COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KXRM) – It’s been five months since a shooter rocked the city of Colorado Springs, by attacking a planned parenthood.
On November 27, Robert Lewis Dear admittedly opened fire, killing 3 people and destroying the health center.
But today, it’s back open and fully operational.
“Our motto is these doors stay open, and that’s certainly true here in Colorado Springs,” President of Planned Parenthood, Cecile Richards said.
Amongst the tight security, there was a lot of excitement at the reopening.
Staff members who were working that Black Friday were praised for their resilience.
“Even with the horrible event that had unfolded days before, this staff still maintained their unity to each other,” Regional Director Brenda Vaden said. “At that moment, I knew things would be okay.”
The health center is now opening its doors as a fully operational facility, even offering same day appointments.
“We’ve rebuilt it to be the same beautiful, wonderful, warm, welcoming space and so the folks that had been with us before, it’s just coming home,” President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountain region, Vicki Cowart said. “I think there’s a lot of joy for all of us because of that.”
“What we saw across the country was just an outpouring of support for the patients here and the staff here. I think that’s one of the reasons this center was built so quickly and reopened so quickly,” Richards said.
The staff says security is one of their top priorities, and that they’ll always be reminded of the lives that were lost that day.
A memorial made out of peace cranes is being put together in the lobby, but the staff believes their actions moving forward will be an even bigger tribute to their memory.
“One way in which I believe we can honor the memories of those who lost their lives is to recommit ourselves to ending violence against women, against doctors, against clinicians, against health centers and against America,” Richards said.
The health center is now scheduling appointments with patients.
However, not everyone was excited about the reopening.
Several pro-life, pro-choice and anti-abortion “abolitionists” came to the event to protest it.
They held up signs reading “I stand against Planned Parenthood” and referred to the clinic as a “child sacrifice center.”