I hate to say I told you so.
That's usually an empty phrase. Let's face it: most people love to say "I told you so." But in this case, I really do hate it—because I successfully predicted that something pretty awful would happen.
Back in February of 2012, the Susan G. Komen controversy was at its zenith. You'll recall that Susan G. Komen announced that it would stop funding Planned Parenthood, which it had been doing to the tune of about $600,000 a year, and use that money for other projects instead. Planned Parenthood responded with an extensive media campaign denouncing Susan G. Komen's decision. Susan G. Komen eventually caved and reinstated the funding, but not before Planned Parenthood raised over $3 million off of the controversy. Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards publicly stated that the $3 million would allow Planned Parenthood to "expand our breast care work beyond our wildest dreams."
I predicted that Planned Parenthood would not in fact provide more breast care services in 2012 than it had in past years, despite the windfall. I offered a $100 bet to abortion advocates. Not one person took me up on it.
Breast care at Planned Parenthood has been on the decline for years now. (Note that Planned Parenthood has never offered mammograms, despite some rhetoric to the contrary; what we're talking about here are manual breast exams and related services.) According to its own annual reports, Planned Parenthood provided 839,312 breast exams in 2009, 747,607 in 2010, and 639,384 in 2011.
But surely an infusion of $3 million cash would reverse this gloomy pattern, or at least allow them to maintain 2011 levels... right?
Planned Parenthood just released its 2012 annual report (it's always a year behind). Expansion beyond their wildest dreams, my foot. Try 549,804 breast exams. That's about 90,000 fewer than the past year, and a whopping 34% decline since 2009.
But that number is hiding on page 15 of the 2012 report. The first reference you'll see to breast health is this, on page 7:
They're a little more subtle on the next page: "1,040,000 Breast Exams and Pap Tests." Combining breast exams with Pap smears, that's clever. It doesn't change the fact that thousands of people gave them money to test more women for breast cancer, and Planned Parenthood did exactly the opposite.
Most Planned Parenthood breast fund donors are not abortion-loving extremists. They're just regular people who saw something in the news about reduced funding for breast cancer detection, and wanted to respond. And Planned Parenthood took advantage of them. Where that $3 million actually went is anybody's guess.
I'm not clairvoyant. Planned Parenthood is just that damn predictable. I hate to say I told you so.