Why It Matters That Both Civilian Victims of the Planned Parenthood Shooting were People of Colour

One of the three victims killed in the shooting Friday at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado is from the islands, her family has confirmed. Family members identified the woman as Jennifer Markovsky, a 1997 Waianae High School graduate. (Photo credit: handout, via Denver Post)
Jennifer Markovsky, one of the three victims killed in the shooting Friday at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado. (Photo credit: handout, via Denver Post)

On Friday, 57-year-old Robert Lewis Dear entered a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood and opened fire with a long gun. For hours, Dear exchanged gunfire with police officials, killing two civilians and one police officer. Dear was taken into custody after the day-long standoff, and is scheduled to appear in court tomorrow. Dear’s motive remains unclear, but news media are reporting an unnamed police official source who claims that Dear made remarks about “baby parts” upon his arrest suggesting that the crime might have something to do with the unfounded accusation by anti-abortionists earlier this year that Planned Parenthood sold fetal tissue for profit (they don’t).

News coverage over the weekend has focused on the identity of the police officer — Officer Garrett Swasey — who was killed by Dear during the shoot-out. As of today, however, the identities of the two civilians killed by Dear has also now been released, and it should not go unnoticed that both victims were people of colour.

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Why We Must Stand With Planned Parenthood, Today and Every Day | #StandWithPP

I wore a lot of pink and stood on a street corner and chanted for an hour today. (Photo credit: Jenn / Reappropriate)
I wore a lot of pink and stood on a street corner and chanted for an hour today. (Photo credit: Jenn / Reappropriate)

Women need, and deserve, unfettered access to high quality healthcare, including preventative, contraceptive and pre-natal care. This is not just a matter of constitutionality and equal rights, but also of basic morality. Women do not deserve to be penalized — medically, economically, or legally — for our womanhood. Yet, efforts to defund one of the nation’s largest healthcare providers of affordable healthcare services for women, as well as men, does just that.

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