Obama brought up Planned Parenthood four times in debate

{mosads}No questions on Tuesday addressed Planned Parenthood, but Obama raised the issue several times, calling the group’s federally supported healthcare services “a pocketbook issue for women and families across the country.” 

Obama also said that women “rely on Planned Parenthood for … mammograms, for cervical cancer screenings.” This statement was only partially true, as Planned Parenthood clinics provide only referrals for mammograms, not the procedures themselves.

In this sense, Planned Parenthood clinics act like any other primary-care provider or OB/GYN, providing breast examinations and referring women to outside technicians for mammograms.

In another case, Obama used the topic of Planned Parenthood funding to highlight differences between Romney and former President George W. Bush.

“George Bush never suggested that we eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood, so there are differences between Governor Romney and George Bush, but they’re not on economic policy,” Obama said.

He added that Romney “has gone to a more extreme place” on social policy than Bush.

Obama also used Planned Parenthood to dig at Romney’s tax plan.

“We haven’t heard from the governor any specifics beyond Big Bird and eliminating funding for Planned Parenthood in terms of how he pays for” the plan, Obama said.

Romney returned fire at various points by arguing that women have suffered economically under Obama.

“There are 3.5 million more women living in poverty today than when the president took office,” Romney said. “I’m going to help women in America get good work by getting a stronger economy and by supporting women in the workforce.”

The former governor also touted his support for family-friendly policies in the workplace.

“I recognized [in Massachusetts] that if you’re going to have women in the workforce that sometimes you need to be more flexible,” Romney said.

“My chief of staff, for instance, had two kids that were still in school. She said, I can’t be here until 7 or 8 o’clock at night … so we said fine. Let’s have a flexible schedule so you can have hours that work for you,” he said. 

—This post was updated Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. to reflect that Planned Parenthood provides mammogram referrals, not mammogram procedures.


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