NARAL Pushes RNC to Condemn Violent, Anti-Abortion Rhetoric

For Immediate Release

NARAL Pushes RNC to Condemn Violent, Anti-Abortion Rhetoric

New Report Details Shocking Rise in Clinic Violence Group Urges GOP Leaders to Curb Inflammatory Rhetoric

WASHINGTON - With the release of a new report on the alarming increase in threats and violence directed toward reproductive health clinics in 2015, NARAL Pro-Choice America called on GOP leaders to condemn the hateful rhetoric that has fueled this rise in the past year. In a letter to the chairs of Republican campaign committees, NARAL called on the party leaders to denounce the inflammatory rhetoric used by GOP candidates up and down the ballot. Last year, more than 300,000 people signed NARAL’s petition to the Department of Justice for instances of clinic violence to be investigated as acts of domestic terrorism.

"We may disagree on whether abortion should be safe and accessible, but we can both agree that rhetoric that incites violence and fuels hatred has no place in our modern democracy," wrote Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America. "This type of language is unfortunately all too common, and was used by the murderer Robert Dear when he justified the killing of three innocent people at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic last year by using the oft-repeated talking points about 'baby parts.'"

To read the full letter, click here.

Politico first reported on the letter this morning. The text of the article is below:

Politico: Abortion rights group presses GOP to condemn rhetoric

By Rachana Pradhan

April 7, 2016

A leading abortion rights group is calling on the Republican National Committee to denounce "inflammatory and violent rhetoric" that it says Republicans are using to discuss abortion, saying the language is inciting violence and harassment against clinics and patients.

"We may disagree on whether abortion should be safe and accessible, but we can both agree that rhetoric that incites violence and fuels hatred has no place in our modern democracy," NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue wrote today to RNC Chairman Reince Priebus. "This type of language is unfortunately all too common, and was used by the murderer Robert Dear when he justified the killing of three innocent people at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic last year by using the oft-repeated talking points about 'baby parts.'"

The letter specifically calls out Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, and it comes a week after Trump's shifting statements on whether women should be punished for illegally obtaining an abortion angered groups on both sides of the debate.

The National Abortion Federation earlier this week released a report documenting increased threats against clinics last year. The group said that the heightened hostility coincides with an anti-abortion group releasing a series of videos alleging that Planned Parenthood clinics profit from the sale of fetal tissue. Planned Parenthood has denied any wrongdoing, and several state investigations have cleared the group.

Responding to the letter, RNC spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said, "We do not condone acts of violence just as we do not condone NARAL's extreme position of not supporting the right to life."

NARAL Pro-Choice America also sent the letter to the Republican Governors Association and the campaign arms for House and Senate Republicans.

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NARAL Pro-Choice America and its network of state affiliates are dedicated to protecting and expanding reproductive freedom for all Americans. NARAL works to guarantee that every woman has the right to make personal decisions regarding the full range of reproductive choices, including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing legal abortion. In recognition of its work defending our constitutional right to choose, Fortune Magazine described NARAL as "one of the top 10 advocacy groups in America."

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