A lone gunman at a Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado Springs Friday killed three people, including a police officer, and left five more officers and four civilians with injuries. The shooter surrendered to police Friday evening. In the midst of the tragedy, both sides of the abortion issue have spoken out.
UPDATE: shooting at Planned Parenthood. Dead: UCCS police officer/2 civilians Wounded: 5 #CSPD officers/4 civilians- all in good condition
— Springs Police (@CSPDPIO) November 28, 2015
CNN reporting included a statement from Planned Parenthood on the situation:
One Planned Parenthood official said the motive behind the attack was unknown, but pointed to what she called a “poisonous environment that feeds domestic terrorism” as a possible cause.
“We don’t yet know the full circumstances and motives behind this criminal action, and we don’t yet know if Planned Parenthood was in fact the target of this attack,” Vicki Cowart, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, said in a written statement. “We share the concerns of many Americans that extremists are creating a poisonous environment that feeds domestic terrorism in this country. We will never back away from providing care in a safe, supportive environment that millions of people rely on and trust.”
Cowart’s hijacking of the tragedy to make a political statement before the facts are known isn’t surprising. The fact is that at the time of these statements, no one had an answer as to why the shooter chose that location. The one thing that is certain is that the shooter is not pro-life. Actual pro-lifers don’t kill people or engage in “terrorism.” Pro-life leaders spoke out about that, as well.
Troy Newman President of Operation Rescue said:
Operation Rescue unequivocally deplores and denounces all violence at abortion clinics and has a long history of working through peaceful channels to advocate on behalf of women and their babies. We express deep concern for everyone involved and are praying for the safety of those at the Planned Parenthood office and for law enforcement personnel. We pray this tragic situation can be quickly resolved without further injury to anyone.
Likewise, Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition, based in Washington, D.C. said:
Although we don’t know the reasons for the shooting near the Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs today, the pro-life movement is praying for the safety of all involved and as a movement we have always unequivocally condemned all forms of violence at abortion clinics. We must continually as a nation stand against violence on all levels.
And Fr. Stephen Imbarrato, founder of Protest ABQ and Director of Protest Child Killing said:
Those of us who protest pre-born child killing with Protest ABQ and Protest Child Killing never condone any act of violence, indeed we are protesting the violent act of abortion that kills pre-born children in the womb. We are committed to peacefully protesting this violence. Our prayers go out to all victims of violence.
Fr. Frank Pavone and the pastoral team of Priests for Life issued a statement Friday as well:
Information is very sketchy about the currently active shooting situation in Colorado Springs. The Planned Parenthood was the address given in the initial call to the police, but we still do not know what connection, if any, the shooting has to do with Planned Parenthood or abortion.
As leaders in the pro-life movement, we call for calm and pray for a peaceful resolution of this situation.
What is motivating this shooting will become clearer in due time. We ask that in the meantime, nobody jump to conclusions regarding the connection between this violence and the controversy over abortion and Planned Parenthood, and we ask that people do not use this situation to inflame emotions on either side of the abortion issue.
Briebart News reports that David Daleiden, the leader of the Center for Medical Progress also condemns the shooting, as well as pointed out that the clinic where it occurred was not one the group visited.
“The Center for Medical Progress does not support vigilante violence against abortion providers. There are people at Planned Parenthood who I still consider friends and my thoughts and prayers are with them at this time for no one to be injured.”
In response to the inevitable charges against him, Daleiden said, “We only visited the Denver clinic in Colorado. PPRM CEO Vicki Cowart says Planned Parenthood still doesn’t know the full details of what is going on in Colorado Springs.”
Jim Sedlak of the American Life League said:
Although American Life League’s STOPP International fights against the policies and programs of Planned Parenthood, we condemn the use of violence. Every human being is created by God and is deserving of respect. We pray for the victims of the Colorado attack and for the quick capture of the person responsible.
While the circumstances of the shooting continue to unfold, it would behoove Planned Parenthood and their supporters to remember that pro-lifers are against all killing. No real pro-lifer would find a shred of happiness in the shedding of innocent blood at any age.