On Nov. 27, there was a shooting at a Colorado Planned Parenthood that left two civilians and a police officer dead. Since then, the accused gunman, Robert Lewis Dear, has appeared in court and will possibly be facing the death penalty for his alleged actions.
The Campanil recognizes the multifaceted issues that lie within this case. After this incident, there has been talk about matters such as gun violence, gun control, mental health, abortions and providing a safe space for women to get contraceptions. Presidential candidates such as Republicans Donald Trump and Carly Fiorina have even worked this story’s issues into their campaigns.
With these issues at hand, we recognize the dangers that many Planned Parenthoods face. Violent acts against Planned Parenthoods have been an ongoing problem for years. According to a report from the National Abortion Foundation, referenced by ABC News, the organization has faced eight murders, 17 attempted murders, 42 bombings, and 186 arsons since 1977.
We can conclude that most of these troubles regarding Planned Parenthood derive from the ongoing debate surrounding abortions in the United States. At the same time, we also know that Planned Parenthood provides other things such as STD testing, different reproductive resources, i.e. contraception and pregnancy tests, and women’s health check-ups. Above all, the organization works to provide these resources at a low and affordable cost for women that hold a low income. Overall, Planned Parenthood contributes to women’s choices not to just have an abortion, but to also be responsible in regards to sexual health.
The Campanil also recognizes the incentive behind Dear’s actions. Earlier in the year, the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) released videos of hired actors in discussions with Planned Parenthood officials about acquiring tissue and organs from aborted fetuses. According to different news sources, these videos played a role in Dear’s choice on Nov. 27.
The videos released by the CMP have been heavily debated on, especially on the truthfulness of its content. In fact, these videos have been mentioned and debated on by many politicians like Carly Fiorina, Hillary Clinton and Rand Paul, all using them as part of their presidential campaigns.
We recognize the wrong within this entire incident in Colorado. We feel that the shooting should not have taken place at all. In fact, we question whether this incident will be considered an act of domestic terrorism like the San Bernardino shooting on Dec. 2. Dear’s choice to shoot civilians in that Planned Parenthood is highly frightening and can qualify for the current statute for domestic terrorism.
With that in mind, we feel that Dear’s actions should not play a role in the abortion discussions in the United States or towards any Planned Parenthood. Instead, it should be one that plays a role in gun regulations in the country. We recognize the current laws and factors of purchasing a gun, particularly in Colorado. If anything, this incident should tighten those laws and regulations in obtaining firearms.
The Campanil recognizes all the wrongs within this issue, from the act itself to the incentives behind it and its aftermath. We as students and as people understand what needs to be done to protect all individuals, especially in an incident like this. The abortion debate has been around for over 50 years, yet this matter does not excuse Dear’s actions. The shooting created a multitude of questions, especially for the safety of others in making a choice in their sexual health and choices.