After Planned Parenthood Shooting, Ben Carson Says Pro-Life People Use “Hateful Rhetoric”

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 30, 2015   |   12:00PM   |   Washington, DC

Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson may be pro-life, but he appears to have put his foot in his mouth again when it comes to a sensitive topic for the pro-life movement. Fresh from saying that legislation Congress and Florida passed to save the life of Terri Schiavo was “much ado about nothing,” Carson is now saying that the pro-life movement engages in “hateful rhetoric.”

In an interview with CBS, the host said abortion advocates claim pro-life rhetoric led to the violent shooting and Carson appeared to agree, or at least not refute that false claim.

Here’s what Carson said:

“There is no question that you know hateful rhetoric no matter which side it comes from – right or left – is something that is detrimental to our society,” Carson said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” Sunday when asked about their claims. “Our strength in this country has traditionally been in our unity. And we are allowing all kinds of circumstances to divide us and make us hateful toward each other. And the rhetoric is extremely immature, divisive and is not helpful when you have outside forces – global Islamic radical jihadists who want to destroy us.”

He added that there’s “No question the hateful rhetoric exacerbates the situation” and urged “intelligent, civil discussion” about differences. Asked whether opponents of abortion should tone down their rhetoric, he said both sides should do so.

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Leading pro-life advocates were quick to blast Carson’s statement.

Kristan Hawkins, the president of Students for Life of America, said:  “Did Carson take his talking points from Planned Parenthood? He completely missed the mark, casting suspicion on pro-lifers who had nothing to do with this tragedy and only furthering the deceitful narrative that the abortion industry has already laid out in the media. Compassion and love, not violence, are at the heart of the pro-life movement and motivate us to protect life in its stages and we extend that same love and compassion to the victims and their families of this horrible tragedy.”

And Ryan Bomberger, a black pro-life advocate who writes at LifeNews, added: “Sadly, Dr. Carson seems to be disconnected from the actual work of the Prolife movement to equate it to the undeniably dishonest antics of pro-abortion groups.”

He continued:

An “intelligent” and “mature” approach to Face The Nation’s John Dickerson’s question would have been to respond: “Please give me an example of hateful rhetoric from any leading prolife organization or leader. Taking innocent human life, whether in or out of the womb, is never a pro-life position.”

Pro-abortion activists consider any scientifically, historically, or statistically accurate information about the violence of abortion to be ‘hateful rhetoric’. Facts are not hate speech, Dr. Carson. Exposing the inner-workings of Planned Parenthood in an undercover investigation isn’t “hateful rhetoric”; it enables illuminating and civil discussion about inhumane barbarity.

Newsflash! We are not unified over the destruction of innocent unborn human life. I can’t imagine how Dr. Carson would characterize the efforts of Frederick Douglass or Harriet Beecher Stowe in their relentless, yet peaceful, attacks on the dehumanizing institution of slavery. Division is healthy, especially when it delineates right from wrong. The Prolife movement strives passionately, and peacefully, to educate the American public about abortion because mainstream media, including Face the Nation and certain presidential candidates, won’t.

Although alleged shooter Robert Lewis Dear reportedly mentioned “baby body parts” when arrested at the scene of the crime, Dear has no connections with the pro-life movement and those who know him best say he was never interested in the issue of abortion. Dear, 57-years-old and residing in Colorado and North Carolina, was arrested at the scene in connection with the violent shooting that claimed the lives of three people, including one police officer and injured 9 others, including multiple officers.

However, as LifeNews has reported, the picture neighbors are painting of Robert Lewis Dear, who allegedly shot over a dozen people outside a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic on Friday, is one of a “rambling and incoherent” loner who never talked about abortion.

Dear appears to have no association with the pro-life movement and those who know him say he is an awkward man who never discussed religion or abortion. The profile they paint is far from a caricature of a pro-life activist who has an issue with the Planned Parenthood abortion business and more of a loner or renegade who may have mental health issue and, at a minimum, is a bit “off.”

Less than 24 hours after the shooting, the CEO of the abortion company, Cecile Richards, issued a fundraising email essentially blaming pro-life people for the shooting, saying the “feed domestic terrorism.”

Planned Parenthood officials have confirmed none of the people killed in the shooting or 9 victims who were injured were Planned Parenthood abortion clinic staff or patients and authorities have released no motive for the shooter as to whether or not he actually targeted Planned Parenthood. And, according to the Associated Press, all of the shooting took place outside of the Planned Parenthood abortion clinic, not in it.

As LifeNews reported, the police officer killed during Friday’s shooting at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood is pro-life and a co-pastor at his local church. Garrett Swasey, 44, the University of Colorado Colorado Springs police officer who was shot and killed while responding to the shooting and was described by his fellow church members and friends as a courageous man and loving father who drew strength and inspiration from his Christian faith.

Multiple pro-life groups quickly condemned the shooting while pro-abortion presidential candidate Hillary Clinton sent a tweet exploiting the active shooting before the shooter was apprehended or a motive known to push for support for the abortion business and then went on to say pro-life people should “defend Planned Parenthood, not attack it.”

Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains issued a statement responding to the shooting, saying it doesn’t know if Planned Parenthood was the target of the attack.

“We don’t yet know the full circumstances and motives behind this criminal action, and we don’t yet know if Planned Parenthood was in fact the target of this attack,” Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains President Vicki Cowart said in a statement.