The heated controversy over Planned Parenthood has given rise to a slew of alleged arsons in Illinois, Washington State and Louisiana. The fires began to break out in the wake of controversial videos that supposedly show Planned Parenthood employees trafficking fetal organs.
The controversial videos were released by an anti-abortion group, claiming that Planned Parenthood profits from the sale of fetal tissue from aborted fetuses. Planned Parenthood has extensively denied such claims, arguing that the videos are heavily edited and therefore, misleading.
The videos have led to backlash from a number of Republicans from around the United States, many of whom are calling for Planned Parenthood to be defunded.
According to NBC news, the most recent fire at a Planned Parenthood in Washington state on Friday has officially been ruled as arson. This Planned Parenthood facility, which has been open since September 2012, suffered "extensive fire, smoke and heat damage to the front portion of the building," stated the Pullman Fire Department.
Karl Eastlund, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington and North Idaho, spoke about the arson.
"This is an appalling act of violence towards Planned Parenthood, but unfortunately a predictable ripple effect from the recent false and incendiary attacks that fuel violence from extremists."Earlier reports cite suspicious fires at Planned Parenthood clinics in both Illinois and Louisiana, which are still under investigation. The fires took place at Planned Parenthood clinics in suburbs of New Orleans and Chicago. Thus far, the FBI has declined to comment on the status of these two arson investigations, according to the Guardian.
Although violent protests and attacks against abortion clinics are nothing new, Planned Parenthood providers cited an overall increase in the number of violent threats following the video leaks. Vicki Saporta, president of the National Abortion Federation, had something to say.
"In my 20 years with [the National Abortion Federation], I have never seen the escalation and extent of hate speech and threats. We asked the Department of Justice to hold a meeting of the taskforce of the Violence Against Healthcare Providers so we could express our concerns, make them aware of the escalation that our members were reporting, and that we were experiencing, and enlist their support in investigating the threats and criminal activity,"While the Planned Parenthood videos may be extremely shocking and disturbing to the senses, the question remains; where's the logical or moral grounds for fighting this issue with violence? Furthermore, how much of the initial leaked videos are heavily edited?
For now, the battle over Planned Parenthood wages on. We just hope people can find a better way to debate the issue than by fighting fire with fire (literally).
Photo Courtesy of CBS News.