In the week since Robert Dear killed three people and wounded nine others at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colo., abortion advocates have saturated the media with the suggestion that the pro-life movement — and specifically pro-lifers’ candid talk about abortion — is to blame. But unlike with many other recent mass shootings, the bloodshed seems to be the actions of one mentally disturbed man with no connection to a broader ideological movement, especially one that cherishes life.
Immediately after the massacre, I joined other pro-life leaders in condemning the shootings in the strongest possible terms. It was an unconscionable act of wanton violence, and if Dear is found guilty, he should punished to the utmost of the law.
Yet, in the last week, many abortion-rights advocates have exploited the massare to blame pro-lifers for inciting and inspiring the shooter. Dawn Laguens, Planned Parenthood’s executive vice president, said that “it is offensive and outrageous that some politicians are now claiming this tragedy has nothing to do with the toxic environment they helped create.” Vicki Saporta, president of the National Abortion Federation, declared that abortion opponents “have ignited a firestorm of hate” and “knew there could be these types of consequences.” The murders, Saporta, said, were “not a huge surprise.”
Meanwhile on ABC News’ “This Week,” the president of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains lamented the “hateful speech” of recent months among legislators and Republican presidential candidates. “I can’t believe that this isn’t contributing to some folks, mentally unwell or not, thinking that it’s O.K. to target Planned Parenthood or to target abortion providers,” she said.
Gary L. Bauer served in President Ronald Reagan’s administration for eight years, as Under Secretary of Education and as President Reagan’s Chief Domestic Policy Advisor.