On Friday, November 27, authorities say Robert Lewis Dear Jr. laid siege to a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado, ultimately killing three people and injuring at least nine others. The attack followed a summer of increasingly violent and misleading rhetoric around Planned Parenthood and its reproductive health-care services, including its fetal tissue donation program.
Since 1977, there have been eight murders, 17 attempted murders, 42 bombings, 186 arson incidents, and thousands of other criminal activities targeting abortion providers and patients. Earlier this year, the FBI disclosed it was expecting even more violence against providers and clinics in the wake of a series of heavily edited videos erroneously claiming that Planned Parenthood “sold baby parts.” The timeline below tracks the progression of anti-abortion rhetoric from July, when anti-choice front group the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) began its smear campaign against the network of reproductive health clinics, through November’s tragic shooting and the Senate’s decision to defund the organization less than a week later.
Brie Shea contributed research to this report.