Does Pittman Want to Publicly Hang Planned Parenthood?


North Carolina Republican Larry Pittman is back to doing what he does best–sending rabidly anti-choice emails. This time, he is accusing reproductive health care provider Planned Parenthood of “murder for hire.”

Via Think Progress:

State Rep. Larry Pittman (R) had a strong reaction to a recent email from Planned Parenthood that appealed state legislators not to cut funding to the organization. Pittman responded to the email, which was sent to each member of the NC House of Representatives Health and Human Services Appropriations committee at the end of May, with allegations that Planned Parenthood is a “murderous organization”:

PITTMAN: [Planned Parenthood] is a murderous organization…getting wealthy on murder for hire. It deals out nothing but deception, death, personal devastation, and moral degradation. Never will I agree to give that bloody, indecent, immoral organization one penny. I will not be satisfied until it is outlawed.

The latest diatribe was provoked by a plea from the provider to the state to not cut its budget, but last time Pittman went on a “murder” rampage, it didn’t take an event associated with reproductive health to set him off. Ed Kilgore named Pittman “Wingnut of the Week” back at the beginning of the year.

I’ve decided the inaugural honoree has to be Rep. Larry Pittman of North Carolina, who spoke for many righteous (or self-righteous) people in calling for a return to public hangings. Apparently angered by a public letter from a death row inmate boasting of his continuing ability to live and breathe, Pittman said in an email to his colleagues:

If murderers (and I would include abortionists, rapists, and kidnappers, as well) are actually executed, it will at least have the deterrent effect upon them. For my money, we should go back to public hangings, which would be more of a deterrent to others, as well.

Well, that’s nice, and a real contribution, BTW, to the debate over abortion policy. Why mess with harassment of abortion providers when you can just string them up in front of cheering crowds, eh?

Pittman admits that he may have gone too far back in January–he should have just emailed the person to whom he was responding, not done a “reply all,” he said–but this time he has no apologies

“My sources tell me that 75 percent of [Planned Parenthood’s] income comes through abortions,” Pittman told the Independent Tribune in an email. “To say that they would try to reduce the incidence of abortion is like saying a baker would go around trying to get people to stop eating bread.”

It’s unclear who Pittman’s “sources” might be in this case. Usually, when it comes to “sources,” the data is a mishmash thrown together by groups like LiveAction, as was the case in 2011 when a Florida lawmaker claimed 37 percent of Planned Parenthood’s income comes from abortion, a claim Politifact rated “False.”  But LiveAction’s numbers currently say that the number is closer to 14 percent of their income.

Maybe he’s trying to use their “Less than 25% of Planned Parenthood’s Revenue Comes From Paying, Non-Abortion Customers” statement? Or, more likely, he goes to the Jon Kyle school of data, and this wasn’t meant to be a factual statement at all.

Like this story? Your $10 tax-deductible contribution helps support our research, reporting, and analysis.

Follow Robin Marty on Twitter: @robinmarty

To schedule an interview with Robin Marty please contact Communications Director Rachel Perrone at rachel@rhrealitycheck.org.