It seems extraordinary to me that the four or five women TV journalists this dark evening never mentioned the poisonous political atmosphere that certainly caused the shooting at the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood Clinic a few hours ago.
Are we so neutralized politically that we no longer dare to connect cause and effect?
After years of right-wing Republican attacks on reproductive freedom, we have have another murder for which the real perpetrators are known but never called to account.
When deranged individuals receive permission for their deranged acts from irresponsible political groups and irresponsible demagogues, why are we unable or unwilling to make the connection?
Female anchors for whom we all once had so much hope—new voices, new visions, breaking down the old stereotypes—can risk nothing more than to say that the Colorado Planned Parenthood Clinic was “controversial” and even to intimate that it was the Clinic’s fault that the killer got in the front door.
“Controversial,” when it offers legal access to abortion as well as many other women’s health issues?
(Maybe the news would be given its due resonance if the announcers were all scraggly-toothed women elders instead of these pretty blond goddesses who have been bred, trained and curried to please).
What other facility in this country has to provide a Safe Room for its employees and patients?
Nothing can change or will change until we name the perpetrators, until we make the pundits who create and endorse this violence, and their minions, feel a bit of this Black Friday pain.
Email from Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains: November 28, 2015
The news of violence yesterday in our beloved Colorado Springs community is devastating. We are deeply saddened by the deaths of three people who were killed, including the UC Colorado Springs officer who was part of the first responder team who bravely rushed to defend innocent lives. We have confirmed that all PPRM staff are accounted for and safe and we are awaiting confirmation on the status of our patients.
We are so grateful for the brave work of our staff and law enforcement who acted quickly and honorably. The PPRM staff acted courageously; ensuring fellow staff, patients, and partners were moved to safe areas of the health center. They are true heroes.
We are working closely with our partners in law enforcement to understand all the details on those harmed. What we do know is that our health center has been destroyed. We have a long road ahead of us and we are thankful to have each of you at our side.
Today, our incredible staff opened up our health center doors across the region, with the exception of our center in Colorado Springs, to ensure that our patients were able to access the critical healthcare that we provide day in and day out…no matter what.
Below, I have included Vicki Cowart’s official statement from last night for you to share with your communities. Please do not hesitate to reach out directly with questions.
Vice President of Development
Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains
Begin Statement from Vicki Cowart, President and CEO, Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, November 27, 2015
“The heart of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains (PPRM) is broken tonight as we try to make sense of the horrific tragedy that struck our beloved health center in Colorado Springs, today. Our thoughts are with the all those who were impacted and particularly the families of the two civilians and one heroic law-enforcement officer whose lives were lost. We are grateful to report that all our staff are safe and accounted for and are hoping for the best possible outcomes for the others wounded in this attack.
“We are thankful to our security personnel and to the Colorado Springs Police Department, the El Paso County Sheriff’s Department, and the UCCS campus officers, who came to our aid and served with such selfless valor. Their fast response, strength, and bravery undoubtedly saved countless lives today. We also appreciate that our Colorado Springs staff responded quickly following our security protocols.
“The information regarding the gunman’s motive remains unknown as does whether Planned Parenthood was targeted deliberately. PPRM’s top priority will always be the safety of our patients and staff. We maintain strong security measures and always work closely with law enforcement agencies to ensure our very strong safety record.
“We share the concerns of many Americans that the continued attacks against abortion providers and patients, as well as law enforcement officers, is creating a poisonous environment that breeds acts of violence. But, we will never back away from providing critical health care to millions of people who rely on and trust us every day.”
Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains serves 103,000 people in Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, and Wyoming every year. These services include lifesaving cancer screenings, HIV and STD testing and treatment, contraception, and abortion care. While our Colorado Springs health center will remain closed while we rebuild, our 28 other regional health centers will remain open, providing compassionate, high-quality health care. No matter what.