After the terrible shooting at Planned Parenthood last week, the pro-abortion n side of the abortion debate and its friends in the media were quick to crucify the entire pro-life movement and brand pro-life people as a bunch of violent extremists. Never mind that that alleged shooter, Robert Lewis Dear, has no connections with the pro-life movement and reportedly little interest in the issue of abortion itself.
The pro-life movement has been quick to respond to the false accusations that it condoned or enables violence of any sort. But the actions of a local Catholic priest may do even more to dispel those myths.
Father Bill Carmody has presented the prolife message outside abortion clinics in Colorado Springs, and the specific abortion clinic that was tragically attacked, for more than 25 years. Carmody is on a first-name basis with Planned Parenthood staff and officials because he truly cares about the people associated with the abortion business as much as he cares about ending abortion.
So when Dear starting shooting and killing police officers and civilians outside Planned Parenthood, Carmody did what came natural to him. He called the people he knew at Planned Parenthood to make sure they were okay. As the National Catholic Register reports:
Father Carmody showed up at 9am for routine Friday prayers and sidewalk Mass the morning of the shooting spree. It was snowy and cold, so he and other pro-lifers left at 11am.
Just 38 minutes later, central dispatch received a report of shots fired.
The shooting quickly hit the news, so Father Carmody made a call to check on Planned Parenthood’s security guard. The guard, hired to monitor Father Carmody’s organized activities, typically left the facility after the last patients showed up at 11am.
“I said, ‘J.C., are you okay?’” Father Carmody recounted. “J.C. (the security guard) said, ‘Yes, I’m okay.’ Then we talked a bit. He asked me to pray for him and for a relative who has cancer. And he asked how I was doing.”
Father Carmody next called higher-ranking Planned Parenthood officials to express his sorrow for the fact a criminal had targeted their business. The next morning, Father Carmody came face-to-face with Vicki Cowart, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Rocky Mountains, during a vigil at All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church.
“She said, ‘Father Bill, what are we going to do?’ I said, ‘We need to pray.’ She just nodded her head. She did not verbalize a response,” Father Carmody said.
Despite the fact that pro-life people are not violent and despite the fact that Father Carmody and the pro-life people who help women outside the Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs have a specific unwritten rule to avoid any and all violence or attacks or anything approaching maltreatment of Planned Parenthood staff or customers, abortion advocates claim he and the pro-life community are responsible for the horrible act of violence that took place. Carmody says he’s even getting threats from abortion advocates:
“I’ve been getting a lot of vitriol,” Father Carmody said. “One voicemail said, ‘You have blood on your hands.’ Another guy said, ‘You better stop going out there or something is going to happen.’ I don’t know if that’s intended as a threat, but it means nothing to me.”
And local pro-life advocates say they have no idea who Robert Dear is and he hasn’t been involved in any pro-life activities in the year he has lived in Colorado since moving there from North Carolina. Still, the pro-abortion side is blaming pro-lifers for the violence. As the register reports:
Progress Now Colorado and Pro Choice Colorado held rallies at the Colorado Capitol in Denver Tuesday, demanding pro-lifers apologize for criticisms of Planned Parenthood’s sales of human body parts.
“It makes me angry,” said Dr. Diane Foley, a Colorado Springs physician and president/CEO of Life Network. “This isn’t the time or circumstance for political opportunism. They want to blame us for talking about videos that show bad things were going on at Planned Parenthood. We had nothing to do with a crazy man deciding to take lives. He had no right.”
Foley said Colorado Springs, a community of nearly 500,000 residents, has a close-knit and highly functional pro-life community of Catholics, Protestants, Jews and others.
“Various groups have had a number of conference calls this week, and no one condones what happened,” Foley said. “There is never a reason to take innocent life by any means.”
On Monday, alleged Colorado Planned Parenthood shooter Robert Lewis Dear appeared frazzled in his first court hearing following his arrest. 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.
Dear reportedly mentioned “baby body parts” when arrested at the scene of the crime, but he has no connections with the pro-life movement and those who know him best say he was never interested in the issue of abortion.
As Fox News host Megyn Kelly explained, “While police have been careful not to provide information on a possible motive, that has little to stop some from suggesting this has everything to do with political rhetoric from the right.” She indicates that the true motives of most crazed shooters is never known.
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.”
Since the shooting, a massive debate has ensued over any bearing it may have on the abortion debate.
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.
Family members and friends identified the other two victims as 29-year-old Ke’Arre Stewart and Jennifer Markovsky, 35. Both accompanied friends to the Planned Parenthood on Friday.
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.” And President Obama exploiting the shooting to demand pro-life people stop “demonizing” Planned Parenthood.
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.
Cowart was accused of pushing abortion at the memorial for the shooting victims and one woman walked out after she politicized the event.