SEATTLE - Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands says safety will be their top priority, when their local health centers re-open tomorrow. A spokesperson says they have been in touch with police in each city they operate, and have asked for "heightened vigilance on our behalf." Yesterday a gunman opened fire inside the Planned Parenthood health center in Colorado Springs, killing three people including a police officer. CEO Chris Charbonneau issued the followed statement, after hearing the latest on the investigation:
“Today, we are learning that eyewitnesses confirm that the man who will be charged with the tragic and senseless shooting that resulted in the deaths of three people and injuries to nine others at Planned Parenthood's health center in Colorado Springs was motivated by opposition to safe and legal abortion.
“This is an appalling act of violence targeting access to health care and terrorizing skilled and dedicated health care professionals.
“The safety of our patients and staff is our top priority. We have strong security measures in place and work closely with law enforcement agencies, and we also ensure that our doors are open to all people who need high-quality, compassionate health care. We stand beside our colleagues in Colorado who continue to provide care, no matter what.
“We've seen an alarming increase in hateful rhetoric and smear campaigns against abortion providers and patients over the last few months. That environment breeds acts of violence. We do not accept this environment as normal. We should not have to live in a world where accessing health care includes safe rooms and bullet-proof glass."