media campaign to to present itself as a women’s health provider:

Planned Parenthood president, Cecille Richards. claimed on CNN that if federal funding were to be cut off to her organization: “millions of women are going to lose access, not to abortion services, to basic family planning, you know, mammograms….”

Planned Parenthood CEO Caught Making False Mammogram Claim


Live Action, a activist group,  called Planned Parenthood offices and in each case they said they did not provide mammograms and referred callers to health centers.

Under the federal Mammogram Quality Standards Act, administered by HHS, “[n]o facility may conduct an examination or procedure…involving mammography” without a certification from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. While a 2004 amendment to this law permits some states to also authorize mammography facilities, these certificates are still issued under the authority of the FDA, and the FDA records all certificates and investigates facilities holding such certifications. If Planned Parenthood could perform mammograms, the FDA (and HHS) would know it.

Alliance Defending Freedom filed a Freedom of Information Act request to seek any certificates held by any Planned Parenthood clinic or affiliate in the country. The response from President Obama’s own HHS is that no such certificates exist. No Planned Parenthood affiliate in the nation possesses the necessary certification to perform mammograms under federal law.HHS Letter confirming no mammogram certification exists for Planned Parenthood,

Federal law provides that anyone operating a mammography device without such a certificate is subject to substantial fines of up to $10,000.

Planned Parenthood may offer advise and help women with manual breast exams.


1. Planned Parenthood President said that the organization provides mammograms

2. Undercover calls to Planned Parenthood revealed that the organization does not provide mammograms

3. Planned Parenthood is not certified by HHS to provide mammograms



Note: The basic claim is false but PP provides manual breast exams.

Related Fact Checks

Weekly Standard – Planned Parenthood President Falsely Claimed Clinics Provide Mammograms

FactCheck.org – Planned Parenthood and Mammograms

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