Planned Parenthood chief bemoans ‘toxic’ rhetoric

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The president of Planned Parenthood says a “toxic” political climate may have spawned a shooting at one of her organization’s clinics.

“I’ve never seen the kind of rhetoric that we are seeing from presidential candidates that are demeaning not only Planned Parenthood but women who go to Planned Parenthood, doctors at Planned Parenthood, even the fact that there is safe and legal abortion in America,” said Cecile Richards on MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports.”

{mosads}“People have to understand that hateful rhetoric and words and harassment of doctors and harassment of women going to health centers have real implications,” she continued.

“I do think this political season is as toxic as I have ever seen,” Richards added. “I don’t think it’s what America likes to see, and certainly it’s very disturbing when you seen an individual, such as the shooter on Friday, take the lives of individuals and family of folks who are simply trying to access healthcare in America.” 

Richards said Monday that her organization is not backing down on the services it provides in the wake of last Friday’s deadly attack at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colo.

“You know, our motto at Planned Parenthood is, ‘Care. No matter what,’ and that our doors stay open,” she told Mitchell. “And they have. We take the security and safety of our patients and our employees as the highest priority.”

“This is something that, unfortunately, anyone who can provide reproductive healthcare in this country, not only Planned Parenthood, has to take very seriously today,” she added. “I would implore people who are putting politics ahead of women’s healthcare and ahead of women’s safety to think carefully [about] the rhetoric that you use that potentially inflames this kind of activity.”

Robert Lewis Dear, the alleged clinic shooter, reportedly told police “no more baby parts” when he was taken into custody.

Planned Parenthood is facing renewed criticism following a series of secretly recorded videos earlier this year that sparked outrage from conservatives who suggested that the organization may have profited from sales of tissue from aborted fetuses, which is illegal.

Planned Parenthood has denied that assertion, arguing that the clips are heavily edited and misleading.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) predicted Monday that lawmakers would not shut down the government next month over Planned Parenthood’s funding. McCarthy said that Congress is now focused on national security in the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks.

Tags Abortion Colorado Springs Healthcare Planned Parenthood Shooting Women
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