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Hot Rhetoric And The Planned Parenthood Shooting

Women’s health, American politics and gun violence after the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood shooting.

Bethany Winder, a nurse who lives in Colorado Springs, Colo., plants a sign in support of Planned Parenthood just south of its clinic as police investigators gather evidence near the scene of Friday's shooting at the clinic Sunday, Nov. 29, 2015, in northwest Colorado Springs. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Bethany Winder, a nurse who lives in Colorado Springs, Colo., plants a sign in support of Planned Parenthood just south of its clinic as police investigators gather evidence near the scene of Friday’s shooting at the clinic Sunday, Nov. 29, 2015, in northwest Colorado Springs. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Murder charges yesterday against Robert Dear, Jr. in the shooting deaths of three at the Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs Friday. He had the padded vest, the shackles. The wide beard, spacey look, vaguely slurred speech. And all the questions around him. Above all, why? Was it obvious? A Planned Parenthood attack means an attack on abortion? On women? Was it deranged? Was it provoked by a season of fiery political language? Can we talk about it? Even now? Before a trial? This hour On Point, women’s health, hot rhetoric, cool heads, and the deadly rampage in Colorado.

— Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Sandhya Somashekhar, national social change reporter for the Washington Post. (@sandhyawp)

Mona Charen, columnist with Creators Syndicate and contributor to the National Review and the Washington Examiner. (@monachareneppc)

Emily Bazelon, staff writer at the New York Times Magazine and co-host of the Slate Political Gabfest Podcast. Fellow at the Yale University Law School. (@emilybazelon)

From Tom’s Reading List

Washington Post: Abortion rights groups: Political rhetoric contributed to shooting — “To many abortion rights advocates, it seemed only a matter of time before something like this happened. Ever since the summer, when an antiabortion group accused Planned Parenthood of illegally selling fetal tissue, threats against the organization had escalated to unprecedented levels, abortion providers say. They stepped up collaboration with the FBI and local police and stiffened security at clinics. But on Friday, their worst fears came true: A man walked into a health center in Colorado Springs and opened fire.”

Charlotte Observer: Planned Parenthood gunman lived a solitary life in the North Carolina mountains — “You drive up a twisting, rutted, gravel road lined with rhododendron to get to the cabin of Robert Lewis Dear Jr., who is in custody in connection with the Friday shooting at a Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic that left three people dead and nine others wounded. It’s a quiet community, neighbors say, but a friendly one. Except for Dear. One neighbor described him as a solitary man who never waved back.”

New York Times: Planned Parenthood and the Tinderbox of Abortion Rhetoric — “Before the shooting, abortion opponents like Cruz, Yoest and Fiorina weren’t advocating violence, of course. They were calling on Congress to investigate and stop funding Planned Parenthood. The group doesn’t receive federal money to pay for abortions; Congress has barred that since 1977 (except in the rare case of rape, incest or saving the life of the mother). But Planned Parenthood receives $450 million in federal funds annually, mostly from Medicaid, to provide health care like birth control and testing for sexually transmitted diseases to low-income women.”
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