Update, same day: See Laura Bruno commentary below this post. It deepens the ensoulment discussion considerably!
Note: see yesterday’s post.
Back when I was a kid, my Dad, a physician, took over an office building that, he discovered, had sheltered an illegal abortion clinic in its dark, dingy basement. This was in the ’50s, before Wade vs. Roe.
The discovery was sickening: for the women who were forced to find some kind of illegal way to abort unwanted pregnancies; for the “abortion provider” who may have wounded his or or her own soul over and over again by performing this practice; and possibly, for the souls of the child/fetus that were forced not to incarnate. This last item is disputable. Who knows when the soul enters the body?
Down through history there have been many theories as to just when “ensoulment” occurs. Both Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas, for example, assumed 40 days for boys; Aristotle put ensoulment at 90 days for girls, and Aquinas changed that to 80 days.
Some assume that ensoulment occurs at the moment of “quickening.”
In a more woo-woo vein, I found the answer to this question on a quora thread interesting:
Then I grew up, and with my very first sexual experience, got pregnant. And, because I was too embarrassed to go to the doctor to find out if I really was pregnant (and if so, have an abortion) and so instead hastily married the father, I became an advocate for first trimester abortion, if needed by the mother for any reason. To me then, and me now, a woman’s body is her own. Despite the Catholic Church’s condemnation of both contraception (except for the notoriously uncertain “rhythm method”) and abortion, I knew in my bones, that I was simply not meant to have another child.
After Sean was born, I nursed him full-time (no other food or drink) for nine months. This practice, besides feeding the baby the way he was meant to be fed, was also an effective contraceptive. But, as a good Catholic girl, I then needed to make a decision: do I contravene the church teachings and start on the pill? YES. This decision, to my mind, threw me out of the church, for which I was increasingly grateful as time went on. So yes, I started on the pill. But I didn’t wait long enough to have sex meanwhile. In fact, my then husband forced himself on me (yes, raped me) during those first two weeks while the pill was supposedly getting up to speed. And yes, I got pregnant again! Nine months later, my second child, Colin, was born.
So both times I could get pregnant, I did get pregnant. As a very young woman I was, obviously, extremely fertile.
And now, I am so intensely grateful for my two sons! And find it difficult to believe that I didn’t want either of them at the time. This, to me, I can say now, was in part due to my own nature being so fiery and independent that the very thought of even one child dependent on me felt like imprisonment; and in part due to the fact that I would need to do a lot of healing internally, regarding my own childhood with a mother who also could not nurture during my early and most vulnerable years, due to her depression and fear that my father would never return from World War II.
As a woman, I know just how much this issue of abortion and contraception comes up front and center during our child-bearing years. There are no easy answers. Each woman must face her own sexual nature full-on, and bear the consequences, no matter what, day and night, for approximately 30 years! I find it very unfortunate that this issue has been so crassly politicized. And not only politicized, but, we are only now discovering, cheapened into sheer evil by money market forces.
Our sexual natures are utterly sacred. Our bodies, in their prime, exhibit the primal life force in a manner that is both so mysterious and magical, that it’s hard to recognize just how far, in this culture, we have strayed from our natural communion with the regenerative capacity of Mother Earth.
Here are two more posts that further illustrate yesterday’s offering.
On those market forces, see this:
And just yesterday:
President Trump Makes Extensive Remarks during White House Roundtable on Human Trafficking (Video and Transcript)