Planned Parenthood official: 'Hateful' speech contributed to shootings

Planned Parenthood official: 'Hateful' speech contributed to shootings
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"Hateful" speech by anti-abortion activists and politicians has contributed to Friday's shootings at the Colorado Springs, Colo. Planned Parenthood clinic, according to organization’s local CEO.


"We've experienced so much hateful language... such a negative environment has been created around the work that Planned Parenthood does," said Vicki Cowart, president and CEO of Rocky Mountains Planned Parenthood, on ABC News "This Week with George Stephanopoulos."

"We've seen that across the country from all sorts of speakers in the last few months," she added.

"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."

Asked whether she was specifically referring to members of Congress or politicians, Cowart said: "I think politicians have been in that conversation."

The Planned Parenthood clinic shootings, allegedly committed by Robert Lewis Dear, left three people dead including a police officer. Nine more people were wounded and the latest reports are that the shooter expressed anti-abortion and anti-government views.

"We at Planned Parenthood are first and foremost a healthcare provider," Cowart said.

"We provide life-saving services to all kinds of folks, men and women, across our communities," she added.

"And the tirades against Planned Parenthood in the last few months have really been over the top.”