Planned Parenthood is planning a national show of solidarity on Saturday in the wake of the shooting at a clinic in Colorado Springs, according to an official for the women’s health organization.
The main events will be held in Washington, D.C., and Colorado, where the organization’s allies will show support for Planned Parenthood’s services and demonstrate against rhetoric that the group says helped fuel the shooting last Friday.
Planned Parenthood will encourage its supporters to show their solidarity on social media, and smaller events will be held outside of Washington and Colorado around the country. The day of events is dubbed a “National Day of Solidarity” and includes partners such as MoveOn, NARAL and Service Employees International Union.
Planned Parenthood, as well as some prominent Democrats have said that recent hostility toward the women’s group led to the violence last week.
“One of the lessons of this awful tragedy is that words matter, and hateful rhetoric fuels violence,” said Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “It’s not enough to denounce the tragedy without also denouncing the poisonous rhetoric that fueled it. Instead, some politicians are continuing to stoke it, which is unconscionable—going so far as to try and pass legislation further blocking access to health care days after this tragedy took place.”
The attack on a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs on Friday left three people dead and nine wounded after an hours-long standoff with police.
The women’s health organization has been in the national spotlight since videos filmed by an undercover activist revealed officials talking about money exchanged for fetal tissue procurement for research. It is illegal to sell fetal tissue, but Planned Parenthood says the discussions in the video footage were about reimbursing the cost of supplying tissue. There is no evidence the organization is selling fetal tissue.
Friday’s shooting has been widely condemned by both parties. Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada said that Republicans have created a “frenzy of hate and anger” over Planned Parenthood that led to Friday’s shooting.
Officials said the alleged gunman, Robert L. Dear Jr., said “no more baby parts” when he was apprehended.
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