Jonathon van Maren

From the front lines of the culture wars

The abortion of JFK’s children was evil – but it’s also a tragic loss

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Did you know that John F. Kennedy had more than four children? That writers Christopher and Peter Hitchens had two other siblings? That Marilyn Monroe actually had a large number of children?

I’m not particularly fond of the argument that I’ve heard many pro-lifers use: “Abortion is wrong because of all the amazing people we’ve aborted. One of them could have had the cure to cancer!” Abortion is fundamentally wrong because it ends the life of a developing human being, whether that human being would turn out to be a drug addict or the president of the United States. However, it is an interesting thought experiment—not least of all because so many people considered heroes by the Left have aborted their children or had their children aborted.

For example, I think of liberal icon President John F. Kennedy. The Kennedy Family is probably the closest thing America had to a royal family, although revelations over the last several decades have rather firmly repudiated the idea of an impossibly happy Camelot, as historians reveal anecdote after sordid anecdote of relentless philandering. Anecdotes of President Kennedy’s devastation at the 1963 death of his two-day old son, Patrick, are well-documented. The Kennedys also lost a daughter in 1956—Arabella, as her parents intended to name her, was stillborn.

Revolutions famously do not discriminate in their grim reaping of human life. The Sexual Revolution is no different.

But stories abound of JFK’s affairs ending in abortions. Mimi Alford, a White House intern that JFK had a relationship with for over a year, reported that when she told the president she believed she was pregnant, he “took the news in his stride.” Shortly afterward, she was contacted by a White House staffer named Dave Powers, often assigned to protect the president’s reputation.

“An hour later,” Alford recalls, “Dave called the dorm and told me to call a woman who could put me in touch with a doctor in New Jersey. The intermediary was a necessary precaution, because abortion was illegal. That was pure Dave Powers: he handled the problem immediately, and with brute practicality. There was no talk about what I wanted, or how I felt, or what the medical risks might be.”

Another of JFK’s famous mistresses, Judith Campbell Exner, reported having an abortion in 1963 after becoming pregnant by the president. Not all Kennedys, it seems, end up in Washington, D.C. Some of them end up in trash cans behind seedy clinics, victims of their parents’ sexual ideology.

Another icon of the Left that comes to mind when I think of the human cost of abortion is the late author and columnist Christopher Hitchens. Fans of the Hitch are fierce in their devotion, with his brother Peter, a well-known conservative author, noting that his brother’s fans often burn with fanatical hatred against him, furious that a conservative Christian (who wrote his brilliant book The Rage Against God partially in response to his brother’s philosophically feeble atheist tome God Is Not Great) could bear the same last name as their hero. Both brothers are extraordinary writers and journalists, having collectively written dozens of books and published essays and columns in the most prestigious publications.

What many people don’t realize is that there were originally four Hitchens siblings, not two. As Christopher relates in his Vanity Fair essay “Fetal Distraction”:

I was in my early teens when my mother told me that a predecessor fetus and a successor fetus had been surgically removed, thus making me an older brother rather than a forgotten whoosh.

Christopher noted further that at least two children of his own had their lives ended by abortion, recalling sombrely that, “at least once I found myself in a clinic while ‘products of conception’ were efficiently vacuumed away. I can distinctly remember thinking, on the last such occasion, that under no persuasion of any kind would I ever allow myself to be present at such a moment again.”

Perhaps this was because Christopher Hitchens allowed himself no illusion, writing that, “Anyone who has ever seen a sonogram or spent even an hour with a textbook on embryology knows that emotions are not the deciding factor. In order to terminate a pregnancy, you have to still a heartbeat, switch off a developing brain, and, whatever the method, break some bones and rupture some organs.”

Although to my knowledge Peter Hitchens has never addressed the fact of his aborted siblings in print, on abortion he has much to say. “Those who wonder what they would have done had they lived at the time of some terrible injustice now know the answer,” he has said. “We do live in such a time. And we do nothing.”

When considering the lives and careers of the Hitchens brothers we know, we cannot help but wonder what the lives of the two that we do not would have been like.

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The list of politicians, writers, and cultural figures who have discarded their own children are myriad. Comedian Chelsea Handler has talked openly about having an abortion. Sharon Osbourne calls having an abortion at seventeen the mistake of her life. According to author Norman Mailer, the tragic Marilyn Monroe had twelve abortions by her late-twenties. Whoopi Goldberg of The View, Lucille Ball of I Love Lucy, Judy Garland of The Wizard of Oz all aborted children. Ava Gardner reportedly aborted two of Frank Sinatra’s children, while the smut-peddling rapper ‘Lil Kim aborted the Notorious B.I.G’s child, which they conceived during an affair. Famed singer Sinead O’Connor had an abortion while on tour in Minneapolis.

It’s especially bizarre, I think, when those on the Left turn out to enthusiastically celebrate any new revelation of a cultural figure having an abortion. The more they admire the person, it seems the happier they are at the “courage” of said person having had an abortion. A bit unintentionally insulting, don’t you think? I admire you so much! I’m so glad you terminated a child that might have had your talent or been a lot like you!

Revolutions, however, famously do not discriminate in their grim reaping of human life. The Sexual Revolution is no different, even though we’ve replaced guillotines with Planned Parenthood clinics. The crowds cheered both, and the similarity between a howling mob and a pro-choice rally is striking to say the least. Perhaps it is Peter Hitchens who has the best explanation: “I think that abortion is much beloved by revolutionaries,” he noted gravely, “because they always like the mob to get their hands in blood and commit some sort of crime of their own.”

Abortion is evil because it violently destroys a human being. But one of the reasons abortion is tragic is that it has robbed us of so many who might have given so much to humanity.

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This photo isn't "nice." It makes me intensely uncomfortable. As it should. And that's why it helped contribute to the end of slavery.

History’s greatest social reformers weren’t ‘nice.’ Pro-lifers shouldn’t be either.

Jonathon van Maren Jonathon van Maren Follow Jonathon
By Jonathon van Maren

If there’s any word I’ve grown to hate during my years of pro-life work, it’s the word “nice.” We must be “nice,” people urge us. If we are not “nice,” our activism and our outreach will fail. If we are not “nice,” then no one will change their minds on abortion or listen to us. If we are not “nice,” we will never achieve a pro-life consensus.

This is, quite bluntly, not true. We must be compassionate, absolutely. We must be charitable, without doubt. We must be truthful—this is essential. If that is what we mean when we use the word “nice,” then I agree completely. But that is not what the critics of pro-life activism actually mean.

They mean we are being controversial. And indeed, how can we not be? The majority of Canadians, for example, are pro-choice. And further, a majority of Canadians do not want to discuss the abortion issue at all, for obvious reasons. Abortion is a very uncomfortable topic. The gruesome reality of abortion—that it results in the physical destruction of a developing human being—is shocking and disturbing. People do not like being shocked and disturbed, and thus they prefer the discussion that conjures up such feelings to go away. The debate be “closed,” abortion advocates like to prematurely announce.

And they also mean we are being confrontational. But again, how can we not be? We live in a nation that has been more or less at peace, with the exception of a dedicated minority, with the fact that we have ended the lives of more than three million tiny humans, shredded in the womb and discarded like so much garbage. Indeed, for the most part, we are even at peace with the fact that the Canadian government garnishes our wages to fund this barbarism. Even the words seem shocking—these are not very “nice” things to say. And yet, they are true and must be spoken. Lives literally depend on it.

But Canadians don’t respond well to such controversial tactics as exposing the reality of abortion through powerful imagery, we are told. This, of course, simply isn’t true—thousands of face-to-face conversations with Canadians about abortion have shown us that while they may not want to have the discussion, many of them change their minds on this issue when that discussion takes place. I have photos of babies that were, once upon a time, scheduled to be aborted by “nice” Canadian doctors as proof of that.

In the context of abortion, the much-vaunted Canadian politeness is invoked as a reason to avoid confrontation. I’d like to think that Canadians are not so polite that they would avoid waking up their neighbor to inform him that his house is burning down. Shouts of warning may disturb his slumber, yes, but sometimes our comfort can prove lethal.

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It is important to remember that when we bring up a disturbing topic like abortion, violent reaction is often inevitable. That is not a by-product of using abortion imagery, it is a by-product of the violence abortion culture brings with it. One of my friends was punched in the face for sidewalk-chalking friendly pro-life messages. A woman at Life Chain in Toronto was assaulted by a man furious that someone was exposing the truth about abortion. And as any pro-life activist engaging the public in any way can attest, the subject alone is the source of tension that we know must exist. It is, after all, why we’re doing outreach in the first place.

As the philosopher Arthur Schopenauer once said, “All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as self-evident.” Unfortunately, many people want to skip from being ridiculed to being vindicated, without accepting the inevitable persecution that will occur first.

We seem to have forgotten the history of social reform movements, and the hardships and backlash that activists had to endure in the past. Because Martin Luther King Jr., and William Wilberforce, and Lewis Hine, are all considered heroes now, we forget that in their day, they were often widely despised and hated. King and the Civil Rights activists endured a level of physical violence that pro-lifers can scarcely imagine. Wilberforce’s abolitionists were regularly threatened, and his right-hand man Thomas Clarkson was once nearly thrown off the docks in Liverpool by angry slave traders. Lewis Hine, the photographer who displayed pictures of child laborers, was opposed by the forces of American industry who despised him for his exposure of their brutal practices. And I could list so many more.

None of these men, none of these activists, none of these movements were considered “nice.” Using shocking imagery and disturbing evidence, they forced a cultural discussion that nobody wanted to have. They confronted their societies with truths no one wanted to hear. They suffered much ridicule, hatred, and even violence as the result of that. All of them were warned that their tactics would not succeed because they were controversial, or divisive, or “not nice.” But they recognized that without confronting the culture, they would never change the culture.

When pro-life activists engage in campaigns like our #No2Trudeau Campaign, where we plan to distribute a million pieces of literature highlighting the legal destruction of human life in Canada, make thousands of phone calls to Canadians on this issue, and work to rebuild a pro-life consensus in this country, we realize that the politicians will be uncomfortable. We realize that many people will not want to discuss this most important of issues. And we realize that abortion activists and the media will do everything in their power to discredit what we are doing and to downplay any results.

But pro-lifers have to realize that controversy is inevitable, that confrontation is necessary, and that backlash is inevitable. Millions of Canadians have no idea what abortion is. Abortion culture has flourished in darkness. And when you turn the light on in a room that has been dark for a very long time, often it hurts the eyes.

That may not be nice. But it is the truth.

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This man spends all day, EVERY day in front of this abortion clinic: and he has saved hundreds of lives

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By Jonathon van Maren

Of the many pro-life heroes I’ve had the privilege of meeting, one man always stands out to me for sheer humility and relentless dedication. His name is John Barros, and for ten years, he’s been standing out in front of an abortion clinic in Orlando, Florida, calling out to the women and girls going through the doors, begging them to change their minds, begging them not to abort their babies. Hundreds have listened to him.

I was with a team of volunteers, debating students in front of a pro-life display on campus at the University of Central Florida. John Barros dropped by our display, and we decided that the day before we left Florida we’d join John outside the abortion clinic.

I’ve been outside an abortion clinic all day—the Morgentaler Clinic in Edmonton—so I thought I had a pretty good idea of what I was in for. But being in front of the Morgentaler clinic was a combination of depression and anger, because there was nothing we could do. We couldn’t even call out, because the cops were there waiting to arrest us if we did. Watching girl after girl walk into the clinic with their Ken Doll husbands and boyfriends was brutal.

At the Orlando Women’s Centre, John Barros was waiting with a few Bible College students. He was thrilled to see us, which I thought was kind of confusing. We’ve never done sidewalk counselling before, and don’t really know what we’re doing. But young people spending time in front of the abortion clinic just made him so happy that I had to smile.

Any smiling was pretty short-lived. The girls started showing up, some of them visibly pregnant. Many of them had been here yesterday and had their baby injected with poison. The late-term procedures usually take at least two days. In ten years, John tells us, only two girls have taken him up on his offer to go to the hospital to get the process reversed. It’s these procedures that are the worst, because the doctor often has to try different things to speed up labor. That way the girls can deliver the dead baby, give him his money, and be on their way.

“You have no idea what kind of demons live in this place,” he told us. “Sometimes the doctor has rap pounding out in the parking lot, and has the pregnant girls marching around to make labor go faster. Get those knees up! Faster! It’s evil. It’s awful.”

A few girls leave the clinic to walk around and speed up labor. It’s brutal to see. One girl starts tearing up a bit, but keeps her composure for the most part. Others walk past quickly, heads down. My friend Alex is biting his lip. Occasionally as one girl marches past, trying desperately to ignore everyone, the scene swims for a bit. Blinking helps.

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The stream of girls coming slows a bit, which is a bit of a relief. Then another car pulls up. “They keep coming!” John says, lurching to his feet with some pamphlets. They keep coming. That statement rang through my head for the rest of the day.

With each girl that shows up, John starts calling out and begging. Don’t do this. What do you need? We can give you any help you need. Medical care. A place to stay. Mom, protect your daughter. Don’t do this. Be a real friend. This doctor destroyed a girl just this week. Use your smartphone, Google “Orlando clinic reopens.” He’s wrecking girls in there. Don’t kill your baby.

I wonder how he does it. As each woman begins approaching the clinic, you start praying hard. And as they pass each pro-lifer and enter the clinic anyway, your heart hits the bottom of your stomach with a sick feeling and you blink a few times. Only six inches of brick and drywall separating you from the unspeakable carnage we’ve been showing people all week.

John points to one of the parked cars. “See that? This is why I’m so happy you’re here. This is why we need you changing minds on abortion.” I didn’t see what he was talking at first, so he pointed closer. It was a bumper sticker. UCF. University of Central Florida. John nodded. “We need you there [at the university] so they don’t end up here.” It was a sobering thought. I guess we must have missed them.

When the stream of people heading for what John calls the “house of madness” slows, he gets his bullhorn to preach. He knows from experience that they can hear every single word he says in the waiting room and in the operating group. And dozens of women and girls have left the clinic after listening to his words, in tears and no longer willing to kill their babies.

Don’t make yourself guilty of this. I’m here to help. I’ll give you anything you need. I’ve driven girls to safe houses in Tennessee, so if it’s a boyfriend that’s the problem, I can help. Guys, be a real man. Protect her. Please, come out.

No one comes out. It’s time to sing, John tells us. That helps sometimes.

He gets out some hymnals.  We cluster together with the two seminarians, stand out in front of the clinic and begin to sing. Abide With Me. Come Thou Fount. Crown Him With Many Crowns. A hugely pregnant girl in a red jumpsuit walks by and into the clinic. We start singing again. Amazing Grace. A few minutes later, and the door opens. She comes back out. John meets her at the curb and talks to her and a fellow in the van that pulls up. The van pulls away a few moments later, and the couple are waving all the way down the street.

“It was the singing!” John tells us. “Praise God, she’s keeping her baby! Seven months along, changed her mind, they’re so happy, did you see that? Look they’re still wavin’!” He laughs, and it’s gruff, but it sounds light and bubbly. There are hugs and warm looks and hurting, teary smiles. John turns to me.

“Isn’t it amazing what God will do if you just show up?”

If we just show up. Isn’t that the truth?

I’m so, so tired. I had no idea that the clinic was going to drain me that much. But it really did. I don’t know how John shows up, day in, day out. But he does. And God has used him to save hundreds of babies already. And when I asked him why he joined the pro-life movement, he replied, “God didn’t call me to the pro-life movement. God called me to forty feet of sidewalk, and I haven’t left since.”

A servant serving the least of these, and an example to all of us. 

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Russell Brand just destroyed porn in one of the most jaw-droppingly awesome rants ever

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By Jonathon van Maren

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It turns out even a broken clock is right twice a day. The notorious pseudo-revolutionary and unfunny British comedian Russell Brand has come out with a new video on his online “news” show The Trews—and it’s dedicated to a succinct, intelligent, and broad-ranging condemnation of pornography.

Admitting the truth about pornography—that it is dangerously unhealthy and promotes rape culture—is becoming increasingly mainstream. But for someone like Russell Brand—star of several pseudo-pornographic films, purveyor of yawningly stereotypical left-wing tropes, and admittedly having led a very promiscuous lifestyle—to detail the dangers of pornography in such an honest and open way is impressive to say the least.

And honest and open he was.

Brand begins the video by bemoaning the popularity of the "Fifty Shades of Grey" film, calling it “soft-core porn.” Soft-core porn, he notes, is changing the way we relate to one another.

“Our attitudes towards sex have become warped and perverted,” Brand ranted, “and have deviated from its true function as an expression of love and a means for procreation. Because our acculturation—the way we’ve designed it and expressed it—has become really, really, confused.”

If you’re wondering if that was, in fact, Russell Brand who said that, I double-checked just to be sure. It was.

“I heard a quote from a priest that said ‘pornography isn’t a problem because it shows too much, it’s a problem because it shows too little,” Brand told his audience. But this “priest” wasn’t intending to say that porn should feature more “filthy shots of things,” Brand noted. He was saying that “porn reduces the spectacle of sex to a kind of extracted physical act.”

With impressive honesty and vulnerability, Brand pulled out a list of statistics detailing the negative aspects of pornography.

Exaggerated perception of sexuality in society?

“I think that a bit!”

Diminished trust between intimate couples?

“I get that sometimes.”

The abandonment of hope for sexual monogamy?

“Sometimes I wonder if it’s possible!”

The belief that promiscuity is the natural state?

“I don’t want to have that belief! I was obsessed with porn when I was a teenager.”

But talking about porn magazines in 2015 sounds almost nostalgic, Brand admitted. “Now there’s just icebergs of filth floating through every house on Wi-Fi. It’s inconceivable what it must be like to be an adolescent boy now with this kind of access to porn. It must be dizzying and exciting, yet corrupting in a way we can’t even imagine.”

“I think my own past with pornography is the hub of my inner conflict and doubt,” Brand confessed. “I know pornography is wrong, and that I shouldn’t be looking at it, and that lots of people who are working in it are doing so for the wrong reasons—desperation, self-doubts - I’m sure there’s loads of people that work in porn that go, ‘Hey I love it! - but there’s a general feeling, isn’t there, in your core if you look at pornography that this isn’t what’s the best thing for me to do, this isn’t the best use of my time. I don’t put that laptop lid down and think, There! What a productive piece of time spent, connecting with the world!”

We’re lying, Brand stated firmly, if we pretend the “soft cultural smog” of pornography isn’t making it harder to relate to ourselves and to others. Porn—even soft-core porn—often leads directly to objectification.

“Guilty of that all of the time,” Brand admitted. “Because I’ve been acculturated and trained to. This is something I work on—but once that biological drive to procreate is connected to a culture of objectification, it’s a very hard equation to break… Because this powerful primal resource—whenever it’s plugged in—is jarring and distracting. I think what it is, is the circuit in the mind that’s connected to sexuality moves very, very quickly. The circuit that’s connected to love and compassion moves a little bit slower. So if you’re constantly bombarded by great waves of filth, it’s really difficult to remain connected to truth.”

To Brand, the impact of porn is apparent to anyone willing to take an honest look.

“I feel like if I had total dominion over myself I would never look at pornography again. I would kick it out of my life…Me, porn is not something I like, it’s not something I’ve been able to make a long-term commitment to not looking at, and it’s affecting my ability to relate to women, to relate to myself, to my own sexuality, to my own spirituality.”

And what about so-called “feminist” porn? It’s all porn that’s problematic, says Brand, not just male-centric porn. “Feminist pornography” is not the answer to misogyny. Porn is the problem, period. Creating female porn “is like trying to solve the problem of racism by inventing a word for white people by balck people that’s equally bad as the n-word. The direction we should be going in is how can we understand our sexuality, how can we express it lovingly, in harmony with the principles that it’s there to demonstrate—to procreation and sensual love between consenting adults.”

That’s not just Brand’s position. With one addition to that sentence—“between consenting adults within the context of marriage”—that’s the Christian position.

It’s not just Brand’s analysis that is a valuable contribution to the cultural discussion surrounding pornography. It’s also his willingness to be honest about the impact pornography has had on his life and his relationships and the way he sees the world. Brand is not a social conservative by any stretch of the imagination—he’s just someone who sees the way porn has changed him, and hates it. And it is because of people like him, people willing to be honest with themselves and others, that the cultural conversation is changing. Brand’s typical audience, I would venture to say, probably does not hear such a powerful statement on the evils of pornography very often.

As Brand and others who revelled in everything that the Sexual Revolution had to offer come forward to explain how it actually impacted them, our culture is forced to recognize truths they’ve been long ignoring. Treasured dogmas of the Sexual Revolution are crumbling before our eyes. They’ve had dominion over our culture for nearly half a century. But as people start recognizing what pornography does to them and reclaiming their dignity and their relationships, we can start moving in the right direction.

And what is the right direction? Attaining what Russell Brand wishes for himself: Dominion over our vices—so that we can root pornography out of our lives once and for all.

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The concept of 'legal personhood' has literally left a sea of corpses in its wake. So why do we continue to use it?

The shockingly bloody history of ‘legal personhood’

Jonathon van Maren Jonathon van Maren Follow Jonathon
By Jonathon van Maren

I’ve been on campus at the University of Central Florida this week with a team of volunteers, debating university students on the issue of abortion. One mark of our generation seems to come up in many of my conversations: An ignorance of history. “He who does not know the past,” John G. Diefenbaker once noted, “can never understand the present, and he certainly can do nothing for the future.” A prescient statement—in regards to abortion, we are destroying the future, child by butchered child.

Time and time again, students bring up the same tired arguments to support abortion. Once you’ve established the scientific basis for the pro-life position, they respond blithely, “Perhaps the child in the womb is a human being, but it’s not a person.”

“It that’s the case,” I respond, “Let’s take a look at when the concept of ‘legal personhood’ has been used as a device to deprive human beings of their human rights based on arbitrarily selected criteria.” The list is devastating.

They’re often stunned when I respond by telling them that they’re using discriminatory and exclusionary language: “What? Why?” I ask them to respond to one simple question: “Name one time in human history when the phrase 'legal personhood' was used to include or protect a group of people.”

Blank stares. Not a single student can name a single instance of the idea of “legal personhood” being used to protect human beings and ensure that their right to life is respected.

“If that’s the case,” I respond, “Let’s take a look at when the concept of ‘legal personhood’ has been used as a device to deprive human beings of their human rights based on arbitrarily selected criteria.”

The list is devastating. African-Americans were denied “legal personhood,” and were enslaved, murdered, raped, and abused as the result. Native Americans were denied “legal personhood,” and were systematically robbed, forced onto reserves, and in many cases, killed. Jewish people in Germany were excluded from “legal personhood” status, and six million of them were slaughtered. Women were not considered to be “legal persons,” and thus could not vote, get an education, or in some cases even have custody of their own children.

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And today, in 2015, millions of developing human beings in the womb are poisoned, shredded, dismembered, and discarded by nations that often begrudgingly recognize their humanity, but deny their “legal personhood.”

Every single one of these examples differs drastically, but there is one common denominator. In each case, dehumanization led to victimization. In each case, “human rights” became a meaningless term, as the right to life inherent to our humanity was instead deemed a privilege to be given by the strong to the weak, with the hated or the inconvenient often excluded. Those who commit abortions may not be dehumanizing pre-born children in the womb with malice. But the end result—victimization—is still the same nonetheless.

“Your ideas concerning legal personhood have a long history,” I tell the students. “Do you think that history might reflect badly on your position? Do you see parallels?”

In most cases, they do. “So what, in your view, should we do about this difficult abortion situation?” one young man asked me yesterday.

“It’s simple,” I responded. “Human beings have human rights. Human rights must begin when the human being begins, or we are only granting rights based on arbitrary criteria that will lead to the victimization of some. In a society where different religious groups and different cultures believe different things about the pre-born child in the womb, we must ensure that the rights of the youngest human beings are protected based on who they are, not how certain groups of people might feel about them. Perhaps different groups disagree about ‘legal personhood,’ or when the pre-born human gets a soul, or whether consciousness translates into value. But in order to protect all human beings in a multicultural society, we have to fall back on a scientific fact we are all forced to recognize: The human being begins his or her life at fertilization. That is the only rational point at which we must recognize their human rights.”

“And what about personhood?” the young man asked, nodding slowly.

“Let me ask you this,” I said. “Every pro-choice person I’ve talked to today has had a different opinion about when the pre-born child becomes valuable. Some say twelve weeks, some say eighteen weeks, some say twenty-four. They all have different reasons for their opinion, and different reasons for feeling about pre-born humans the way they do. But should pre-born humans be protected based on a scientifically knowable fact—that they are unique, unrepeatable human beings—or based on how different groups of people in our society feel about them? Which is the more rational, humane, and moral way of dealing with this question? In which human rights doctrine—our consistent one or their arbitrary one—is every human being, regardless of age, vulnerability, race, or creed—kept safe?”

“Only in yours,” he admitted. He stood up, still nodding. “Your view is the only one that is consistent and makes sense.”

Our culture may not know their history well. And that’s why it’s the responsibility of those who fight for the human rights of pre-born children to point out that the intellectual history of “legal personhood” is a laundry lists of discrimination, exclusion, and bloodshed. The opinions of pro-“choice” people should not be permitted to infringe on the fundamental right to life of other human beings. Their feelings regarding the value of the youngest members of the human family should not provide a justification for the barbarism of abortion. Their trash philosophy should not be legislated. Rather, when we are asking ourselves who is owed human rights, we can only have one moral answer: Human beings.

Pro-choice people have the right to their opinions and their semantics. They do not have the right to use those opinions and semantics to justify the destruction of other human beings.

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Jonathon van Maren

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Jonathon Van Maren is a writer and pro-life speaker who has given presentations across North America on abortion and pro-life strategy.

Jonathon first got involved in the pro-life movement after viewing a graphic abortion video in 2007, which convicted him to get active. He ran Simon Fraser University Students for Life as president from 2009-2010, while speaking in both the United States and Canada on pro-life issues.

Jonathon graduated from Simon Fraser University in 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History. He is the communications director for the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform.

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