Middle ground

I find that I can’t change enough for religion. I still find value in religion and the Catholic one in particular. But I guess I’m still too much of a moral relativist at heart and I can’t change that.

Have I come to believe that abortion is taking a life? Technically yes. If it has a heartbeat and totally separate DNA, then I do think a fetus is distinct from the mother.

But the fact remains that if you have a 3-month-old baby in one hand and a fetus at 3 months’ gestation in the other and you can only save one, obviously you’re going to save the the baby that’s already born.

I’ve always had kind of a pro-life stance but it was consistent across the board. Technically I feel like I should still be a vegetarian for the same reason. I’m also anti-death penalty and anti-euthanasia. Now that I’m dealing with a disabling disease, I’m deeply troubled by what it means that many people choose to abort babies with disabilities.

Really, the whole thing is such a gray area for me that it’s hard to take a hardline stand. No, I don’t support the “shout your abortion” movement. I get that they’re trying to reduce stigma about a common procedure. But I personally feel like celebrating it is too callous.

But on the other hand, I have huge problems with people who say abortion is the single most important political cause–on either side. I get why the Democrats are trying so hard to protect it: because it’s legitimately threatened. However, society has so many other huge problems that it doesn’t seem like abortion is the most important issue we face.

I don’t think that abortion is a “holocaust,” as many pro-lifers call it. I don’t think a fetus is the same as a baby after birth. I also know late-term abortions are very rare. The pro-life cause often uses sketchy statistics to make it sound like lots of people have late-term abortions for convenience reasons. But in truth those are usually very wanted babies and the parents grieve that they can’t have them.

I feel like I’m in this weird middle ground. I think a fetus is a life. I mean, it has a heartbeat within days after conception. By any scientific definition, I think it’s life. But how can we say that abortions (especially early abortions) are so tragic when I think a third of pregnancies end in early miscarriage, usually before the woman knows she’s pregnant? Does that make God the ultimate abortionist?

This issue is obviously very close to me because I opted not to abort my last child, a very unplanned pregnancy at a very bad time. Keeping that pregnancy changed my life in many ways, both good and bad. I can say that it made me understand that the issue could not be black and white.

And that’s probably the biggest problem I have with my religion: it forces me to take a harsher stand on this issue than I actually feel. For me, the issue is far too nuanced to take a strong stance on either side.

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