I consider myself a father now although my daughter is still in my wife’s womb. There is good “scientific” reasons for this, like the size, shape, human features, muscular control of my daughter’s body by her mind (kicks, movement), but all this is so cold. The whole tendency to only scientifically look at things is so narrow a window. What about relationship, the wonder of new life, and communion in heart and soul in the father and the mother towards our daughter, and towards one another around this new life. Are these to be disdainfully dismissed because “science” is somehow the supreme way of viewing things even though what makes us feel most alive as humans is often not understanding things in a scientific analysis. Sliding down a waterpark ride is thrilling and makes me feel alive; doing the math to calculate what scientifically is happening when I slide down is a distant shadow of the experience. Love between two people is earth shaking; scientifically looking at love between two people as natural selection, reproduction, and the continuation of the species is not.
Lydia is a person with her own identity beyond either my wife or me. This is not manifest until Lydia is born, but what is readily needed for a person to be a person is being created there even if not separate from my wife’s body yet. Said differently, Lydia is distinct from my wife right now although not separate (like the Trinity, I’d remind you). God is knitting Lydia together in my wife’s womb; truly a marvel this is! Lydia will have both my features and Gloria’s, physically as well as character-wise.
Aside from the typical arguments against abortion made in public political discourse, I want to make a plea. Please consider people as persons, not as scientific objects. Please don’t confuse a baby-in-the-womb with a woman’s body; this baby is distinct even if not yet separate. Please embrace your own humanity, for heaven’s sake, enjoying all it is to be human by experiencing people as people, babies-in-the-womb as marvelous others, and not as “scientific masses of molecules, electricity, and energy.” Do you not know that you depersonalize yourself when you depersonalize others, whether adults or babies-in-the-womb?
I am a father, and if you’re an expecting man or woman, you are a mother or a father too. I am a man, you are a woman, and we are dignified in each act of “life-giving” we do, whether in terms of family, supporting others, or building them up. Life-elimination is poison to our own souls.