News Abortion

Alleged Gunman: ‘I Picked Planned Parenthood Because It’s Murdering Little Babies’

Jason Salzman

Robert Lewis Dear Jr., in his first media interview since he was arrested in November for the killing of three people at a Planned Parenthood clinic, said that the FBI has tracked him for 22 years.

Read more of our articles on the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood shooting here.

“I felt like they were going to get me, and so I am going to pick where I want to make my last stand,” Robert Lewis Dear Jr., who was arrested for the killing of three people November 27 at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, said Wednesday in his first media interview. “And I picked Planned Parenthood because it’s murdering little babies.”

Dear told Denver’s CBS affiliate, KCNC-TV, that he believes the FBI has followed him for 22 years, and the ten agents who trailed him to the clinic on the morning of the shooting had informed police that he was armed.

No evidence has emerged that the FBI was tracking Dear, who faces 179 charges, including first-degree murder. A judge ordered Dear to undergo a mental competency exam after multiple outbursts during a court hearing.

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Pro-choice activists in the wake of the shooting have argued that extreme anti-choice rhetoric incited the shooter, and has contributed to the spike in clinic violence over the past year. Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper has said that “inflammatory rhetoric” may drive “emotionally unstable or psychologically unbalanced” people to “commit these acts of unthinkable violence.”

On the same day Dear talked to KCNC-TV, Rachel Swasey, the wife of the police officer killed in the Planned Parenthood shooting, Garrett Swasey, was a guest at the Colorado state legislature’s opening day session.

Senate President Bill Cadman (R-Colorado Springs), who has pledged to continue investigations of Planned Parenthood, welcomed Rachel Swasey. 

“Our military members swear an oath to support and defend the Constitution, our law enforcement officers, our sheriffs swear an oath to support the Constitution,” he said. “In their jobs, they are willing to die for it. In our jobs, we must be willing to live for it.”

Cadman is one of many GOP lawmakers to push for investigations into Planned Parenthood after a series of heavily edited and widely discredit videos published by an anti-choice front group claimed the health-care organization violated fetal tissue laws.

“What we really want to pursue is making sure that taxpayer money doesn’t pay for abortion,” Cadman said when asked by Colorado Public Radio whether he’ll push to defund Planned Parenthood in 2016. “That’s the bottom line. And frankly that’s what our law provides and that’s the protection we want to ensure.”

State Republicans told the Durango Herald last month that they’ll push bills requiring women seeking abortions to be advised of burial and disposal options for their fetuses, and to prevent fetal tissue from being used in research. Another bill has already been introduced that could ban all abortion in Colorado.

The anti-choice Colorado Campaign for Life (CCL) is organizing a rally at the state capitol Saturday to mark the anniversary of the passage of the landmark Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade and to object to efforts by Democrats to protect abortion rights.

CCL’s website features a graphic with Nazi and Planned Parenthood logos, comparing the nonprofit health-care organization to the Nazis.

Anti-choice organizers in both Colorado Springs and Denver have said they do not know the alleged Planned Parenthood shooter, and they have condemned his violent act, while also denouncing abortions performed at the clinic.

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