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Apologetics Press :: Reason & Revelation
September 1994 - 14[9]:71

Shall We Murder to Stop Abortion?
by Brad Bromling

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The abortion clinic’s doors closed and its staff went home. No abortions were performed that day. While rejoicing over the few lives that were spared, Christians are made to grieve over two deaths—the death of an abortion doctor and his bodyguard. Although we may find it difficult to grieve for a man who had slain so many innocent children, we must. The murders of John Britton and James Barrett were heinous acts.

Paul Hill felt differently about it. He reasoned that if children were being killed in a clinic, we would be willing to take lives to protect them. Why should we do less for pre-born children? To some, his logic sounds valid and his actions appear justified. So when Hill’s shotgun blasted Britton and Barrett into eternity, some rejoiced. Such rejoicing is an offense against God and those made in His image.

Yes, abortion is the taking of innocent human life. Even some who allow for abortion can admit that truth: “The status of the human embryo appears a simple matter. It is alive, and it is neither hamster nor chicken—it is human” (Edwards, 1989, p. 95). The shedding of innocent human blood is an abomination to God (Proverbs 6:16-19) that impoverishes any nation that practices it. Ronald Reagan put it well:

These children...will never laugh, never sing, never experience the joy of human love; nor will they strive to heal the sick, or feed the poor, or make peace among nations. Abortion has denied them the first and most basic of human rights, and we are infinitely poorer for their loss.

We are poorer not simply for the lives not led and for contributions not made, but also for erosion of our sense of worth and dignity of every individual. To diminish the value of one category of human life is to diminish us all (1984, p. 56).

America should bow its head in shame and repent of the 30,000,000 abortions it has permitted since 1973. The blood of these children cries out to God against us. God hears, and will judge us accordingly.

So, too, will He mete out judgment upon those who feel justified in employing murder to stop murder. When our Lord came to this sin-cursed planet, He had at His disposal the power of the Universal Sovereign. He could have—with a word—slain every rapist, murderer, and child molester. He could have ignited the flames of hell upon the Roman Empire until it was purged of every abortionist then living. Instead, Jesus preached the good news of peace and gave His life on a cross. Murderous Barabbas walked free.

In turn, Jesus calls His people to be a community of the cross (Mark 10:21)—to be a people willing to give their lives for others, not to take lives (1 John 3:16). Killing abortion doctors is no different than shooting drug dealers in their sleep or assassinating government officials because they supply foreign governments with U.S. military equipment to kill their own people. Might we also rob the rich to feed the poor? How does this approach appear in the face of Jesus’ statement, “whoever slaps you on the right cheek, turn the other to him also” (Matthew 6:39)?


Edwards, Robert (1989), Life Before Birth (New York: Basic Books).

Reagan, Ronald (1984), President Reagan’s Quotations, ed. Clark Cassell (Washington, D.C.: Baddock Publications).

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