The clinic has been closed since November 27 when Robert Lewis Dear walked in and opened fire on patients and staff. Though PP employees haven’t even entered the building since the shooting, anti-choice protesters replete with obligatory signage, stand on the corner outside of the closed clinic.
Joseph Martone, a regular protester of the clinic spoke with The Guardian while holding a sign that read, “Our prayers and condolences to all affected by the recent shooting at Planned Parenthood.”
“Something tells me to go out there right away. What he did was more than a few steps beyond what I would do.”
When asked about the patients, Martone said:
“No one deserves to go through what they have gone through, even though they put themselves in harm’s way.”
In addition to Martone, a prayer group that regularly holds vigils outside of the clinic has reformed. Normally, The Guardian notes, clinic supervisors and employees would take the protestors as part of their day-to-day work lives, but post-attacks and in the midst of discussions about how to better secure PP clinics, the protesters feel more threatening.
Martone himself has numerous arrests for trespassing, apparently he followed numerous women onto the clinic’s privately-owned property. He acknowledged to The Guardian that many of his friends initially thought he was connected to the shooting:
“I understand everybody’s viewpoints and the possibility that I did something. I am probably one of the most aggressive pro-lifers out there ... I have had a lot of confrontations with people. I’ve been assaulted. I’ve gotten a little nasty, maybe, with a couple people.”
Meanwhile, Vicki Cowart, CEO of PP of the Rocky Mountains, said that the organization was looking for ways to better secure the Colorado Springs clinic without making the space feel like “an armed encampment.”
Image via AP.