“41 And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.”
So your argument to me is that the proximity of Jesus to Elizabeth’s fetus certainly and in no event could have produced anything extraordinary, divine, or miraculous? Or is the point of this passage precisely that?
Are you asserting that it doesn't matter if a fetus has a soul, and that it is worthy because it has the potential to have a soul?
No. Though I will say that the talk about a 'soul' entering a fetus at some point thus making it human is most often a means people use to excuse their aborting of it since they just got in under the wire: Hey, it didn't have a soul so it wasn't human so I didn't murder it so I shouldn't have to feel bad about it.
The origin of this is probably the story of God breathing into Adam and Adam becoming a 'living soul'. Notice, though, God didn't breathe life into Eve. Her life was derived from Adam's. So does that mean that women (or Eve) have no soul?
Some would say (and I have heard them say it), well, it's when they start breathing that the spirit enters into them. If that's so, then they can't use God's breathing into Adam as the justification for the concept of breathing in air as the vehicle of soul delivery. God may have breathed into Adam, but he doesn't do it for anyone else. There is no such doctrine taught in the Bible.
For that matter, all air-breathing animals are described in Genesis as having 'the breath of life', but they are described as being qualitatively different than Adam and Eve. The animals having the 'breath of life' doesn't constitute their getting a soul and being human because of it. The word translated as 'living soul' isn't referring to the concept of an immortal spirit anyway. It's better translated as 'living being'.
Besides, as far as what the Bible teaches about the unborn, it is about as far as one can get from an idea of the unborn child not being human: "Lord, you knew me before I ever was; before I put on flesh, you knew me." The unborn John was said to have leapt in Elizabeth's womb for joy at hearing Mary's salutation. This doesn't support the unbreathing non-souled fetus hypothesis.
But maybe that happened after 'quickening', after the soul entered the fetus. "quickening" is another idea used to excuse abortions, as though before this point the fetus was inert and soulless, after which it was obviously active and living. This is merely a matter of phenomenology. Though there may be a point before which a woman can feel the fetus move, there is not a point before which the fetus isn't actively developing according to its own time table. Weird, though not surprising, that people should use some point where something about the fetus becomes obvious to them as the point before which they can feel comfortable in deciding to off it. If obviousness is the criterion, then the obviousness of the missed menstruation should be enough. And, also not surprisingly, it is enough for those who were anxiously hoping for conception. That point marks for them the beginning of their child.
Another interesting thing about people arguing for abortion is the issue of 'viability' by which they mean 'capable of living without relying on the mother'. Now, if someone throws a lazy, insolent 18-year-old out of the house, some would likely say that he had it coming and that the parent wasn't being particularly evil because an 18-year-old should be able to start fending for himself. The same action at earlier and earlier ages is progressively seen as more irresponsible on the parents' part, even leading to child protective service intervention, removal of the child, or jail. However, in the case of an unborn child anything goes. Some would argue that abortions shouldn't take place after the fetus is 'viable', but this simply is saying "You can't kill it if it is capable of being cared for by someone other than yourself, but if it's totally dependent on you for its life, you may kill it with impunity." "No, Judge. I didn't murder the guy by letting him drop six stories to his death because I was holding onto his hand and his life was totally dependent on me."
The 'lack of soul' argument is a variation on the 'it doesn't look human yet, so it probably isn't' argument. I call that ontogenocentrism. It's sort of like ethnocentrism. Many tribes' names for themselves translate as 'the people', 'the humans'. Those outside are considered to be outside the human classification, or at least outside 'true civilized humanity'. That thing living in dirt and filth with bones through its nose isn't civilized, though maybe with a lot of work it could be. That little 8 week old fetus doesn't look completely human, so it probably isn't, yet, though maybe it eventually could be. For that matter, if you were to scale up a newborn to adult size, it would look like some Hollywood horror. People categorize and make distinctions that don't necessarily have any ontological borders. So when people talk about a fertilized egg not being a hen or an acorn not being a tree, they are sidestepping the issue. A fertilized egg is not a hen, but both are equally chicken. An acorn isn't a tree, but both are equally oak. At conception, a genetically unique individual comes into existence and continues through time sometimes over a hundred years. At various stages it is called various names, but at all stages it is fully human.
The so-called 'abortion debate' is one place where one can see that which is one of humanity's defining characteristics--the ability to dream up a reason for anything it wants to do. The question so few people seem to go on to ask is why people feel so compelled to have a need for self-justification in order to offset self-loathing.