Are Abortion Clinic Bombings Justified?
September 11, 2009
I thought that title might grab you. I got to thinking about it because of a recent NCIS television episode wherein one character references Islamic terrorist bombing and another character responds that it’s no different than an abortion clinic bombing. But isn’t it?
I certainly have no plans to bomb any buildings, but anyone who skims this blog will quickly figure out that I am decidedly pro-life. That means I believe that an abortion is a murder of a full-fledged, innocent human being. Whether or not you are pro-life, indulge if you will for just a moment the presupposition that an unborn person is every bit a human person entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness that you and I are. Imagine that there are buildings where innocent living children, or even adults, are taken against their will and murdered, sometimes even having their limbs yanked off without anesthesia. Once you indulge the pro-life position on unborn human beings (i.e. step in my shoes), you must admit that an abortion clinic is the moral equivalent of a gas chamber within the confines of Auschwitz.
Would it have been moral to sneak into Auschwitz and blow up a gas chamber? Empty, or even with the guilty Nazis in it? Those questions, considered in isolation from any reference to abortion, would surely give the Hollywood script writers a bit more to think about. Indeed, when a black man murders a white redneck who might get away with raping the black man’s daughter, he is heralded as a hero in the fictional movie A Time to Kill. It is not as though the Hollywood writers are unfamiliar with or opposed to the concept of justifiable homicide. This fact underscores that the Hollywood writers assume the pro-choice position to be correct (also implying that the pro-life position is nothing more than “crazy”) when writing their stories; the snide abortion-clinic bomber remarks prove nothing but to evidence the writers’ unsupported presuppositions.
But the question of whether it is morally permissible to blow up the Nazi gas chambers (the instruments of death), or even the entire death camps, with or without the killing of Nazis (perhaps the bombings could take place at midnight while empty, or perhaps with Nazi guards in them), requires much examination, and I do not intend to answer that question here.
I need not answer that moral question to address whether abortion clinic bombings are justified. Whether or not the bombings would be morally permissible if they prevented abortions and saved lives, the fact is that such bombings do not prevent abortions and do not ultimately save lives. Even if the abortion clinic bombers blew up all the clinics and killed all the abortion doctors at exactly the same time (thereby preventing some abortions and causing more live births), more doctors and clinics would immediately replace them, and public support would swiftly turn to the abortionists’ favor. The abortion war in the United States is at the present time a public relations one, not one of force like in Nazi Germany. Bombing abortion clinics only gives pro-choice media forces more ammunition, and we see those messages sent out in televisions shows (like the NCIS episode referenced above) and even in the news. The media and the pro-choice movement have been capitalizing on these incidents since at least 1994. If one wants to prevent abortions, one must work on changing public opinions and changing laws. This war cannot be won by force. Therefore, the use of force against abortionists, even if it could be justified in other circumstances, is unjustified in the U.S. on a macro-scale because the purported justification is illusory.
(Note: my argument above does not support the common argument that abortion should not be made illegal because “they will happen anyway.” Making abortion illegal will without question reduce the number of abortions and save a great number of innocent lives. The fact that some women will ignore the law and commit crimes is not a reason to curtail the law to accommodate criminals’ behavior.)