Pro-lifers are pushing back as Planned Parenthood and its supporters attempt to link last week's shooting to controversial videos released this summer linking the abortion-provider to the sale of body parts from aborted babies.
The accused gunman, 57-year-old Robert Lewis Dear, makes his first court appearance today in the wake of the weekend shooting at a Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado Springs that left three people dead. Planned Parenthood is making the most of Dear's alleged comments as he was arrested Friday night. The Associated Press reports that in the middle of a rambling statement he said "no more baby parts."
In a statement released after the shooting, Vicki Cowart, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Rocky Mountains, said "continued attacks against abortion providers ... is creating a poisonous environment that breeds acts of violence." But investigators in Colorado Springs are refusing to say the shooting had anything to do with Planned Parenthood.
Pro-life leaders across the country quickly and unequivocally condemned the shooting, among them Tony Perkins, who was among those targeted at the Family Research Council offices by a deranged gunman who had thoughts of killing "right-wing Christians" in August 2012.
GOP presidential candidates also have chimed in – Mike Huckabee calling it "disingenuous" to blame clinic shootings on pro-lifers; and Carly Fiorina calling it a "typical left-wing tactic" to link the violent act to the pro-life movement.
One of the pro-life groups condemning the shooting is Kansas-based Operation Rescue, whose president points out there's no evidence that Dear was in any way associated with the pro-life movement. "The pro-life movements' ethics has always been to defend and to promote human dignity for all people from the moment of conception all the way til natural death," he tells OneNewsNow.
Newman also points out that one of the people killed in the tragedy – police officer Garrett Swasey – was a Christian of deep conviction.
"[He was] a co-pastor at his church and very pro-life – [and he] actually acted to save people inside Planned Parenthood and gave his life in that endeavor," he describes. "That's the way Jesus taught us to act, and that is the way the pro-lifers intend to act."
Newman says the first response of Christians is always to be prayerful and to mourn with those who mourn. He also comments that this tragedy, like so many other tragedies, is brought about by man's sin nature and a lack of self-control.