Sen. Lankford: Not Pro-Life Talk But Mental Illness Factor in Colo. Shootings

By Eric Scheiner | November 30, 2015 | 12:15pm EST
Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) AP Photo)

( - Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) says it’s not tough talk by pro-lifers but mental illness that played a factor in a shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado late last week.

On C-SPAN’s Washington Journal Monday, Lankford was asked if pro-life rhetoric “might have fueled what happened?”

“No. This is a person we’re going to find out more and more, similar to several other shootings with mental problems,” Lankford said.

“No one would say, 'I’m standing up for life by going to take a life'. That is completely inconsistent with the movement that is so focused on individuals protecting life. The focus on those anti-abortion, is a pro-life focus, a focus on life and on children.”

“To say that you’re protesting for children and for life by taking the life of the innocents makes absolutely no rational sense,” Lankford continued.

“So, this is not someone that’s mentally stable in the spot that’s an advocate in the cause - this is someone that has a serious mental issue.”

The shootings at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood facility killed three and injured nine.  57 year-old Robert Lewis Dear has been arrested in connection to the incident.

The Washington Post reported Monday that Vicki Saporta, a spokesperson for the National Abortion Federation, is blaming pro-life rhetoric for the incident.

“They have ignited a firestorm of hate,” Saporta says. “They knew there could be these type of consequences, and yet they ratcheted up the rhetoric and ratcheted it up and ratcheted it up.”

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