Planned Parenthood paid tribute to the victims of the shooting at its Colorado Springs facility on Friday, and vowed that it would not "back away" from its mission.
Three people, including police officer Garrett Swasey and two civilians, were killed after a gunman opened fire at the Colorado clinic. Police later arrested a suspect and identified him as 57-year-old Robert Lewis Dear.
Planned Parenthood clinics have been attacked many times over the years, and the organization has become a particularly intense target of anti-abortion politicians in recent months. In a statement after the shooting, Vicki Cowart, the president of Planned Parenthood Rocky Mountains, stressed that it was still not clear if the Colorado clinic had been attacked because it was a Planned Parenthood facility. But she promised that the shooting would not stop Planned Parenthood:
"We share the concerns of many Americans that the continued attacks against abortion providers and patients, as well as law enforcement officers, is creating a poisonous environment that breeds acts of violence. But, we will never back away from providing critical health care to millions of people who rely on and trust us every day.
Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains serves 103,000 people in Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, and Wyoming every year. These services include lifesaving cancer screenings, HIV and STD testing and treatment, contraception, and abortion care. While our Colorado Springs health center will remain closed while we rebuild, our 28 other regional health centers will remain open, providing compassionate, high-quality health care. No matter what."