Salon's Digby Slams GOP Candidates' “Lurid, Violent” Anti-Choice Rhetoric In Wake Of Planned Parenthood Shooting

Salon's Heather Digby Parton criticized Republican presidential candidates for their inflammatory anti-choice rhetoric, and for pushing vitriolic, false smears about Planned Parenthood in the wake of the fatal shootings at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood facility on November 27. Digby wrote the alleged shooter “is reported to have used the same rhetoric” as some GOP candidates.

She wrote that a gunman who attacked a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood facility November 27, killing a police officer and two others, reportedly “used the phrase 'no more baby parts' to explain his actions.”

In the months following the release of anti-choice group Center for Medical Progress' (CMP) deceptively-edited videos waging false attacks on Planned Parenthood, conservative media and GOP candidates, as Digby noted, have hyped CMP's “reprehensible lie,” despite the fact that “the claims on those doctored videos have been proven false.”

Digby condemned Republican presidential candidates for using “lurid, violent imagery and rhetoric” to smear Planned Parenthood, saying it could “inspire 'troubled souls'” to commit violence against women's health clinics.

According to Digby, while “we don't know for sure” that the suspected Colorado shooter “did what he did as a form of terrorism against abortion providers,” the “fact that he is reported to have used the same rhetoric as mainstream politicians.” From Salon:

[T]here are a lot of “troubled souls” in this country who are not Muslim and do not look for meaning from the likes of ISIS terrorists in the Middle East. They look a little closer to home for permission to carry out their violent desires. And there is plenty of inspiration. They don't have to search in the dark corners of the internet or use encryption or travel to a foreign land to meet people who will stoke their violent urges and give them a moral purpose.  They can just tune in to a Republican presidential debate[.]


A few Planned Parenthood facilities provide scientists with fetal tissue for vital and important medical research, with the permission of the woman from whom it's obtained, and the only money that was ever exchanged was for reimbursement of costs. There was no selling of “baby parts.” There were no live infants being killed on the table to “harvest their brains.” The tissue that was donated to medical research has resulted in important breakthroughs in the hunt for a cure for many life threatening diseases. But that hasn't stopped irresponsible political leaders and anti-abortion zealots from flogging this reprehensible lie in a race to see who can most graphically prove his or her anti-abortion bona fides. 

At the time of this writing we don't know for sure that a man who shot a dozen people, killing three, in the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic this past weekend did what he did as a form of terrorism against abortion providers. Members of the right wing, who are obsessively vigilant in their warnings about radical Islamic terrorism, have been twisting themselves into pretzels for days trying to excuse this event as the simple act of a madman or finding some inane way to suggest that he was actually a bank-robber or a leftwing activist. But let's just say that it's unlikely he hit the Planned Parenthood clinic by coincidence and started babbling about “baby parts” out of the blue.

From what we've seen the accused fits the classic picture of a “lone wolf” -- mentally unstable, susceptible to suggestion, looking for validation. The fact that he is reported to have used the same rhetoric as mainstream politicians should give those politicians some pause. In fact, they should have paused before they cynically dispersed these hoax videos and exploited them for political gain. After all, gory illustrations of dismemberment and mutilation are the propaganda stock in trade of our most hated enemies. They are considered the gold standard for terrorist recruitment. You would think mainstream American politicians would think twice about going down that road.

But they don't. When confronted with this act of terrorism against Planned Parenthood, Carly Fiorina had no regrets. Instead, she lashed out at those who drew the obvious connection between a man who was quoted saying “no more baby parts” and the ghastly term “baby parts” being used by virtually every Republican official and anti-abortion activist on a loop for the past few months:

“It is so typical of the left to begin demonizing the messenger because they don't agree with your message.”

“So, what I would say to anyone who tries to link this terrible tragedy to anyone who opposes abortion, or opposes the sale of body parts, is this is typical left-wing tactics.”