Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) addressed the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood shooting, in which two civilians and a police officer were killed when a gunman opened fire at the women’s health clinic on Friday. The Republican presidential hopeful, an evangelical Christian known for his firm stance against abortion, became just one of few GOP presidential contenders to address the shooting over the weekend.
“Many perceive this as a sad day for America. I would only partially agree, as the lives of three American citizens were, sadly, lost. However, I would argue that this is not an act of terrorism, as some are calling it. I would, rather, say that this is, in fact, America’s domestic response to abortion terrorism, a practice that threatens to wipe us out from this country. I believe that Planned Parenthood is by far the worst thing that has happened to our nation and this attempt to bring it down was justified, even though somewhat blunt,” Huckabee stated.
The former governor of Arkansas also stated that “the shooter could have chosen much less dramatic methods of proving his point,” but that “despite his actions, he does not deserve to be punished as severely as we would a terrorist.”
“Many people call those of us who are pro-life ‘tyrants’ who only seek to take away the freedom of choice from mothers-to-be,” Huckabee said. “I would ask them now, have you seen what kind of dissatisfaction abortion is causing amongst the people of America? Do you want to keep having these incidents in every Planned Parenthood office throughout America? Do you really think this is the answer?”
He also added: “I’ll say it again, I do not condone the methods that were used to make this statement, though I am able, to a certain extent, to understand the statement itself. And in light of what I’ve just said, I am prone to say that I can relate to the emotional rollercoaster the shooter must have felt through it all. I understand his pain and powerlessness all too well; the powerlessness to make a difference here and now.”
Authorities have not yet publicly ascribed a motive to the shooting. But the 57-year-old suspect, Robert Lewis Dear, reportedly said “no more baby parts” after his arrest, a possible reference to a heavily edited undercover video released by a conservative organization that showed Planned Parenthood personnel supposedly discussing the sale of fetal tissue parts.