Monthly Archives: November 2015

It’s not known why a gunman stormed a Planned Parenthood, but abortion providers often face attacks

By Max Ehrenfreund

Police respond to the scene with an active shooter near the Planned Parenthood at Fillmore and Centennial in Colorado Springs, Colo. on Friday, Nov. 27, 2015. Three police officers have been reporter injured in addition to multiple civilian injuries. (Stacie Scott/Colorado Springs Gazette via AP)

Investigators continue to work Saturday to determine the motive of a gunman who exchanged fire with police from a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Friday. The shooting, which resulted in the deaths of two civilians and a police officer, came during a period of intense debate over Planned Parenthood, which has faced controversy over edited videos in which officials describe the extraction of tissue from aborted fetuses for research purposes. The videos prompted a congressional effort this summer to end federal funding for the organization, which provides a range of reproductive health services.

On Friday, Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains chief executive Vicki Cowart said the full circumstances of the shooting are not known, but added, “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.”

If the shooting Friday is determined to have been specifically an attack on Planned Parenthood, it would have been in a long line of attacks on abortion providers over the years. It has been six years since anyone was killed in connection with the abortion debate, but attacks on clinics and doctors are fairly regular, according to a list maintained by the National Abortion Federation, a pro-abortion rights organization.

Over the past 20 years, there have been an average of 257 incidents a year directed at abortion clinics …read more