By Siraj Hashmi
Last week, Planned Parenthood was the target of a tragic mass shooting when 57-year-old Robert Lewis Dear killed three people and injured nine others. Dear walked into the Colorado Springs clinic on the day after Thanksgiving and opened fire on Planned Parenthood staff and patients who were there to receive care. Before being apprehended, Dear engaged in a standoff with police that involved a lengthy shootout.
When in police custody, Dear reportedly hinted his motive for the shooting by saying, "no more baby parts." Dear, of course, is alluding to several controversial videos that were released by the Center for Medical Progress earlier this year in which a number of officials depicted as representing Planned Parenthood were secretly videotaped negotiating the sale of fetal organs and tissue. Many critics of the video believe the footage was heavily edited and is, therefore, misleading to the public.
No matter where individuals fall on the issue of the validity of those videos, the "anti-Planned Parenthood" narrative has been played up well in the 2016 presidential race. During the second GOP Debate on CNN, Republican presidential candidate and former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina famously stated, "I dare Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama to watch these tapes," she said on the stage at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library September 16th. "Watch a fully formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs kicking, while someone says, 'We have to keep it alive to harvest its brain.'"
That became one of the more memorable moments from the debate by Fiorina and has resonated with the Pro-Life movement as well as Congressional Republicans who have been seeking to defund Planned Parenthood over its use of taxpayer dollars to perform abortions.
The House Oversight and Government Reform committee held a hearing in late September to investigate Planned Parenthood's practices by having Cecile Richards president of Planned Parenthood, testify before the committee.
Richards' testimony was seen as necessary by Republicans and conservatives, but viewed as a "partisan witch hunt" by Democrats and liberals. However, with the shooting of the Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado, many are starting to wonder whether the political rhetoric coming from the Right was, if not, what instigated the mass shooting, but a contributing factor to it.
Representative Brenda Lawrence (D-Michigan, 14th) believes the shooting was not only politically motivated, but that the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security should get involved in the investigation, saying to GVH Live, "I believe this was a terrorist act. This should be investigated. He should be tried accordingly. We must stop this in America. It's not acceptable."
Yet, with authorities stating that Dear was acting "erratically" while in custody and the fact that he was not involved in the Pro-Life movement, many are starting to believe that Dear has been suffering from a mental disorder, and therefore couldn't be carrying out a politically motivated terrorist attack.
Despite how this matter is investigated, Congress is preparing to decide what to do about how the federal government will be funded next year and whether or not to fund Planned Parenthood. If Congressional Republicans and Democrats can't negotiate and pass a massive omnibus spending bill by December 11th, they could risk another government shutdown.
For more visit GVH Live