**Warning: I am going to stray into a politically charged issue with this post. I usually don't do this. But it all ties into certain things that happened and are happening in my own life. So please forgive me for going here. Read if you like, feel free to click past this post if you don't.
When I was in college, I was what I shall call "Pro-other people's choice". Abortion was something that I would never do myself, however I felt that another woman should have the option in the first trimester if she needed to. My argument for this was things such as rape and incest. I personally could not imagine having to carry and deliver a baby conceived in such a way. (As an aside, I still cannot. This feeling has only intensified as I have carried and delivered my own children that were conceived in love, not hate, violence, or selfishness. I still struggle with this aspect because I am not perfect. I pray about this conflict constantly. But I do believe that a mother who bears a child conceived in this manner rather than abort is simply the most loving and selfless person that I could ever imagine.) I argued that if you make abortion legal for only those circumstances such as rape and incest, the process of proving the case for the abortion would delay the woman from receiving care in an a prompt time frame. I was TOTALLY opposed to abortion as birth control, but totally opposed to making a woman suffer for crimes committed against her. Ah, to be young and in a liberal arts college!!!
Fast forward to my marriage to my Catholic husband and my first pregnancy. I had always thought that the Catholic view of birth control and pro-life issues was something like what my mother had always told me: "They just want you to make more Catholics". Yep, it sure sounded like it on the surface. Then I started getting more interested in Catholicism and started reading the real views of the Catholic Church. It was SO MUCH MORE than that! Then came my pregnancy and my sudden, life-changing realization that the baby growing inside of me was it's own life as important as my own. My heart started changing. It ached for the babies who's mothers aborted them for no reason other than they found out that they became pregnant when they didn't want to. I went from being "pro-other people's choice" to being more pro-life. In fact, the Catholic Church's view on life issues is one of the things that first attracted me to the faith and started me on my journey to conversion.
I strongly recommend that people of all faiths read John Paul II's "Theology of the Body" writings or one of the companion books ("Theology" is some heavy reading! There are some great companion books out there that help break it down.) It was life changing for me. I cannot touch bases on all of the topics that are covered in the Catholic view of life, but this book brings it all into perspective in a way that I feel crosses over into all denominations. I was able to see how all aspects of life tie together, cannot be seperated, and influence everything. Ok, I am not doing this justice in trying to explain it in my own words. Please consider exploring this on your own! It is worth every minute that you spend reading it. *If anyone knows any books that you would recommend, please feel free to leave them in the comment section. I am a new Catholic and I am sure that I am not explaining this well and not listing the best books out there on the subject.
I could try to write poetically about the changes that I have gone through over the years. But this article does it so much better than I could ever dream of doing it myself. If you are interested in life issues and the Catholic perspective, consider taking a moment to read this.
Have a great Fourth of July weekend in case I am not back before then!!!