Pap smears at Walgreens?

It's a speculum. And no, you can't get one at Walgreens. (Photo: Thinkstock)
It's a speculum. And no, you can't get one at Walgreens. (Photo: Thinkstock)

Not really, of course. But the folks at "Fox & Friends" seem to think so.

On Saturday, while deriding Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's defense of the services offered by Planned Parenthood, the male co-hosts let slip their cluelessness about-or perhaps their contempt for-women's health issues. Here's the exchange:

STEVE DOOCY: And the thing about it that was audacious was the fact that he [Reid] was talking about Planned Parenthood being this great provider where women can get blood pressure checks, and pap smears, and breast examinations...

BRIAN KILMEADE: Which you can get at Walgreens.

DOOCY: Exactly right.

The conservative confusion (should that be in quotes?) about what Planned Parenthood actually provides may have stemmed from a statement made last week by republican Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona.

"You don't have to go to Planned Parenthood to get your cholesterol or your blood pressure checked," Kyl said during the budget debate. "If you want an abortion, you go to Planned Parenthood, and that's well over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does."

"Neither Walgreens, nor its in-store healthcare clinics, Take Care Clinics, offer pap smears or breast exams," Take Care Clinic spokeswoman Lauren Nestler told Media Matters yesterday. The clinics, which are a subsidiary of Walgreens drug stores, offer flu vaccines, blood pressure screenings, and other health services (though not cholesterol screenings.)

For the record: Kyl's right in that you don't have to go to Planned Parenthood to get your blood pressure checked. And sure, you can buy condoms and pregnancy tests at the drug store chain, too. But pre-natal care, pap smears, HIV screenings, and breast-cancer exams? While there may be a coffee shop or a drug store on every other corner, health care is harder to come by for many women, especially for college students and women with little income. (Also: Planned Parenthood provides vasectomy services, too. Let us know when you can get those at Walgreens.)

According to Planned Parenthood, abortions account for about 3 percent of the services they provide-that's a far cry from "well over 90 percent." Here's what they offered in 2009:

Graphic: Planned Parenthood
Graphic: Planned Parenthood

And here are the actual numbers:

Contraception: 4,009,549
Sexually transmitted disease testing and treatment, including HIV testing: 3,955,9163
Cancer screening and prevention, including pap smears: 1,830,811
Pregnancy tests, care for prenatal and mid-life patients: 1,178,369
Abortion services: 332,278
Other services, including primary care: 76,977

Total patients served in 2009: 11,383,900

So, what caused Kyl's confusion?

"His remark was not intended to be a factual statement," Kyl's office told CNN, prompting Steven Colbert to quip on "The Colbert Report" yesterday, "You can't call him out for being wrong when he never intended to be right."

As for those mythical drug-store pap smears, "I'm pretty sure they're between the Swiffer refills and the cat food," Colbert said as he mocked the "Fox & Friends" co-hosts. "Ladies, just look for the stirrups."

Also on Shine:

House of Representatives votes to strip Planned Parenthood of funding
Study: Women are unhealthier than ever
9 surprising things you need to know about birth control
If abortion were illegal: A glimpse of the reality
And now the guidelines for cervical cancer screenings have changed. What's going on?