David Trosch

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David Charles Trosch (29 November 1935 – 12 October 2012)[1][2] was a Roman Catholic priest from Mobile, Alabama,[3] who was the subject of controversy due to his promotion of the concept of justifiable homicide in the case of killing abortion providers.[4] He was a supporter of anti-abortion extremist Paul Hill who was executed in 2003 for murdering an abortion provider and his bodyguard.[5] Trosch denied having ever met Hill even though they dined and prayed together, and signed a document which attempted to justify lethal force against abortion providers.[6][7]


Trosch first attained notoriety in 1993 when he tried to place ad in The Mobile Register newspaper with a drawing titled "Justifiable Homicide" depicting a man holding a gun to the back of an abortion doctor performing an abortion.[4][8] The Catholic Church directed him to "recant his stand or give up his job."[9] Although the ad was never published, Trosch was relieved of his parish duties and suspended by his bishop due to his ongoing public statements in defense of his views of "justifiable homicide" of abortion providers.[10]

Trosch died on 12 October 2012 in an Alabama nursing home from an extended illness.[11][12] Archbishop Oscar Lipscomb of the Archdiocese of Mobile clarified at the time of Trosch's death that he had never officially censured Trosch, but that Trosch had been restricted from acting in a pastoral capacity since August 1993. Lipscomb said Trosch had "no public persona in the Church" but "was not a bad person" and "died in God's grace".[12]


  1. ^ "In Memory of Rev. David Trosch" Obituary, Dignity Memorial: Radney Funeral Home, Mobile, Alabama. http://obits.dignitymemorial.com/dignity-memorial/obituary.aspx?n=David-Trosch&lc=4405&pid=160483813&mid=5273763&locale=en-US Archived 30 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine Taken 25 October 2012.
  2. ^ "Reverend David Charles Trosch" Obituary. Mobile Register. al.com http://obits.al.com/obituaries/mobile/obituary.aspx?n=david-charles-trosch&pid=160396399&fhid=10306#fbLoggedOut Taken 21 October 2012
  3. ^ Clarkson, Frederick (1997). Eternal hostility: the struggle between theocracy and democracy. Monroe, Me. : Common Courage Press. p. 143. ISBN 1-56751-088-4.
  4. ^ a b "Priest Is Scolded on Abortion Ad". The New York Times. 18 August 1993. Retrieved 26 September 2010. In an interview published Sunday in The Register, Father Trosch said he designed the advertisement, which shows a man pointing a gun at a doctor who is holding a knife over a pregnant woman. Two words accompany the picture: "Justifiable homicide."
  5. ^ Warren, Marcus (4 September 2003). "Anti-abortion killer goes to death defiant Unrepentant ex-preacher felt 'honoured' by his execution for the murder of a doctor and his bodyguard (retrieved from Lexis-Nexis Academic database)". The Daily Telegraph.
  6. ^ Howlett, Debbie (10 January 1995). "'Courage' or crime? / Incidents, reports spark FBI probe (retrieved from Lexis-Nexis Academic database)". USA Today.
  7. ^ Bader, Eleanor J. (2001). Targets of Hatred: Anti-Abortion Terrorism. New York, NY : Palgrave for St. Martin's Press. p. 218. ISBN 978-0-312-23925-1.
  8. ^ Holmes, Parker (15 August 1993). "Priest says killing abortion doctors 'justifiable homicide'". The Mobile Register. Archived from the original on 27 July 2006. Retrieved 25 November 2006..
  9. ^ Goldberg, Laura (18 August 1993). "Priest scolded over ad / Violent view on abortion blasted (retrieved from Lexis-Nexis Academic)". USA Today.
  10. ^ Manegold, Catherine (1 January 1995). "Anti-Abortion Groups Continue Radical Talk". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 24 December 2013. Retrieved 26 September 2010. The Rev. David C. Trosch, a Catholic priest from Alabama who has been relieved of his duties by the church for his radical defense of the "justifiable homicide" of abortion providers, mailed a letter to members of Congress last July, predicting "massive killing of abortionists and their staffs."
  11. ^ Coleman, Frances. "An obscure ending for a notorious priest (Frances Coleman column)" Mobile Register. al.com, http://blog.al.com/press-register-commentary/2012/10/an_obscure_ending_for_a_notori.html Archived 17 November 2012 at the Wayback Machine Taken 21 October 2012.
  12. ^ a b Sharp, John, "Retired Archbishop Lipscomb recalls anti-abortion priest," Mobile Register al.com, http://blog.al.com/live/2012/10/retired_archbishop_recalls_ant.html Archived 16 November 2012 at the Wayback Machine Taken 21 October 2012.