The Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs where a shooter killed three people in November will reopen February 15.
The accused shooter, Robert Lewis Dear Jr., said he “picked Planned Parenthood because it’s murdering little babies,” an apparent reference to a series of attack videos released last year by an anti-choice front group known as the Center for Medical Progress (CMP).
Dear awaits trial on 179 charges, including first-degree murder.
“We are in awe of our healing and resilient colleagues in Colorado Springs,” Vicki Cowart, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, said in a statement. “They are eager to get back to the mission they so deeply care about and the people they so compassionately care for. We welcome our team and our community back into the space with open arms and full hearts.”
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“We promised in those first days after the tragedy to repair and reopen in Colorado Springs as soon as possible and we are making good on that promise,” said Cowart, noting that security measures are in place “to ensure that this health center—and all of Planned Parenthood buildings—are safe, supportive, welcoming environments for all people to get the high-quality health care and education they need.”
Activists in Colorado have said extreme anti-Planned Parenthood rhetoric, fueled by CMP’s release of discredited, surreptitiously recorded videos of Planned Parenthood officials, led to the massacre—part of a spike in violence directed at abortion clinics in 2015. The videos accused Planned Parenthood of profiting off of its fetal tissue donation program.
CMP’s ringleaders now face indictments, and Republican-led investigations in 11 states have failed to find wrongdoing on the part of Planned Parenthood and its fetal tissue donation program.
Many anti-choice organizations and politicians offered equivocal condemnation of the attack in Colorado Springs in the days after the shooting. Personhood USA spokeswoman Jennifer Mason said after the deadly shooting that she opposes “all abortion-related violence, against born and unborn people.”
Mason did not immediately return a call from Rewire seeking comment.
Mason did not go as far as Rep. JoAnn Windholz (R-Commerce City), who said after the shooting that Planned Parenthood was the “true instigator” of the attack at the Colorado Springs clinic.
After extensive renovations, a Planned Parenthood clinic in Washington state reopened February 1 following an arson attack.
In Colorado Springs, after the February 15 reopening, renovations will continue in part of the clinic while health services will be offered on a limited schedule elsewhere at the facility.
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