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Land: N.Y. doctor’s murder ‘appalling’


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–The murder of the western New York obstetrician who performed abortions is “appalling,” a Southern Baptist ethicist said Oct. 27.
“Killing a human being who happens to be an abortion doctor in the name of the pro-life cause is obscene. It is grotesque to think that a person can further the pro-life cause with the wanton, premeditated, execution-style murder of another human being,” said Land, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.
Barnett Slepian, whose medical practice is located in suburban Buffalo, N.Y., and who performed abortions at a downtown Buffalo clinic, was gunned down by a sniper’s bullet Oct. 23 at his home.
Slepian is the third abortion doctor killed in the United States since 1993. The fatal shooting fits a pattern of attacks on abortion providers in Canada and New York that began in 1994 and coincides with the weeks near Nov. 11, Veterans Day, also known as Remembrance Day in Canada.
“No person who is truly pro-life could commit such an act of violence in the name of protecting unborn children,” said David O’Steen, executive director of the National Right to Life. “The pro-life movement works to protect the right-to-life and to restore respect for human life. Violence opposes that goal.”
Land said violence against abortion providers is not “a morally justifiable or permissible Christian response to abortion” and is “inconsistent with Scripture,” citing the “Nashville Statement of Conscience” crafted by Land and other Southern Baptist leaders in 1994 after the slaying of a Pensacola, Fla., abortion doctor and his bodyguard.
“People who are truly pro-life defend the right to life of the born, as well as the unborn,” he said, adding, “This includes doctors who perform abortions.”
Four previous attacks in Massachusetts, Florida and Alabama on abortionists or their clinics have claimed six lives since 1994.

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  • Dwayne Hastings