By Shawn Chitnis
DENVER (CBS4)– Hundreds of demonstrators gathered at the state Capitol Saturday afternoon holding signs, singing songs, and marching around Civic Center Park with a message for lawmakers about taking more action against abortion.
“They need to get on board with the message that stop regulating, stop compromising with the lives of human beings,” said Susan Sutherland, Vice President of Colorado Right To Life.
The March for Life comes days after Planned Parenthood announced a lawsuit against the Center for Medical Progress. The anti-abortion group released videos last year accusing Planned Parenthood of profiting from selling fetal tissue. Leaders with the organization say nationally the group does receive money to cover the costs of that work but none of that is done in Colorado. Planned Parenthood says it does not profit in any way from selling fetal tissue.
“They tricked them, they lied to them,” said Vicki Cowart, President of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains.
Cowart says the videos are highly edited and misrepresent the organization. She says nationally the group is suing the creators of these videos because the content tried to damage their reputation.
“It has incited negative language in the political sphere,” said Cowart.
But Sutherland says the videos are exposing a side of Planned Parenthood the public needs to know about and she believes the lawsuit will end in favor for the Center for Medical Progress.
“That’s what you keep hearing,” she said. “’Oh these heavily edited videos,’ sit down and watch them, I encourage people to watch them, they are very truthful and hard hitting.”
Cowart argues the videos are the latest example of hateful words entering this ongoing argument over abortion. She worries the anger that she says is coming out with these videos.
“I believe that individuals that are prone to violence can be incited to violence when they are hearing this,” said Cowart.
Anti-abortion supporters from around Colorado and even neighboring states spent a few hours hearing from speakers and then marching from the state Capitol to the City and County Building and back.
Colorado Right to Life maintains they are eager to have a conversation with doctors and supporters of Planned Parenthood. Sutherland says that organization is the one committing a crime.
“The violent acts that are happening are inside the buildings of Planned Parenthood,” she said. “Those are the most violent acts that are happening.”
A shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs in Nov. 2015 had some question if the accused shooter was inspired by those videos released by Center for Medical Progress.
“I won’t be surprised if we that individual was in some way encouraged to his bad deeds by this,” said Cowart.
The trial of the man accused of killing three people in Colorado Springs is expected to start later this year but leaders with Colorado Right To Life already want to distance themselves from him and his actions.
“We in no way want to ever justify that,” said Sutherland “It was wrong, it was horrible.”