The pro-life community in Colorado and in Colorado Springs is getting the blame for the tragic shooting at a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic by deranged gunman Robert Lewis Dear.
The media, abortion activists and Planned Parenthood itself is blaming the shooting on pro-life people who oppose abortion, saying their “hateful rhetoric” is responsible for the actions of a madman with clear mental health issues and a long history of criminal activity.
But local pro-life advocates in Colorado Springs did something amazing in response. They held a prayer service for the victims of the Planned Parenthood shooting and even went as far as praying specifically for Planned Parenthood itself and its staff and customers.
As the Colorado Statesman reported on the event, which had around 60 people in attendance:
Several religious and faith-based organizations gathered Sunday at the Colorado Springs Christian School to pray for the victims, witnesses, first responders and Colorado Springs community in the shadow of the Nov. 27 Planned Parenthood shooting.
“This was a time just to come together,” said Colorado Family Action policy director Sarah Zagorski. “This was not a political matter at all.”
One pastor, however, prayed for the employees of Planned Parenthood.
“We pray for those who work at Planned Parenthood and those who use its services,” Pastor Phil Eberhart said in his address. He prayed for God to lead everybody toward righteousness.
Colorado Springs City Council President and former state Sen. Keith King, R-Colorado Springs, led the prayer vigil and said it was “important that the pro-life community come together and say that we don’t respect the shooter for what he did.”
“We wanted to bring a pro-life message that nobody deserves to have their lives taken,” King told The Colorado Statesman following the prayer vigil. “We deplore that violence.”
Prayers from various religious leaders sought healing for victims, first responders and the community.
“Keep us focused on that You created all,” Pastor Scott Bottoms said. “You are the life-giver.”
Appearing in court for formal sentencing last week, alleged shooter Robert Lewis Dear shouted out during the hearings that he is guilty.
Dear, 57-years-old and residing in the mountains of Colorado, 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 has a long criminal record and is described by those who know him best as someone with clear mental health issues.
During the hearing, Dear sat at the table with Dan King, a public defender who represented James Holmes in the Aurora theater shooting trial. Dear was dressed in a blue prison-issue jumpsuit and was seen rocking back and forth during the hearing as officials took care of business. He reportedly started straight ahead and said nothing until the outburst.
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.