Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., made some questionable claims in an op-ed defending his vote to continue granting federal funds to Planned Parenthood.
“Planned Parenthood facilities also provide many other basic health services, like cervical and breast cancer screening, as well as primary care and family planning,” Casey wrote in The Scranton Times-Tribune. “It is those services that would be curtailed by cutting off federal funding to Planned Parenthood.”
Casey also argues that due to the Hyde Amendment, federal funds granted to Planned Parenthood aren’t used for abortion.
But pro-lifers take issue with Casey’s claim that such services would be “curtailed” if Planned Parenthood no longer received taxpayer funding.
“There are literally thousands of alternatives to Planned Parenthood that provide more comprehensive health services to women but haven’t been tainted by the gruesome acts exposed by these videos,” argued Roger Severino, the director of the DeVos Center at The Heritage Foundation.
“Taxpayer funds should be directed to them instead,” Severino said.
The Daily Signal’s Kelsey Harkness recently reported that there are “13,540 clinics providing comprehensive health care for women, versus 665 Planned Parenthood locations.”
In a video released Tuesday, Students for Life of America depicts alternatives to Planned Parenthood in Lancaster, Pa., a community represented by Casey that Planned Parenthood President and Chief Executive Cecile Richards called “medically underserved.”
Students for Life found nine community health centers in contrast to one Planned Parenthood clinic in Lancaster.
Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life, told The Daily Signal that there are numerous alternatives to Planned Parenthood for low-income women seeking health care.
“Community Health Centers and other federally funded health clinics do everything that Planned Parenthood does except abortions,” Hawkins said. “There are under 700 Planned Parenthood facilities nationally while there are over 8,000 federally funded Community Health Centers and 2,000 pregnancy help centers.”
The ratio of health centers to Planned Parenthood clinics shows that Planned Parenthood’s services are replaceable, Hawkins argued.
“There will be no apocalypse if Planned Parenthood is defunded and their facilities start to close. In fact, while Planned Parenthood sounds the alarm that women won’t have access to life-saving treatment, their cancer screenings and prevention programs are in a free fall. From 2009-2013, cancer screenings dropped over 50 percent as did prenatal services.”
Hawkins said that Planned Parenthood’s business model centers on abortion, not health services such as mammograms.
She also said that “there is not one Planned Parenthood that does mammograms,” while some federally funded health centers are equipped to “do mammograms right on the premises.”
“Women have other options besides relying on an organization hell bent on doing whatever they have to do in order to make a profit.”
The Daily Signal reached out to Casey’s office to ask about his claims that health services would be “curtailed” if Planned Parenthood were defunded and if the senator would support redirecting funds granted to Planned Parenthood to other women’s health providers. A spokesman did not immediately return our request for comment.