Pro-life leaders denounced the actions of the gunman who took the lives of three—a police officer and two civilians—and wounded nine others Friday in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Police said Robert Dear, 57, gave up inside a Planned Parenthood clinic after a standoff that lasted hours.
Here’s what leaders of pro-life organizations said in formal statements about Dear’s alleged actions:
David Daleiden, founder of the Center for Medical Progress:
The Center for Medical Progress condemns the barbaric killing spree in Colorado Springs by a violent madman. We applaud the heroic efforts of law enforcement to stop the violence quickly and rescue the victims, and our thoughts and prayers are with the wounded, the lost, and their families.
Bryan Kemper, youth outreach director for Priests for Life and founder of Stand True:
Although we do not know the details behind the gun violence at Planned Parenthood in Colorado, it is important to say that we are against all violence against our fellow human persons. From the abortionist, the workers, the patients, the children scheduled to die or anyone at that Planned Parenthood, all of their lives are precious and worth saving. All of them are loved by God and deserve our prayers. I am sickened by the violence there today just as I am sickened by the violence there every day.
Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America:
We condemn violence of any kind against Planned Parenthood, abortionists, or any abortion industry workers. People using violence to promote their views should be held criminally liable for their actions. Period. We pray for the victims and their families of this senseless act.
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council:
While the investigation into the shooting at the Planned Parenthood center continues, regardless of what the motive is determined to be, we strongly condemn this violence. As the target of domestic terrorism inspired by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the staff of the Family Research Council empathize with all the victims of this violence. All of us at the Family Research Council join with the pro-life movement in praying for the injured officers and victims of these deplorable acts. Only through peaceful means–not violence—can we truly become a nation that once again values all human life, born and unborn.
Charmaine Yoest, president and CEO of Americans United for Life:
Our prayers and concern are with the victims today of the Colorado Springs shooting, people who did not deserve such violence. We are heartbroken for the families grieving the loss of their loved ones, especially during this time that is supposed to be one of national Thanksgiving and family celebration. We categorically condemn this violence. While we don’t know all the details of this horrific event, we know that it was an evil act, one condemned by pro-life Americans nationwide.
Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life:
National Right to Life, which represents 50 state affiliates and more than 3,000 local chapters, unequivocally condemns unlawful activities and acts of violence regardless of motivation. The pro-life movement works to protect the right to life and increase respect for human life. The unlawful use of violence is directly contrary to that goal.
Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List:
We strongly condemn the violence carried out at Planned Parenthood. Our condolences and heartfelt prayers go out to the victims and their families.
Violence is never justified. The actions of the shooter are in complete contradiction to the aims of the pro-life movement. Public policy debates regarding abortion—including defunding abortion businesses and protecting women and children from late term abortion—can and should continue to be discussed calmly, with conviction and civility.
Officer Garrett Swasey embodies the spirit of the pro-life movement in this tragedy. He may not have agreed with Planned Parenthood, but Officer Swasey charged headfirst into danger to protect lives inside their clinic. He believed, as we do, that all lives are equally valuable and worthy of protection.
Abby Johnson, founder of And Then There Were None, a pro-life group that helps abortion workers leave the industry, and a former Planned Parenthood employee, tweeted:
— Abby Johnson (@AbbyJohnson) November 30, 2015
Lila Rose, president of Live Action, tweeted:
Being pro-life is to uphold the preciousness of all human beings—born & preborn. Praying for those hurt at Planned Parenthood in Colorado.
— Lila Rose (@LilaGraceRose) November 28, 2015
We condemn violence against any human being, whether abortionists, @PPact workers, patients, or preborn babies. Every life is precious.
— Lila Rose (@LilaGraceRose) November 28, 2015
An anonymous “senior law enforcement official” told The New York Times that Dear said the words “no more baby parts” during a “rambling interview with the authorities.”
In undercover videos released over the summer by the pro-life Center for Medical Progress, officials at several Planned Parenthood clinics are seen and heard talking about the sale of body parts from aborted babies. Planned Parenthood officials have denounced the videos as “heavily edited” and the work of “extremists.”
The Associated Press reported that Dear’s comment about “baby parts” was “among a number of statements [he] made to authorities after his arrest, making it difficult to know his specific motivation.”
In a statement, Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said:
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.