Are "Rescues" Justified?

After the FACE (Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances) Law was enforced a few times, the "rescue" hoodlums abandoned this tactic.

In Favor of "Rescue"

Anti-abortion activists maintain that "rescues" are justified. A rescue is an action of several people to block the entrance of an abortion clinic, so that patients cannot enter. This, they reason, amounts to rescuing the fetus that would otherwise have been aborted. Milwaukee's Missionaries to the Preborn sense a Christian duty "to love our neighbors, including preborn children and their mothers and fathers by intervening non-violently and prayerfully between them and the one who would murder the child."

Randy Alcorn cites in one brief statement a good many justifications for "rescues." Randy asks: Civil Disobedience to Save Unborn Children: Is "Rescuing" Right? Randy cites several examples of civil disobedience in Scripture. "Should Christians in the future obey the civil laws that will require taking a mark on the wrist or forehead, or should they disobey?" He refers to examples of Godly disobedience of human law in American history. He speaks of Christian resistance against the Nazis.

Pastor Alcorn is the subject of a whiny article from Christianity Today: The Pastor Without a Paycheck  "Randy Alcorn learned to live what he had preached while fleeing the wrath of abortionists and the judgment of the courts."


Opposing "Rescue"

In "Rethinking Rescues", Gregory Koukl wrote in 1994 that he had originally supported the tactic of the rescue. But since the assassination of Dr. Gunn, "I've been reevaluating from a tactical perspective what I think would be the best way to go about saving the lives of unborn children." He believes that the murder of Dr. Gunn set back the cause. He further criticises illegal trespassing: "You know we can't even pray on sidewalks in front of abortion clinics anymore? Why? Because even these are becoming de facto illegal because of guilt by association with illegal trespassing."

Milwaukee's Missionaries to the Preborn hold the Christian Reconstructionists in high esteem, believing to find far reaching justification in Reconstructionist doctrine for "rescuing." Thus, this criticism in the official magazine of the Reconstructionsts Contra Mundum must be particularly stinging.

In The Rhetoric of Rescue writer David Hagopian demolishes the justifications of "rescue" point-by-point. He finds no merit in any of the cited Scriptural examples as proofs of the antis' views on "rescue."

As to the validity of "interposition," Hagopian says this: "First, when Christ interposed Himself between a just God and unjust sinners, He did not violate any human law. When members of O.R. allegedly interpose themselves between abortionists and babies, by contrast, they violate human law precisely by their chosen method of interposition. Because O.R.'s interposition is illegal whereas Christ's was not, Christ's interposition provides no justification for O.R.'s illegalities."