A Motive for the Colorado Springs Shooting? Do We Have to Ask?

by Leslie Salzillo 

planned parenthood arrest

The gunman who gunned down 11 people on Friday, killing three at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, is now in custody. Here is a recent press release from Vicki Cowart, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains:

“Our top priority is the safety of our patients and staff. Our hearts go out to everyone involved in this tragic situation. Planned Parenthood has strong security measures in place, works closely with law enforcement agencies, and has a very strong safety record. 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. 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.”

The motives are still unknown, but those of us who have witnessed the vicious, misleading and contemptible right-wing propaganda and media attacks against the healthcare center—we have a pretty good idea. There have been nonstop efforts by Republican lawmakers, violent organizations and religious extremists to destroy Planned Parenthood. These so-called, “pro-life” fanatics have once again become the instigators of terrorism and death.

Odious messages are spewed daily by “hate media” via the televised programs like Fox News, the written media like Breitbart, and radio shows like The Rush Limbaugh show. These outlets are now being accused of being partly responsible for Friday’s act of terrorism. Olivia Kittel with Media Matters cites some of the malign public attacks against Planned Parenthood:

Fox News contributor Erick Erickson said Republicans who won’t vote to defund the health provider “should be destroyed, “ and conservative blog RedState called Planned Parenthood“our Auschwitz.” Fox host Bill O’Reilly described Planned Parenthood’s fetal tissue donation as “Nazi stuff,” while many conservative media figures drew comparisons to the notorious Nazi doctor, Josef Mengele, who conducted painful and often fatal human experimentson concentration camp prisoners.

In dispute of Fox allegations, some physicians/members of The New England Journal of Medicine defended Planned Parenthood stating:

“Virtually every person in this country has benefited from research using fetal tissue.”

“This attack represents a betrayal of the people who’s lives could be saved by the research and a violation of the most fundamental duty of medicine.”

(Highlighted from NEMJ piece, Fetal Tissue Fallout, by Alt Charo, J.D.)

“The contraception services that Planned Parenthood delivers may be the single greatest effort to prevent unwanted pregnancies that result in abortions…”

“We are outraged by those who debase these women, this work, and Planned Parenthood by distorting the facts for political ends.”

(Highlighted from the NEMJ piece: Planned Parenthood at Risk by George P. Topulos, M.D., Michael F. Greene, M.D., and Jeffrey M. Drazen, M.D.)

But facts seem to matter little, if at all, to right-wing extremists.

GOP presidential candidate Carly Fiorina lied to one of the largest television audiences this year. She claims there is a video of a Planned Parenthood clinic doing unthinkable, even though it did not take place at Planned Parenthood health center: 

“Watch a fully formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs kicking while someone says, ‘We have to keep it alive to harvest its brain.” -Carly Fiorina

Public radio programs like the Rush Limbaugh show are just as bad/worse. Limbaugh, known for being racist, misogynistic, anti-LGBT gun-hugger, uses phrases like, “Planned Parenthood butchery,” perpetuating the already festering hatred towards pro-choice organizations. Media Matters recorded a show where Rush Limbaugh actually said:

You know how to stop abortion? Require each one occur with a gun.

Republicans rarely, if ever, suffer repercussions for their lies, other than Limbaugh who has lost thousands of advertisers due to a national protest and boycott for his hate speech. But what’s that compared to promoting menacing disinformation that might/can lead to the deaths of innocent people?
This kind of provocative national media rhetoric plants dangerous seeds into the minds of the uneducated, ignorant, and unstable—leading some to act out their anger, fear and rage in big and small ways. The false and slanderous statements in the press need to stop. Americans must demand more truth and integrity from programs claiming to be legitimate news. We must also demand consequences for the media that continues to maliciously, intentionally and blatantly lie to the public.
Women and men around the world are grateful to Planned Parenthood for a plethora of important affordable health and wellness services. The dedication of the Planned Parenthood leaders, doctors, nurses, staff, and volunteers have proven to be far more resilient and relentless than those who are out to destroy them.

If you’ve ever considered supporting Planned Parenthood, this is one more time to get involved/contribute. To make a secured Planned Parenthood donation click hereYou can also call 800-798-7092, or mail donations to:

Planned Parenthood Federation of America
PO Box 97166
Washington DC

As news reaches more of the public, many are sending thoughts/prayers to the victims in Colorado Springs who’ve been injured, and to the families who just lost a loved one.


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.


Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos