The video and the damage done
by Tom Sullivan
TPM has word that Robert Lewis Dear Jr., the Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic shooter, was a fanboy. After months of press inquiry by Associated Press and news outlets, court documents just released provided more details to Dear's motivations beyond his reported upset over "the selling of baby parts":
He told police he admired Paul Hill, a former minister, who was executed in 2003 for the 1994 shootings of abortion provider Dr. John Bayard Britton and his bodyguard, a retired U.S. Air Force officer named James Herman Barrett, outside the Ladies Center in Pensacola, Florida.Dear told police he hoped aborted fetuses would meet him in heaven to thank him.
Hill himself said he was inspired by the shooting death of another abortion doctor in Pensacola a year earlier. At the time of Hill's execution, some urged that he be spared for fear the extreme wing of the anti-abortion movement would turn him into a martyr.
Hours after the gun battle, Dear told police "he was happy with what he had done because his actions ... ensured that no more abortions would be conducted at the Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado Springs," which has since reopened.
It wasn't easy for Dear to find the Planned Parenthood clinic. According to the documents, he was coming from Woodland Park when he had to stop at several places to find out the address of the building.Police found Dear wearing "a homemade vest made of silver coins and duct tape." Dear returns to court later this month for a mental competency hearing.
Dear placed propane tanks around the building and hoped they'd explode when he shot them, the documents said. He shot officers as they arrived to the scene, and fired a bullet at one officer through the tinted window of his truck.
The National Abortion Federation released a report last week documenting what should come as no surprise to anyone: that anti-abortion harassment, threats, intimidation and violence have spiked dramatically since July 2015 when the Center for Medical Progress began releasing deceptively edited videos aimed at discrediting Planned Parenthood's fetal tissue donation practices.Somehow I don't think Dear's and CMP's victims will be thanking them in heaven.
Despite the Center for Medical Progress' videos having been widely discredited, and the indictment of its leader, the group continues to release videos — which federal and state politicians are using to justify invasive government investigations into abortion clinics and further abortion restrictions. This one-two punch of anti-abortion activity almost guarantees that the increased violence against abortion providers NAF documented in 2015 will continue into 2016 and beyond.