You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myAJC.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myAJC.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myAJC.com.

Opinion: Ossoff’s false attack on Handel and women’s health


You knew it was coming. But you might have expected it to be a little more honest, or at least clever.

“It” is the Jon Ossoff campaign’s dredging up of GOP opponent Karen Handel’s brief tenure at the Susan G. Komen organization. It comes in a new ad featuring a Smyrna OB-GYN who says Handel “cut off funding for Planned Parenthood cancer screenings” while at Komen. “I don’t usually get involved in politics,” she says, “but as a doctor and a breast cancer survivor myself, what Karen Handel did is unforgivable.”

The doctor may not be just another truth-twisting politico, but she plays one on TV.

The controversy dates back to 2012, when Komen decided to stop providing grants to Planned Parenthood. The $600,000 in question was a rounding error: It represented about seven-tenths of 1 percent of Komen’s grants at the time, and less than seven-hundredths of 1 percent of Planned Parenthood’s total revenues. But culture warriors on the left defend nothing more fiercely than the nation’s leading provider of abortions, and their attack on Komen was coordinated and effective. Within a week, Handel had resigned as Komen’s vice president for public policy.

Since then, there has been much examination of why exactly Planned Parenthood deserves grants from a breast cancer-awareness organization, or righteous indignation if the grants go away. The conclusion is clear: It doesn’t.

Start with a fact hardly ever acknowledged about this episode: In no way would cutting ties with Planned Parenthood have reduced Komen’s funding for breast-cancer screenings. Period. Had Komen stuck with its decision instead of caving to PP’s PR onslaught and reversing its policy, the money in question would have gone to other service providers. That almost certainly would have helped Komen pay for far more effective breast-cancer screening.

Fact-checkers have verified time and again that Planned Parenthood does not provide mammograms. Politifact in 2012 rated a statement to that effect by Handel herself as true. The Washington Post on a couple of occasions has awarded three (of a possible four) “Pinocchios” to supporters of Planned Parenthood, including Barack Obama, for claiming it offers mammograms.

What Planned Parenthood provides are clinical breast exams, in which doctors check patients for lumps by hand. To call this practice a “cancer screening,” as in the Ossoff ad’s script, is quite a stretch. The American Cancer Society does not recommend these exams because “research has not shown a clear benefit of physical breast exams done by either a health professional or by yourself.” (Interestingly, Planned Parenthood’s website acknowledges this shortcoming of self-examinations, but ignores the research on the kind it provides.) The National Cancer Institute and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention echo the lack of evidence supporting the exams and instead focus on when women should have the more reliable mammograms.

In effect, the “screening” performed by Planned Parenthood amounts to … telling women they should go get screened. Maybe that’s why fewer and fewer women concerned about breast cancer rely on Planned Parenthood: In its most recent annual report, the organization reported 43 percent fewer breast-cancer exams than it performed just three years earlier.

These facts are not in dispute, yet Jon Ossoff is the latest leftist to ignore the truth here. That’s only surprising if you believe him when he shows up on your TV claiming to be something else.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Opinion

Opinion: On JFK's 100th birthday, Trump repudiates his legacy
Opinion: On JFK's 100th birthday, Trump repudiates his legacy

Former presidents George H.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter are both over 90, and still with us — making it just barely conceivable that John F. Kennedy might have lived to celebrate his 100th birthday on Monday, if he had not been assassinated in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963. Surely JFK would have noted a contrast between his Jan. 20, 1961, inaugural...
Opinion: Assault on Guardian reporter is not a gray area

The first question you have to wonder concerning the assault and battery allegedly committed by Montana congressional candidate Greg Gianforte is: How could he possibly have put out a miserable, lying cover story when there were at least four witnesses in the room? The second question is: Do you regret early voting yet? Here’s the account from...
Readers Write: May 29

Immigrants are our neighbors, friends The troubling deaths of two men in ICE custody highlight the ongoing indiscriminate detentions and deportations of undocumented immigrants. The way immigrants are being targeted should concern us all, for four reasons. First, it is unnecessary. Most of those detained pose zero threat. Their “crime”...
Opinion: Honoring our heroes, their loved ones this Memorial Day

The last Monday in May is a solemn one, particularly for those whose loved ones have sacrificed their lives for our nation’s freedom. Memorial Day was originally celebrated as Decoration Day, and it was proclaimed in 1868 by Gen. John Logan, who had been a Northern commander in the Civil War. The day was intended to honor those who laid down...
Opinion: OK, maybe there really WAS collusion
Opinion: OK, maybe there really WAS collusion

(AP) In December, Jared Kushner reportedly asked the Russian ambassador to establish a secret backchannel, using secure Russian diplomatic equipment, between the Trump transition team and Russian officials.
More Stories