On Friday afternoon, there was an active shooter situation in Colorado Springs. While the details are still unclear, the shooter was confirmed to be firing shots from inside the Planned Parenthood lobby at officers outside. Planned Parenthood says all 15 of their staff members are safe.
The deeply disturbed man, Robert Lewis Dear, was taken into custody, but not before he tragically killed three people, including a reportedly pro-life police officer. The shooting and all deaths and injuries are tragic. The pro-life community has condemned such acts of violence.
Planned Parenthood released a statement from Vicki Cowart, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, implying that those opposed to Planned Parenthood’s taxpayer funding are inspiring violence by bringing up concerns over fetal tissue sales, Medicaid fraud, and clinic health standards.
We share the concerns of many Americans that the continued attacks against abortion providers and patients, as well as law enforcement officers, is [sic] creating a poisonous environment that breeds acts of violence.
It’s worth breaking down and analyzing Cowart’s statements. What does she mean by “continued attacks against abortion providers and patients…”? If she means violence in our communities then yes, Americans should be and are concerned when any act of violence is committed against our fellow human beings. When such attacks do occur against abortion clinic staff or patients, they are fortunately rare and always denounced by pro-life groups.
Cowart may very well be referring to “attacks” which are not physically violent but instead, lawful expressions of free speech – including peaceful but vocal protesting, offering leaflets to women, and speaking loudly outside abortion clinics. In that case, Cowart is treading dangerously if she is trying to use this tragic event to shut down peaceful political expression.
Violence should not be directed against Planned Parenthood, their customers and supporters, or employees. That being said, pro-life Americans are going to continue to peacefully speak up for preborn children as we all should. Speaking the truth and using our voices on behalf of the voiceless does not encourage or beget violence.
Violence is the last intention pro-lifers have.