During Tuesday night’s debate, President Obama slammed Mitt Romney for not wanting to discuss Planned Parenthood. Romney and other Republicans have moved to cut funding to Planned Parenthood, citing the organization’s support for abortion as their reason.
But what no one is talking about is that cutting funding to Planned Parenthood would also cut money for cancer screenings for poor and uninsured women.
Cuts to Planned Parenthood will hit low-income women without insurance, who may not be able to access women’s health services. Earlier this year, controversy arose over the Susan G. Komen Foundation’s decision to cut funding for Planned Parenthood, a decision that was quickly reversed in response to public outcry. But the debacle brought to light some of Planned Parenthood’s services that aren’t as well-known.
When it comes to breast cancer screenings, Planned Parenthood is more thorough than the official guidelines, which recommend mammograms only every other year and only for women over 50. Planned Parenthood clinics instead offer clinical breast exams to women of any age as part of a regular physical and refers women 40 and over for mammograms. About 10 percent of breast cancer patients are under the age of 45 and would not have been screened under the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force guidelines.
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