Clinic shooter told US police ‘no more baby parts’
The man who police said staged a deadly shooting attack on a Planned Parenthood clinic that offers abortion services said “no more baby parts” after his arrest.
A law enforcement official who confirmed the comment by the 57-year-old suspect, Robert Lewis Dear, could not elaborate about the remark.
Planned Parenthood, a national women’s health care provider that offers abortions at some clinics, revealed that witnesses said the gunman was motivated by his opposition to abortion.
Police say Dear stormed the Colorado Springs clinic on Friday, killing three people, including a police officer, before he surrendered.
The attack thrust the clinic to the centre of the debate over Planned Parenthood, which was re-ignited in July when anti-abortion activists released undercover video they said showed the organisation’s personnel negotiating the sale of foetal organs.
Planned Parenthood has denied seeking any payments beyond legally permitted reimbursement costs for donating the organs to researchers.
But the National Abortion Federation says it has since seen a rise in threats at clinics nationwide.
The anti-abortion activists, part of a group called the Centre for Medical Progress, denounced the “barbaric killing spree in Colorado Springs by a violent madman” and offered prayers for the dead and wounded and for their families.
The facility provides women’s health services and has long been the site of regular anti-abortion protests.
A Roman Catholic priest who has held weekly Mass in front of the clinic for 20 years said Dear was not part of his group.
Dear, who was in custody and is expected to make his first court appearance today, was described by neighbours as reclusive.
They said he stashed food in the woods, avoided eye contact and warned neighbours about government spying.
At a vigil on Saturday at All Souls Unitarian Church, the Rev Nori Rost called the gunman a “domestic terrorist”. At the back of the room, someone held a sign that said: “Women’s bodies are not battlefields. Neither is our town.”