NARAL Pro-Choice America, CREDO Action, UltraViolet, and Courage Campaign are all demanding that the Department of Justice instruct the FBI to investigate the Planned Parenthood shooting that left three dead and nine wounded Friday as domestic terrorism. Because the shooting was seemingly politically motivated — and not a random mass shooting — women's rights groups want law enforcement to recognize it as domestic terrorism. If you want to stand with Planned Parenthood and its supporters, you can sign the petition urging the DOJ to investigate the Planned Parenthood shooting.
According to officials, the suspect, Robert Dear, said "no more baby parts" to investigators after his arrest, backing up the claim that Dear acted on anti-abortion sentiments.
The petition on NARAL's website reads: "These attacks on clinics are part of a long history of ideologically-driven violence. They're perpetrated by an extreme minority that's committed to ruling through fear and intimidation. Let's call this what it is — domestic terrorism. It's time for an investigation to get to the bottom of this." More than 300,000 people have signed petitions asking for the DOJ's involvement, and you can add your name to NARAL's on its website.
The FBI defines domestic terrorism as acts that are dangerous to human life, break the law, occur within the U.S., and are intended to intimidate or coerce a population or government. If Dear attacked Planned Parenthood in order to instill fear around the reproductive health organization and abortion as a whole, then Friday's shooting falls under that category.
Referencing the attacks on abortion providers in general, Laura Leavitt, campaign manager for Courage Campaign, said in a press call Wednesday: "Investigating these as anything less than terrorism is a huge slap in face to women."
Categorizing Friday's shooting as domestic terrorism would make it clear that trying to scare women out of having abortions, a right protected by the Constitution in Roe v. Wade, will not be tolerated by the federal government. Women should be able to access reproductive health services without fearing for their life or being shamed for their choices.
"We're hoping the investigation will not only bring justice to the specific shooting in Colorado Springs and Planned Parenthood," said Ilyse Hogue, NARAL president, on Wednesday in a statement. "But also by investigating ... we hope it can start to reframe the way we talk about these tragedies in our society."