Talking About the Terrible "It"
What do you do when your talking about an unborn baby? You know, your talking on the phone with Suzy about Mary's pregnancy when you suddenly come to the crisis of what do you call the unborn child. OK. Normally you don't think of it as a crisis--- but seriously now. Which of these sentences would you most naturally and most likely say:
(Referring to the unborn baby)
A. "How old is it?"
B. "How old is he/she?"
C. "How old is your fetus?"
It depends on what you believe and how brainwashed by society you have become that would depend on your answer. Do you believe that an unborn child is a child? Or do you believe that the child is an "it"---not a child but a thing? Do you believe that this unborn human is simply a clump of tissues referred to as a fetus? If you believe that the baby is not a person, I ask you, when does "it" become a person? At birth? But the baby's heartbeat begins on the 21st day after conception, and electrical brain waves have been recorded as early as forty days after conception. So what exact moment does the "it" become a somebody??? It's a question people have pondered for a very long time, but there is a simple answer: Life begins at conception. Period. God gives each individual their soul at that exact moment. It's not when the baby is born, or when the parents take the child home. It's at the exact moment of conception. In the Bible in Jeremiah 1:5 it says: "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations." The Catechism of the Catholic Church says, "Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person- among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life." (CCC 2270) (Bold marks added)
The Catechism really nails the point here. It says that at conception an unborn baby should be recognized as a human and have every human right. We would never think of calling a toddler and "it", so why should we to an unborn baby. If the sex of the child is unknown, it is appropriate to simply call the child "him". Please, I know it's hard for some of us to stop using this terrible pronoun, but please, never call a child "it"!