An anti-abortion activist priest suggested Planned Parenthood may be to blame for the fatal shootings last month at a Colorado Springs clinic — and suggested the health care provider could be targeted with further violence.
Frank Pavone, president of Priests for Life, said earlier this week he thought it would be inappropriate to assign blame for the mass shooting by a man who was apparently angered by a series of misleading videos repeatedly cited by Republican lawmakers and presidential candidates.
But then the priest turned around and did exactly that, reported Right Wing Watch.
“It’s a silly thing to be blaming responsibility on one another for these kinds of things,” Pavone said Monday in an interview on the Ave Maria Radio network. “We don’t know who this man was, what’s going on inside his head. God knows if anyone will ever be able to figure it out.”
The alleged gunman, Robert Dear, vowed “no more baby parts” to police after he was arrested, an apparent reference to a series of heavily edited videos produced by the Center for Medical Progress — a front group for Operation Rescue, whose leadership claims close ties to Pavone.
Pavone, along with Operation Rescue leaders Troy Newman and Cheryl Sullenger, co-authored a 2003 book, Their Blood Cries Out, that called for the execution of “blood-guilty” abortion providers as murderers.
Dear, the alleged Colorado shooter, interrupted a court hearing earlier this month by boasting he was “a warrior for the babies.”
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) said Thursday that Dear “almost parroted some of the outrageous and inciteful comments” made by GOP lawmakers and candidates.
But Pavone, the anti-abortion activist, said Planned Parenthood and pro-choice activists had signaled that violence was an acceptable solution.
“If the other side, if the pro-aborts, are going to go down this road of saying — as they have done for decades, by the way, this is like the 500th time we’ve been through this with them — if they’re going to go down this road of blaming the violence on the rhetoric, well then you know what? If we’re going to take up that argument, which I don’t think we should take up anyway, but if we are and if we have to respond to it, then they’re the ones at fault,” Pavone said.
“Because which side of this debate is saying that sometimes it’s okay to kill an innocent person?” he continued. “Which side is saying that, that sometimes it’s okay to choose to end a life to solve a problem?”
Pavone, whose group was cast out of the archdiocese last year by New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan over financial irregularities and its political activism, then made what could be interpreted as a violent threat.
“This is the argument against them, so they better keep quiet and stop this nonsense of blaming Carly Fiorina or me or the whole pro-life movement for these deranged acts of violence,” Pavone said.
“If they’re going to start going down that road, they’re the ones that have to take responsibility for poisoning the moral climate in our nation by saying that sometimes you can kill a baby to solve a problem,” he added. “You don’t think some kind of crazy people are going to pick up that logic and say, ‘Well then sometimes you can kill born people to solve a problem?’”