PARIS (AP) — President Barack Obama said Tuesday he hopes the shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado spurs conversation and action on deterring gun violence.
Obama, speaking at a global warming conference, said it will ultimately be up to Congress, states and local governments to act in ways that prevent people intent on committing violence from getting weapons.
He says the United States spends enormous resources to prevent terrorist attacks and the country has the power to do much more to prevent the regular occurrence of gun homicides.
Last week's attack in Colorado killed three people. Nine others were wounded.
In his comments, the president defended Planned Parenthood and its work providing health services to women around the country.
"I think it's fair to have a legitimate, honest debate about abortion," Obama said. "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 that we're talking about it factually, accurately, and not demonizing organizations like Planned Parenthood — I think is important."
In Washington on Tuesday, six House Democrats wrote to Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and urged him to disband a special committee investigating Planned Parenthood's provision of fetal tissue to researchers.
"To continue this Select Committee is to continue spreading these lies about Planned Parenthood, and to continue inciting extremism and attacks against reproductive health facilities, providers and patients," said Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y.
House Republican leaders have indicated they have no plans to shut down the committee.