Washington, DC — This morning many GOP Presidential candidates commented on the recent tragedy in Colorado for the first time --- condemning violence while in the same breath repeating the same hateful rhetoric repeated by the shooter after he was arrested for a horrific act of violence against a Planned Parenthood health center in Colorado.
According to numerous accounts, the shooter on Friday invoked the phrase “no more baby parts” after his arrest on Friday night. Yet this morning, candidates Fiorina and Trump continued to speak out against Planned Parenthood services, continued to push a political agenda to cut people off from getting care at Planned parenthood, and continued to invoke the discredited videos referenced by the killer --- videos created by a group of extreme anti-abortion activists with ties to violence, and that have been entirely discredited and debunked.
Below is a statement released today from Dawn Laguens, Executive Vice President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
"We are grateful for the enormous outpouring of support from people all across the country who are appalled by this act of violence and want to see an end to the hateful rhetoric that fueled it.”
"It is offensive and outrageous that some politicians are now claiming this tragedy has nothing to do with the toxic environment they helped create. Even when the gunman was still inside of our health center, politicians who have long opposed safe and legal abortion were on television pushing their campaign to defund Planned Parenthood and invoking the discredited video smear campaign that reportedly fed this shooter's rage. Now, Carly Fiorina, Donald Trump, and others are using this tragedy to repeat false claims about Planned Parenthood. Instead of looking for lessons to prevent this from happening in the future, they're doubling down on their effort to block women from getting preventive health care at Planned Parenthood. Just last week, Ted Cruz accepted the endorsement of a group whose leaders have been convicted and served prison time for threatening to firebomb abortion clinics.”
"One of the lessons of this awful tragedy is that words matter, and hateful rhetoric fuels violence. It's not enough to denounce the tragedy without also denouncing the poisonous rhetoric that fueled it. Instead, some politicians are continuing to stoke it, which is unconscionable.”
"At Planned Parenthood, our top priority is the safety and wellbeing of our patients and staff. Our doors are open today, in Colorado and across the country, and nothing will deter us from providing high-quality health care to millions of people."
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With approximately 700 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America media office: 212-261-4433
November 29, 2015