Obama, While Speaking in Paris, on Planned Parenthood Shooting: 'This Just Doesn't Happen in Other Countries'

December 1, 2015

President Obama, while speaking Tuesday in a city struck by a massive terrorist attack less than three weeks ago, said of the Planned Parenthood shooting last week in Colorado that "this just doesn't happen in other countries."

"With respect to Planned Parenthood, obviously my heart goes out to those impacted," Obama said during a press conference in Paris. "I mean, Nancy, I say this every time we've got one of these mass shootings. This just doesn't happen in other countries. We are rightly determined to prevent terrorist attacks wherever they occur, whether in the United States or with friends and allies like France, and we devote enormous resources, and properly so, to rooting out networks and debilitating organizations like ISIL."

Paris was struck by Islamic State militants on Nov. 13, when a series of coordinated attacks by the fanatical terrorists killed 130 people in the French capital.

In the United States, Obama said, the country had power to prevent the "regular process" of gun homicides, and that local governments and states would have to take more action to keep guns out of dangerous people's hands. He then went on to defend Planned Parenthood as often being the "only organization" to provide health care for impoverished women.

"And with respect to Planned Parenthood, I think it's clear, I've said it before, they provide health services to women all across the country," Obama said. "Have for generations. In many cases, it's the only organization that provides health services to impoverished women. I think it's fair to have a legitimate, honest debate about abortion. I don't think that's something that is beyond the pale of our political discussion. I think it's a serious, legitimate issue. How we talk about it, making sure we're talking about it factually, accurately and not demonizing organizations like Planned Parenthood, I think is important."