Indiana Planned Parenthood clinics on heightened alert as threats increase

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INDIANAPOLIS (Nov. 30, 2015) – Planned Parenthood clinics in Indiana have been the target of an increasing number of threats, officials said Monday after last week’s deadly shooting at a clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

“Well needless to say, we are stunned,” Betty Cockrum said in an interview Monday, president and CEO for Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky. “We are shocked. We are appalled.”

Cockrum said Planned Parenthood officials have been in constant contact with local and federal officials since Friday. All Indiana clinics remained open Monday.

“It’s incredibly important for everybody to understand this kind of behavior cannot be rewarded,” Cockrum said. “We cannot stand down.”

FBI officials reportedly had warned local law enforcement months ago of a potential attack. Cockrum declined to elaborate on specifics of the increased security statewide.

“Obviously it doesn’t make sense for us to really share what they look like,” she said. “But you dust off everything and make sure the batteries are current.”

The FBI’s warning nationwide came on the heels of undercover video being released earlier this year, appearing to show national Planned Parenthood executives discussing the sale of fetal tissue.

Cockrum said since then, threats to Indiana clinics have increased.

“Yes, unfortunately and we’ve seen that nationwide,” she said. “Anytime there’s an incident, it gets reported and we get a monthly report, and there’s been a really alarming spike in the number of incidents. Locally, nationally, yes.”

Colorado authorities have said an exact motive remains unclear. The shooting suspect, though, reportedly told police “no more baby parts,” shaping an already controversial debate on Capitol Hill over Planned Parenthood and its practices.

“It’s a terrible, terrible thing,” Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) said. “It’s a disgrace. It’s murder. It’s a terrorist act.”

On Sunday, Homeland Security chairman Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) told ABC News he didn't believe Friday's shooting was an act of terrorism, suggesting instead that it was a result of mental health issues.

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