President Barack Obama on Tuesday said that while he believes it’s “legitimate” to have a debate over abortion, people shouldn’t “demonize” organizations like Planned Parenthood in the process.
During a press conference in Paris, Obama was asked for his thoughts on the political rhetoric surrounding abortion in the context of Friday’s mass shooting at a Colorado Springs, Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic that left three people dead and nine others injured. The gunman, Robert Lewis Dear, reportedly told investigators “no more baby parts” after his arrest, but police have not disclosed a motive for the attack yet.
Obama said it was “fair to have a legitimate, honest debate about abortion” in the U.S.
“I don’t think that’s something that’s beyond the pale of our political discussion,” he said. “That’s a serious, legitimate issue. How we talk about it, making sure that we’re talking about it factually, accurately, and not demonizing organizations like Planned Parenthood I think is important.”
The President also noted that in many parts of the country, Planned Parenthood facilities are the only health care providers serving impoverished women.
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at email@example.com.