Washington, DC – U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23) issued the following statement in response to the shooting deaths and injuries at Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs:

“Jennifer Markovsky. Ke’Arre Marcell Stewart. Garrett Swasey.

“On Friday in Colorado Springs, they were murdered by a fanatic with a gun. As I spent this past holiday weekend with my family, I’ve been thinking about their families who won’t get to spend future holidays with them because of this senseless tragedy.

“What a cross section of America these three innocent people were – all of them parents who served their country and communities in different but meaningful ways.

“As Congress returns to session, I find myself wondering how House Republicans will have the gall to go on with their already disturbing probe into Planned Parenthood in light of this senseless act of violence. The rhetoric about women’s reproductive health rights crossed the civil discourse line a long time ago, and anyone who believes that the murderer in Colorado Springs wasn’t motivated, at least in part, by political distortions over Planned Parenthood’s work is participating in willful disengagement from reality.

“The truth is Planned Parenthood plays a vital role in the health of American families. They provide nearly 3 million men, women and children nationwide with a range of health services each year, including safe, legal abortion services which should be available to every woman without the threat of violence. I will proudly continue to stand with them.

“Instead of misinformed, politically motivated accusations against a trusted healthcare provider, this country deserves principled leadership from both parties about ways to reduce gun violence. Until Republicans muster the political courage to come around, Americans will die because we have the power to do something and yet actively choose not to, time and time again. It’s sad, it’s frustrating, and it’s tragic.”