David Trosch

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


The Chicago-born Trosch[7] first attained notoriety in 1993 when he tried to place an ad in The Mobile Register with a drawing, titled "Justifiable Homicide", depicting a man holding a gun to the back of an abortion doctor performing an abortion.[3][8] His episcopal superiors 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]

David C. Trosch died on 12 October 2012 in an Alabama nursing home from an extended illness.[11] 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. ^ "David Trosch Obituary: View Obituary for David Trosch by Radney Funeral Home Mobile, Mobile, AL". 30 October 2012. Archived from the original on 30 October 2012.
  2. ^ Clarkson, Frederick (1997). Eternal hostility: the struggle between theocracy and democracy. Common Courage Press. p. 143. ISBN 1-56751-088-4.
  3. ^ 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."
  4. ^ 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". The Daily Telegraph.
  5. ^ Howlett, Debbie (10 January 1995). "'Courage' or crime?/Incidents, reports spark FBI probe". USA Today.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ David Trosch obituary, dignitymemorial.com; accessed 15 July 2020.
  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". 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. ^ "An obscure ending for a notorious priest (Frances Coleman column) | al.com". 17 November 2012. Archived from the original on 17 November 2012.
  12. ^ "Retired Archbishop Lipscomb recalls anti-abortion priest | al.com". 16 November 2012. Archived from the original on 16 November 2012.