Planned Parenthood Exec Blames 'Hateful Language, Hateful Speech'

Susan Jones | November 30, 2015 | 6:16am EST
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Vicki Cowart, executive director of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, attends a vigil on Saturday, Nov. 28, 2015, at All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church to mark the Friday shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) Summary

( - Politicians and others who speak about what taxpayer-supported Planned Parenthood does are contributing to a "negative environment" that encourages some people to target the abortion provider, a Planned Parenthood executive said on Sunday.

"We've experienced so much hateful language, hateful speech," Planned Parenthood Rocky Mountain CEO Vicki Cowart told ABC's "This Week" with Martha Raddatz. "Such a negative environment has been created around the work that Planned Parenthood does, around the idea of safe and legal abortion.

"And we've seen that across the country from all sorts of speakers in the last few months. I can't believe that this isn't contributing to some folks, mentally unwell or not, thinking that it's OK to target Planned Parenthood or to target abortion providers."

Raddatz asked Cowart is she was talking about politicians or members of Congress:

"I think politicians have been in that conversation and, I mean, you know that the airwaves are full of anti-abortion language, of anti-Planned Parenthood accusations, much of which is false in nature.

"And we at Planned Parenthood are, first and foremost, a healthcare provider. We provide life-saving services to all kinds of folks, men and women, across our communities. And the tirades against Planned Parenthood in the last few months have really been over the top."

Cowart spoke two days after an apparently unstable man shot and killed three people and injured nine others at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs.

A law enforcement official told the Associated Press that the suspect, 57-year-old Richard Lewis Dear, said “no more baby parts” after he surrendered to police.

That is a reference to a series of undercover videos released earlier this year showing Planned Parenthood officials discussing prices for body parts havested from aborted babies.

Planned Parenthood of America released a statement after Friday's shooting, saying, "We share the concerns of many Americans that extremists are creating a poisonous environment that feeds domestic terrorism in this country."

Republican Mike Huckabee agreed that what the gunman did "is domestic terrorism."

But Huckabee also told CNN's "State of the Union" that no one in the pro-life movement would condone such an act, just as no one calling themselves pro-life would condone abortion or the harvesting of body parts:

"I don't know of any pro-life leader, any -- if you can tell me one, please correct me, but I don't know of anybody who has suggested violence toward Planned Parenthood personnel or some act of violence toward their clinics. I have not heard that, not from one single pro-life person.

"I have heard universal condemnation, whether it's from the Centers for Medical Progress that put out the videos, whether it's from pro-life advocates. And I consider myself one of them. I know of nobody who has ever suggested that Planned Parenthood be the target of some type of violent attack.

"So, I think that's a little bit disingenuous on the part of Planned Parenthood to blame people who have a strong philosophical disagreement with the dismembering of human babies and with the selling of body parts to say that we would like to retaliate by sending some madman into a clinic to kill people.

"God knows that's not what anybody would want. And this person, apparently, from everything we know, very unstable person, and just a terrible tragedy..."

The suspect, Robert Dear, has his first court appearance on Monday.

He's accused of kiling a police officer and two people who had accompanied friends to the clinic. Dear has been described by acquaintances as a loner who lived "off the grid" in both North Carolina and Colorado.

Police have not officially said anything about his motivation.

Also See:
Rep. Jordan to Cecile Richards on Planned Parenthood Videos: Why Did You Apologize?
Planned Parenthood & Baby Body Parts Video: ‘Was That Crack the Little Bits of the Skull?' -- 'Here's the Heart'
Planned Parenthood Video: ‘It Was a Twin … Intestines Are Here,’ Eyeballs ‘Are So Easy … They Come Out, Like, Firmer’


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