Planned Parenthood shooting persists in placing organization in the political spotlight
On Friday Nov. 27, 57-year-old Robert Dear killed three people and injured nine more at a Planned Parenthood located in Colorado Springs, Colorado. This tragic event occurred in the midst of efforts by Republican officials to sever all federal funding to Planned Parenthood, an initiative that could lead to another government shutdown if Congress is unable to pass the bill by Dec. 11.
Earlier in the year, the Center for Medical Progress released 10 videos of Planned Parenthood officials reportedly discussing the sale of fetal tissue for profit. Outraged Democrats claimed that the videos were obtained illegally and clearly edited by Republicans determined to end any funding that the organization receives from the government.
“Our response as a people and a nation to these horrors shown in these videos is vital to everything those lying out in Arlington Cemetery died to save,” said Republican Congressman Trent Franks of Arizona, the bill’s sponsor.
Many others, including students on campus who are involved with the local Planned Parenthood, find the recent negative attention the organization has received to be disheartening.
“Planned Parenthood is not an abortion clinic,” third-year and NCF Vox co-president Christina Harty said. “They do abortions and they do them proudly but they are a health center. The GOP cutting off funding is cutting off funding from birth control, breast cancer screenings, and general health for people. What they don’t really realize is that policies like that, especially when you are cutting off things like birth control access, are just going to create more unwanted pregnancies.”
NCF Vox is a student-run organization that aims to educate and provide students with sexual health resources. In addition, the local Planned Parenthood works with students as patient-escorts on Fridays and employs several alums to work with them after graduation.
“We host different events that advocate for sexual health, health in general,” Harty said. “But mainly we are an advocate for Planned Parenthood. Those events are really designed to get people involved in the organization, they are supposed to be gateways to get people involved in Planned Parenthood.”
The recent tragic shooting has demonstrated the negative outlook many have on the organization. NCF Vox does not have any events planned for the end of the semester. However, they do plan to host an event on destigmatizing abortion.
Information taken from nytimes.com, nbcnews.com, and pbs.org.