Back when I was in my free wielding twenties, okay they were not so free as I had two kids and a husband, I was ambivalent about abortion. In general I thought that it was wrong except for, well you know the drill, rape, life of the mother, yada, yada, yada.
Then I went to college. I encountered a most excellent professor of bio-ethics. His mission was to, at the very least, get us to be consistent in our reasoning.
So he went around the classroom and asked every student pointed questions. Mine was do you agree with the death penalty. My response was “of course not”. And I defended my position. Then he asked do you think that abortion is ever morally permissible.
That is when I answered something to the effect that it is an evil except when…. The good professor cut me off. He accused me of moral inconsistency. He was right. It made me rethink my position. That is the pivotal moment when I knew that I was wrong about abortion. That is probably the defining moment when I began to become a real Catholic Christian and not a just in case or cafeteria Catholic. I was just too stubborn to realize it for too many years.
And the funny thing is that I do not know if the professor, who instigated such a profound change in my thinking, was a believer. All that I know was that he was a staunch proponent of moral reasoning and moral consistency.
The sad thing is that while I can see his face in my memory, this giant of a teacher, I cannot for the life of me remember his name. That is truly sad because he taught me a lot about rational and ethical thought.
Jennifer, the author of the blog Conversion Diary,and who started out as an atheist, dealt with the question of abortion. When she and her husband were starting to check out Christianity, her husband said something profound (I think):
“It just occurred to me that being pro-life is being pro-other people’s-life,” he quipped. “Everyone is pro-their own-life.”
Exactly. Please read the whole thing here.
They both became Catholics by the way.