Planned Parenthood Says ‘Trolls’ Are Partially To Blame For Colorado Springs Shooting

Chuck Ross Investigative Reporter
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Planned Parenthood pinned some of the blame for 57-year-old Robert L. Dear’s attack at its clinic in Colorado Springs on “trolls” who have criticized the abortion provider.

While abortion opponents have long denounced Planned Parenthood, which provides more than 325,000 abortion a year, it came under intense scrutiny following the release of a series of videos showing Planned Parenthood officials and doctors discussing the sale of fetal tissue and organs for research purposes.

Dear allegedly cited those videos after his arrest on Friday. Anonymous sources told several news outlets that Dear made reference to “no more baby parts” in interviews with investigators.

The videos, which were released by the Center for Medical Progress, reignited debate over the abortion issue in general an also led to a congressional hearing over whether Planned Parenthood should receive federal funding.

After the release of several videos, Planned Parenthood took action against the Center for Medical Progress to block the release of additional footage.

Abortion opponents — and even some viewers who say they are neutral on the abortion issue — found the discussions and images in the videos disturbing. Planned Parenthood and its supporters argued that the organization did nothing wrong and that the videos were edited to portray it in a bad light.

While police have not officially commented on Dear’s alleged references to the videos and have not discussed a possible motive, other officials have asserted that he was politically motivated.

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper said on Sunday that the shootings, which left three dead and nine wounded, were “certainly…a form of terrorism.”

“There are bloggers and talk shows where they really focus on trying to get people to that point of boiling over,” he added.

Police were called to the Planned Parenthood clinic shortly before noon on Friday. And though it is still unclear whether Dear first opened fire inside or outside of the facility, he surrendered inside after a five hour standoff.  Three people died and another nine were wounded. Garrett Swasey, a 44-year-old police officer, was killed.

Vicki Cowart, the CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, has said that the clinic’s staff and patients were all safe. Police will release the names of the two civilian victims on Monday.

Planned Parenthood posted other tweets on Sunday asserting that Dear was motivated by “hateful rhetoric” and “smear campaigns.”

Though little is known about Dear, the picture that is emerging of the South Carolina native is of a loner with mental health issues. He was accused of abusing his wife in 1997. And in 2002, he was arrested on a “peeping tom” charge and for animal cruelty after allegedly shooting a neighbor’s dog with a pellet gun. (RELATED: Colorado Springs Shooter Robert L. Dear Was An Accused Peeping Tom Once Arrested For Animal Cruelty)

Neighbors who have been interviewed about Dear have said that he kept to himself and was often unfriendly and aggressive.

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