The following ran as a full page ad in The Birmingham New in 2007.

Open Letter to Dr. James Dobson

High Court Actually Keeps “Partial Birth” Abortion Legal

But Focus on the Family Makes False Claims

Dr. James Dobson, because you have led many people to trust in Jesus Christ, it is with love and great sadness that we admonish you.

On April 18, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Gonzales v. Carhart, the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban. This PBA ruling is one of the most barbaric opinions ever issued by an American court.

In reaction, Focus on the Family proclaimed that “the Supreme Court has affirmed the value of human life” and that this PBA effort will “protect children.” At www.Family.org, you applauded the “pro-life Justices” nominated to the Court by pro-life Presidents. The Justices you called “pro-life” did not “affirm” the life of the unborn, but upheld a mere regulatory law “under the Commerce Clause” (Gonzales, p. 36).

In fact, these Justices concur that “The medical profession [abortionists] may find different and less shocking methods to abort the fetus” (p. 30). The decision is a virtual PBA manual that instructs abortionists on how to murder innocent late-term children using various partial-birth abortion methods to be in compliance with this “law.” (Please see SupremeCourtUS.gov to read the ruling itself, and see our excerpts here.)

Therefore, we, the undersigned, grieve at your celebration of the Supreme Court’s PBA ruling because the Justices actually promote murder in this decision as they endorse variations of partial-birth abortion:

·     Their ruling permits a textbook partial-birth abortion if the mother is over “dilate[d]” (p. 24) and the baby, by “inadvertence,” is delivered up to the neck as in typical PBA. Then the abortionist can kill him by “intact D&E,” (p. 24) in exactly the cruel manner that you have condemned.

·     The abortionist may tear apart the child since “D&E will often involve a physician pulling a ‘substantial portion’ of a still living fetus, say, an arm or leg, into the [birth canal] prior to the death of the fetus”(p. 21) since “the removal of a small portion of the fetus is not prohibited” (p. 22).

·     The Court endorses “reasonable alternative procedures” (p. 33) for killing “late-term” children, such as “a leg might be ripped off the fetus,” “friction causes the fetus to tear apart,” “evacuating the fetus piece by piece continues,” “10 to 15 passes with the forceps,” “ripping it apart,” and “dismemberment” (pp. 4-6).

·     “If an abortion procedure does not involve the delivery of a fetus… past the navel  [in breech, feet-first position] the prohibitions of the Act do not apply” (p. 24).

·     An abortionist only needs to maintain that his original “intent” was to deliver the baby up to the navel before killing him. “If a living fetus is delivered past the critical point [belly­button] by accident or inadvertence [and is then killed] no crime has occurred” (p. 18).

·     The abortionist may use “an injection that kills the fetus” (p. 34).


Moral Relativism

Dr. Dobson, after we launched our Open Letter campaign, you admitted in the Focus on the Family newsletter that this Partial-Birth Abortion ruling “does not save a single human life.” However, you followed that by saying: “For now, let’s bask in the victory for life given to us by the Court…”


            Dr. Dobson, you have become a moral relativist and a legal positivist, along with virtually all our “pro-life” conservative judges over the last quarter century. This was the predictable result of following National Right To Life’s strategy of regulating child killing, which inherently undermines the child’s God-given right to life.


Tragically, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito did not even join in the separate opinion written by Justice Clarence Thomas indicating that Roe v. Wade should be overturned. Thomas was joined only by Justice Antonin Scalia. All Christians should grieve at this lack of leadership from President George W’s Bush’s most recent nominees. After all, no state and no subdivision of government whatsoever has the authority to set up extermination camps or abortion clinics.


            Dr. Dobson, we will use your words to document that you have rejected God’s enduring command “Do Not Murder” as the most fundamental and inviolable of all legal principles. On February 24, 2006, you wrote in response to the concerns we posted at KGOV.com, and it grieves us to even report this, but you actually defended decisions of judges who rule to kill the innocent, as long as they bow to process. Specifically in 2000, federal judge Samuel Alito struck down New Jersey’s partial-birth abortion ban and voted to keep PBA legal in Planned Parenthood v. New Jersey and you commended him for that ruling because he was merely following “the long-established principle” of “precedent.” But there is an older legal precedent “Thou shall not murder.” And when judges violate that standard, the nation has become lawless. After World War II, the Allies convicted German judges whose defense for ruling to kill the innocent was that they had follow­ed precedent and the law. Moral relativism and legal positivism are no defense. And setting aside God’s prohibition of murder is humanism. Over the years Dr. Dobson, you have slid to where you now advocate the legal theory of the defendants at Nuremberg.


            Imagine the horror to come now that our greatest Christian leaders are willing to call good evil and evil good.


False Claims from Focus

Our Open Letter campaign has led many leaders in the pro-life movement to concede that this ban has no authority to save a single child. However, your organization has made one similar admission, but has not retracted the false claims quoted in this letter.


When we learned that Focus on the Family staff was falsely informing supporters that this so-called PBA ban has outlawed abortions in the third trimester, we recorded our own call to 800-A-FAMILY and posted online that call with Susan from your correspond­ence depart­ment. She told us that with this PBA ruling, “The U.S. Supreme Court made it illegal for women to have an abortion in the last trimester.” Online at KGOV.com, we also document other pro-life media outlets misrep­resenting this vicious ruling.


Following your example, many national ministries have spent years using the PBA ban to motivate financial donations, all the while misrepre­senting the legal effect of the ban. Today millions of Christians, including your own staff, have been deceived.


As a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Account­ability, Focus on the Family commits to practice “Truth­fulness in Communication: All representations of fact… must be current, complete, and accu­rate. There must be no material… exaggerations of fact or use of misleading… com­mun­i­cation which would tend to create a false impression or mis­under­standing.” Yet your many claims contradict what the Court explicitly stated, that the PBA ban “does not on its face impose a substantial obstacle” to “late-term” abortion (p. 26). In fact, this ruling presents no obstacle at all.


As the founder of Focus on the Family, you are responsible for the truth of your organiza­tion’s statements. In truth, there is no good in this ruling: no precedent, no defense of life—only brutality and death.


More Wicked than Roe

Some pro-life leaders, when pressed privately, have long admitted this ban would not save lives, but that it would “keep the issue in the news,” as your vice president of Public Policy Tom Minnery has said.

This wicked ruling trivializes the dreadful account of killing a child whose arms and legs are wiggling outside the mother. Justice Kennedy quotes a nurse and then an abortionist (pp. 8-9). The nurse said, “The baby’s little fingers were clasping… his little feet were kicking. Then the doctor stuck the scissors in the back of his head… the baby’s arms jerked out.” The abortionist said, “For the staff to have to deal with a fetus that has ‘some viability to it, some movement of limbs, [is] always a difficult situation.’” And with wicked­ness, the “pro-life Justices” observe: “Some doctors may prefer not to disclose precise details of the means that will be used… Any number of patients facing imminent surgical procedures would prefer not to hear all details, lest the usual anxiety… become the more intense. This is likely the case with the abortion procedures here in issue” (p. 29).


Dr. Dobson, you should be appalled.


Focus on the Family and many organizations celebrate this wicked ruling to justify 15 years of wasted effort. Pro-lifers gave tens of millions of dollars in responding to countless fundraising pleas that mention the PBA ban. A major pro-life fund­raising firm, MDS Communications of Mesa, Arizona, told Colorado Right to Life’s vice president Leslie Hanks, “The PBA script gets the best results.” So the PBA ban does not end a single abortion, but has funded the pro-life industry.


Twenty million children have been killed in America during this long distraction, all in pursuit of a law that from the beginning never had the authority to ban a single abortion. Dr. Dobson, you and these other leaders should have warned Christians of all this, but instead you join together in calling evil good. Evil? Yes evil. The unborn child killed by the “reasonable alternative” procedures now coded into law by our own pro-life politicians will suffer even greater horror. For even this wicked court noted the objection, “that the standard D&E is in some respects as brutal, if not more, than the intact D&E [PBA].


What a mockery of the goodwill of rank-and-file pro-lifers. The concern of these “pro-life Justices” has nothing to do with the brutal­ity against the child but with improving “the public’s perception” (p. 30) of late-term abor­tion. Focus on the Family should not hide this truth.


Incrementalism is fine, but compromised incre­mentalism violates God’s enduring command, “Do not murder.” When you compromise on this fundamental law, you undermine the pro-life goal of re-establishing the personhood of the child and you cannot possibly foresee all the negative consequences. As some congratulate themselves, children suffer more horrifically with this ruling. And you “applaud the court.”


Beyond the children, your praise helps destroy the souls of the wicked Justices who enjoy the approval of Christian leaders. Then with hubris, these Justices demand that abortionists follow their new regulations of how to murder a child. We expect such evil from humanists. But for a Christian leader to give this false sense of security to judges and government offi­cials is an affront to God.


For a quarter century, the pro-life movement with your support, has adopted moral relativism and legal positivism, obsessing on process and overlooking funda­mental justice. You celebrate Gonzales v. Carhart which unequivocally affirms the “killing” of children as long as one follows its guidelines, for the end now justifies the means, and right and wrong have become negotiable. God did not design the Body of Christ to follow lawyers, talk show hosts or anyone who puts politics ahead of righteousness. We want to follow your lead, Dr. Dobson, but not in the direction you now head. We want to follow the standard in the 1990 pledge you made before hundreds of thous­ands at the Rally for Life in Washington, D.C.—the pledge to never support any effort that will intentionally “kill one innocent baby.”


Groups Celebrating this Evil Ruling

National Right to Life Committee

Americans United for Life

Christian Law Association

Family Research Council

Concerned Women for America

National Pro-Life Action Center

Christian Coalition

U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

D. James Kennedy’s Center for Reclaiming America

Jay Sekulow’s American Center for Law & Justice

Focus on the Family


Leaders Condemning this Evil Ruling

Alan Keyes (with all the signers below)

John Archibold, founding board member, AUL, NRTL

Jim Rudd, Covenant News

John Lofton, The American View

Eric Guttormson, TheologyOnline.com

Brian Martin, TheologyWeb.com

Jim Anderson, LifeCommercials.com

Cal Zastrow, Michigan Citizens for Life

Matt Trewhella, Missionaries to the Preborn

Brannon Howse, WorldviewTube, Christian Worldview Network

Steve Curtis, Former State Chair, Colo Republican Party

Ken and Jo Scott, ProLife Colorado

Gino Geraci, Calvary Chapel South Denver

Chuck Baldwin, Crossroad Baptist Church

Dr. Patrick Johnston, ProLifePhysicians.org

Prof. Charles Rice, Notre Dame Law School


Call to Action

Dr. Dobson, we ask you, your staff at Focus on the Family and all readers to do three things:

1)   Please take up the standard from your famous 1990 pledge and withhold support from any effort that would intentionally kill even one innocent baby.

2)   Learn to recognize and then oppose moral relativism in law, called legal positivism.

3)   Please go to Colorado RightToLife.org and sign their pledge entitled: 40 Years / 50 Million Dead / One Commitment to never compromise on God’s enduring com­mand “Do not murder.”


“There is a way that seems right to a man,” warns Proverbs 14:12, “but its end is the way of death.” Please repent, Dr. Dobson.



- Flip Benham, director, Operation Rescue / Operation Save America

- Tony Robinson, Birmingham, SupremeJustice.org

- Bob Enyart, pastor, Denver Bible Church

- Brian Rohrbough, president, Colorado Right to Life

- Father Tom Euteneuer, president, Human Life International

- Judie Brown, president, American Life League





                                                                                                          By Brian Rohrbough

This past month, five WND (“World Net Daily”) pieces have run regarding our widely-publicized open letters to Dr. James Dobson in which we document the 30-year failure of the pro-life movement. Long ago, National Right To Life devised a strategy of introducing laws to regulate child-killing, and now in order to defend those immoral tactics, many of our greatest Christian leaders have adopted the secular humanist principle of moral relativism. The bad fruit of all this is a federal judiciary stacked with Republican pro-choice judges who reject the personhood of the child, and who issue murderous rulings celebrated by pro-life leaders.

Focus on the Family’s Tom Minnery wrote (In defense of Dr. Dobson, June 7, 2007, WND) that, “my boss, Dr. James Dobson, praised the [partial-birth abortion] ruling on the grounds that it will save the lives of preborn children.  He was attacked ferociously by a small group of pro-lifers who say the ruling did no such thing.”

Four days later, Dr. Dobson himself acknowledged this claim of ours, in his monthly email message, that “Ending partial-birth abortion…does not save a single human life.” Under the pressure brought by our full-page open letters, other major pro-life leaders and organizations have been making the same concession. As reported in WND by Bob Unruh (War of words targets James Dobson , June 7, 2007), there is “the fact that the legal [PBA] ruling, itself, does not and cannot be used to proscribe [prohibit] a single abortion.”

Mr. Minnery characterized our open letter as a ferocious attack on Dr. Dobson, yet we actually wrote:

“Dr. Dobson. You have led many people to trust in Jesus Christ, so it is with love and great sadness that we admonish you. We want to follow your lead, Dr. Dobson, but not in the direction you now head. We want to follow the standard in the pledge you made before hundreds of thousands at the Rally for Life in Washington D.C. in 1990, to never support any effort that will intentionally ‘kill one innocent baby.’”

The New Testament Epistles are open letters, which admonish believers who have erred, including some by name, and including even well-known leaders like Barnabas and Peter (see Galatians 2). Those defending Dr. Dobson have been dishonest about the PBA ruling and can’t address the substance of our Open Letter or the ruling itself, but instead try to discredit us for exposing the truth. We are sure that Dr. Dobson would reject the suggestion that he is above criticism. The signers of the open letters include stalwarts of the pro-life movement such as Judie Brown of American Life League, the Rev. Tom Euteneuer of Human Life International which operates in 80 countries from 99 offices, our own Colorado Right To Life which preceded National RTL, and the Rev. Flip Benham, director of the world’s most well-known anti-abortion activist group, Operation Save America/Operation Rescue.

As we continue to publish our open letters in major newspapers like the Washington Times and conservative publications like Human Events, pro-life leaders are asking to add their names to the list of the original fifteen who condemn the recent PBA ruling as wicked. Why? Since it was introduced fifteen years ago, the partial-birth abortion ban as a fundraiser has brought in 250 million dollars to the pro-life industry; as a ban it never had the authority to save a single innocent child.

Last month, forty floors above National Right To Life’s annual convention in Kansas City Missouri, we hosted a hospitality suite at the Hyatt Regency for NRTL members. We documented the hundreds of pro-life activists and leaders who spent hours with us, who were devastated to learn that they were misled about the PBA “victory,” which requires only a four-inch variation in the gruesome technique of killing the partially-born child. In Gonzales v. Carhart, the so-called “pro-life Justices” produced a virtual manual instructing abortionists on how to perform legal partial-birth abortions using what they call “reasonable alternative procedures” (p. 33), grotesquely ruling that “the removal of a small portion [‘say, an arm or leg’] of the fetus is not prohibited” (p. 22).

This evil ruling imposes greater suffering on the unborn and is more brutally wicked than standard PBA. Those celebrating this murderous ruling grope in the dark for justification, claiming as Mr. Minnery does that, now, “it will be nearly impossible for abortionists to run to federal court” … “without real facts and circumstances.” However, back in 1973, when the Supreme Court presumably would require “real people in real circumstances,” Roe v. Wade and its companion case, Doe v. Bolton were rendered based upon the lies of the emerging child-killing industry. According to WND’s own reporting, “Both [Sandra] Cano and [Norma] McCorvey are attempting to overturn the two abortion cases that bear their names, each claiming their case was based on fraud” ( Supremes to reconsider landmark abortion case, Sept. 29, 2006, WND).

Nothing of substance has changed. Judges and abortionists who reject a child’s God-given right to life have a limitless capacity to embrace lies. Pro-life activists led the women of Roe and Doe to repentance, and can possibly lead the nation to repentance, but not by misrepresentations or with the moral relativist strategy of regulating child killing. As long as conservatives defend and nominate judges who reject personhood, we will continue to kill another unborn child every minute. The National Right To Life humanist strategy of regulating child-killing violates God’s enduring command, Do not murder, and it drags Christian leaders into the sewer of secular humanism and moral relativism.

Forty years ago, Colorado’s Republican Governor John Love signed America’s first permissive abortion law for rape, incest and health. Now, Colorado Right To Life has joined a growing national pro-life coalition in hopes that we can lead the way out of the wilderness. Please consider both sides of the debate by reading for yourself our open letter to Dr. Dobson, and please commit yourself to never compromise on God’s command, Do not murder!

Sadly I must remind Mr. Minnery and the others praising this ruling that the only “vicious attack” is on the children who are murdered through abortion. And to those who say that we offer criticism but no suggestions I invite you to read the WND article from July 6 ,2007 “Matters of Life and Death. The CRTL board has endorsed this personhood proposal because it can end abortion without authorizing some to be murdered in order to try to save others. I remain available to debate any of these fine columnists on this life and death issue.


Brian Rohrbough is president of Colorado Right To Life. Seven years after Brian’s son Danny Rohrbough was murdered at Columbine High School, he became the president of their state’s largest pro-life group, ColoradoRightToLife.org. Rohrbough takes it personally when people advocate the killing of innocent children. He is a nationally recognized leader in the effort to legitimately end abortion without compromise.