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Ruth-Ellen Blodgett: Colorado Springs And The Threat To Abortion Rights

Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who were harmed in Friday’s tragic events in Colorado Springs, and we are grateful to law enforcement agencies and Planned Parenthood staff who handled this tragedy with courage and compassion.

Nationally, we've seen an alarming increase in hateful rhetoric and smear campaigns against abortion providers and patients over the last few months, and that environment breeds these acts of violence.

The safety of our patients is paramount. Therefore we are grateful to Governor Cuomo for committing the resources of the New York State Police to New York Planned Parenthood centers to strengthen our security. Our local Police Departments have been extremely responsive in increasing surveillance.

But I cannot express my outrage and determination any better than Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America:

“To those who go to unimaginable extremes to close our doors:
We deplore your violence.
We reject your threats.
We fight your legislation to limit reproductive rights and health care in every corner of our country.

We believe your actions and words hurt women — whether by making it impossible to seek health care or by creating a climate of disrespect and hostility that fosters extremist violence.

We demand an end to the incendiary rhetoric from anti-abortion activists and lawmakers that demonizes Planned Parenthood doctors and patients. The smear campaign and false accusations that motivated the attack in Colorado Springs must stop.

We aren't going anywhere. Planned Parenthood has been here for nearly 100 years, and we will keep being here as long as women, men, and young people need health care with dignity.

To those who go to shocking extremes to close our doors, know this:

These doors stay open.”


Ruth-Ellen Blodgett is President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Mid-Hudson Valley.

The views expressed by commentators are solely those of the authors. They do not necessarily reflect the views of this station or its management.

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