Plumb Lines

June 1, 2009

Why Tiller’s Murderer Isn’t Pro-Life

Filed under: Uncategorized — David Schaengold @ 10:31 am

Damon Linker asks why more pro-lifers aren’t like Tiller’s murderer:

If abortion truly is what the pro-life movement says it is — if it is the infliction of deadly violence against an innocent and defenseless human being — then doesn’t morality demand that pro-lifers act in any way they can to stop this violence?

Morality demands no such thing. Morality also does not demand that we torture a suspected terrorist if we think we might save many lives by doing so. The ends don’t justify the means. Morality forbids you to do evil for the sake of good. Utilitarianism is not the same thing as moral reasoning. Of all people, pro-lifers should understand this — that killing someone isn’t a morally permissible way to relieve suffering. Fortunately, most pro-lifers do understand it. That most pro-lifers don’t kill abortion doctors is not because they’re insufficiently pro-life but because they are consistently pro-life. George Tiller was murdered because his killer wasn’t pro-life enough.

David Schaengold

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1 Comment »

  1. Is Tiller not a martyr for pro-choice? I say Yes. But is he too controversial for the mainstream pro-choice movement to take up on placards? If he’s too controversial, then it’s be can only on account of his practice of late-term abortions, which understandably instigate the most heated conflict.

    It’s my hope that with this murder, the killer did his cause more harm than good. That’s to say that I hope pro-lifers won’t be cheering in their living rooms as if they’ve scored a victory against pro-choicers, and that they realize, as you said, that this act is morally unjustifiable. Obviously this doesn’t (or shouldn’t) play any role in the debate between the two camps (as opposed to say, a protest).

    I have no problem with thoughtful commentary, but again, the line should be drawn in the end, as I’m glad that the mainstream pro-lifers have done by declaring the murder “wrong.”

    Comment by Baby Blues — June 2, 2009 @ 1:25 am


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