Fox News host Andrea Tantaros recently criticized liberals for "indicting an entire religion" of "Christian white Republicans" after some abortion advocates blamed pro-life rhetoric for last week's domestic terror attacks on a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado.
"I think this was pretty predictable," Tantaros said on Monday, Raw Story reported. "You saw on Twitter a lot of people rushing to judgment. The same people who hesitate using the phrase Islamic terrorism were very quick to use the term 'Christian'."
Fox Business host Charles Paying also weighed in, arguing that GOP politicians had only been saying that taxpayer money should not be used for abortion "particularly when they're talking about selling baby parts."
He went on to slam Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, who he said "stoked these flames and anger."
"And it was quite a leap... to point to a shooting and somehow link that to women not being able to get abortions," Tantaros opined. "They had not released information and people were already indicting an entire religion, Christian white Republican, before we even got details."
As reported by the Gospel Herald, 57-year-old Robert Lewis Dear has been accused of killing a police officer and two civilians in a shooting rampage at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, CO on Friday. According to CNN, Dear mentioned "baby parts" after the shooting and expressed anti-abortion and anti-government views. However, Dear was allegedly a loner who had no apparent connection to the Republican Party or the pro-life movement.
In an interview with National Public Radio released Monday, Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards was quick to cite Pro-Life rhetoric as a possible contributing factor to the shooting.
"Clearly we're concerned as I think the rest of America about the increased sort of hateful rhetoric and harassment and intimidation of doctors and women who are both providing healthcare and getting healthcare," said Richards.
Richards also claimed to NPR that in recent times "there has been an incredible escalation of harassment and intimidation against Planned Parenthood health centers."
"I think it's important to recognize that words matter ... when you use this kind of hateful rhetoric, whether you are a politician or whether you're in elected office, or whether you are an opposition group," said Richards.
"This kind of rhetoric towards doctors and women seeking healthcare has real impact, and I think folks should think carefully about what they say."
In a separate interview with CBS News, Planned Parenthood Executive Vice President Dawn Laguens said that her organization had been concerned about pro-life rhetoric in recent months.
"Of course, we've been concerned that the climate, some of the hateful rhetoric of the last few months might be contributing to an additional amount of threats and violence," said Laguens.
"Thankfully, of course, in our 700 health centers across the country most of our millions of patients will never see a protestor, never encounter violence. But when it does happen, you have to look at the climate and wonder how that contributes."
Speaking to Fox News on Monday, contributor Rachel Campos-Duffy argued that liberals are attempting to link the attacks to the pro-life movement as a plot to distract from upcoming congressional hearings on Planned Parenthood focusing on the organization's handling of fetal tissue.
"They are deeply embarrassed about these videos," she insisted. "It pulled the curtain on what really happens in the back rooms of those abortion clinics. And that's what this is about, they want to muzzle us."
Tantaros added that abortion advocates wanted to stop all talk about "the illegal harvesting of baby parts on the off chance that some lunatic out there might hear that rhetoric and decide to go shoot up a clinic."
Republican presidential hopeful Ted Cruz also weighed in on the controversy during a recent campaign stop in Newton, Iowa.
"The media promptly wants to blame him for the pro-life movement when, at this point, there's very little evidence to indicate that," Cruz said. He added that "it's also been reported that he was registered as an independent and a woman and a transgendered leftist activist. If that's what he is, I don't think it's fair to blame ... the rhetoric on the left. This is a murderer."