The Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood shootings committed by Robert Dear on November 27 were a human tragedy.
Three people were killed and nine others injured.
But due to the supposition that Dear attacked the facility over much-disputed claims that Planned Parenthood has profited from aborted fetuses — he reportedly made comments about baby parts while being taken into custody — the incident is being politicized by individuals on both sides of the ideological divide.
Front and center among the anti-abortion crowd is Colorado Representative JoAnn Windholz, who shared a Facebook post essentially blaming Planned Parenthood for the attack.
Meanwhile, pro-choice groups gathered on the steps of the Colorado State Capitol yesterday to accuse several prominent lawmakers, including Representative Mike Coffman, state senator Tim Neville and state rep Gordon Klingenschmitt, of unleashing the sort of rhetoric capable of fueling attacks like Dear's.
Windholz has now deleted her Facebook post — but here's a screen grab of her message, in which she claims that "the true instigator of this violence and all violence at any pph facility is pph themselves."
Meanwhile, at the aforementioned press event, ProgressNow Colorado executive director Amy Runyon-Harms and other speakers pointed to statements made by Klingenschmitt, who, as Buzzfeed notes, had previously characterized Planned Parenthood officials as "evil, with 'blood dripping from their fangs,' and influenced by the spirits of death, murder, and greed."
Less incendiary comments by Neville and Coffman were also mentioned.
A Neville line: “Some of the most disgusting videos of Planned Parenthood murdering, cutting to pieces and selling unborn baby parts were filmed right here in Denver, Colorado.”
The Coffman quote: “We should fund critical women’s services in a way that doesn’t fly in the face of human decency.”
The tonal differences between Klingenschmitt's remarks and those attributed to Neville and Coffman suggests to the Washington Times that the latter pair were spotlighted for political reasons.
Neville is seeking Senator Michael Bennet's seat, while Coffman is a perpetual target for Dems.
For his part, Coffman released a statement that reads in part: “I’m deeply offended that anyone would try to exploit this horrific incident purely for political gain. Both sides should knock-off the partisan games and name-calling. It is beneath the dignity of our state and country, and a grave disservice to the victims. A horrible tragedy has happened in our state. Our focus should be on the victims, and honoring their lives and supporting their families. And we should focus on achieving justice – this shooting was a premediated [sic] atrocity, and absolutely ripe for a death penalty prosecution.”
Ah, the death penalty — yet another hot-button issue in a story full of them.
Here's a 7News report about the latest developments.