Planned Parenthood Is Country's Leading Cause of Death, Fox News Host Tucker Carlson Says

Fox News host Tucker Carlson falsely claimed that Planned Parenthood is the country's leading cause of death.

"Planned Parenthood kills people, literally kills people. The leading cause of death of Americans—Planned Parenthood," the conservative commentator said on Tucker Carlson Tonight on Thursday.

His comments came during a discussion about a Los Angeles City Council measure approved on Wednesday. The city ordinance requires National Rifle Association–linked contractors to disclose contracts or sponsorships with the NRA in an effort to improve transparency about how the city is spending its money.

"The NRA is doing things like blocking universal background checks or fighting against that," radio host Ethan Bearman said to Carlson. "So this is a way of putting political pressure, no questions about it, on groups like the NRA."

Describing the measure as an attempt to stifle free speech and association, Carlson pivoted to focus on two groups often associated with liberals.

"The ACLU has, of course, argued on behalf of criminals for 100 years," he said. "You could easily make the case that they've increased the amount of violent crime in this country. Have you ever given money to the ACLU? If you have, we're punishing you. Would that be a fair standard?"

Bearman begins responding before Carlson interrupts with his remarks about Planned Parenthood.

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Tucker Carlson, host of ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight’ speaks onstage at IGNITION: Future of Media at the Time Warner Center, in New York, on November 29, 2017. Carlson falsely claimed that Planned Parenthood is the country’s leading cause of death. Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

Fox News hosts, other media pundits and conservative politicians frequently malign the reproductive health care provider because it offers abortions. In its 2016-2017 report, Planned Parenthood said it carried out 321,384 abortion procedures—a figure that amounted to just 3 percent of its total medical services offered.

Republicans regularly decry abortion as murder, and a range of states have legislation that makes abortion less accessible. Politicians have cited concerns that abortions cause fetuses pain.

Prominent studies and medical organizations have spoken out against limiting abortion or making the procedure more difficult to obtain.

"The Principles of Medical Ethics of the AMA do not prohibit a physician from performing an abortion in accordance with good medical practice and under circumstances that do not violate the law," the American Medical Association said.

"The science examining when a fetus begins to feel pain is complex," The New York Times reported in 2016. "Most scientists who have expressed views on the issue have said they do not think the neurological wiring to feel pain is in place until a fetus is further along in a pregnancy, past the point when nearly all abortions occur."

Ninety-one percent of legal abortions occur within the first 13 weeks of gestation, Planned Parenthood said, citing 2014 CDC figures.

Carlson's claim is false even under the logic of right-wing figures who view abortion as murder. Heart disease killed 635,260 people in 2016, making it country's leading cause of death, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Planned Parenthood Is Country's Leading Cause of Death, Fox News Host Tucker Carlson Says | U.S.