Editor’s note. The following is a recently conducted interview with Noah Thonnard. Noah’s outstanding video, which was shown at the recently concluded National Right to Life Convention, can be seen here.
NRLC: Where did you get the idea for your video?
Noah Thonnard (NT): The idea came from situations in my life. I had two friends, people I looked up to and who grew up with me in the same community. They both decided to lead a different lifestyle and ended up getting their girlfriends pregnant. I had been very close to them, and it was all quite a shock, especially at first.
I wondered if they would take responsibility. I thank the Lord because the older one helped put the child up for adoption as he felt he was not prepared to raise a child. Because of the arrangements of an open adoption, he and his parents will have a lasting relationship with the child. The other friend married his girlfriend and they are raising their baby girl together. He even joined the military as a way to provide for them financially.
I realized I was judging them, imagining what I feared might be the outcome of these pregnancies. However, I was so impressed with how they both took responsibility in very different ways. I think this all made me think more about the idea of taking responsibility as a father.
NRLC: How did you get interested in the right-to-life movement?
NT: Well, I was born into a Christian household. My parents are very pro-life and it rubbed off on me. I feel like I have changed my mind on so many things, but when it comes to abortion, it doesn’t make sense. I have always thought since I was young: “why would anyone consider abortion to be an option!?” I would wonder: “Why would anyone be allowed to kill a kid?”
To me, abortion is like the issue of slavery all over again. The inalienable rights of a distinctly individual person is being violated because that person is being claimed as the property of the mother. We’ve accepted it as normal in this society, as slavery was accepted by so many people in the past but again, it’s horrendous.
NRLC: What message do you hope your video conveys?
NT: My intended audience was young fathers, so the main thing I want to do is help shift the role or plant the idea of young fathers taking responsibility in the lives of their children. I want fathers to value their role as fathers and the gift that has been given to them even if they don’t see it as a gift in the moment.
NRLC: How do you see yourself being involved in the right-to-life movement long-term?
NT: I am hoping to get into the film industry. And, I want to plant the idea of the value of human life in society. More short-term, I don’t vote for pro-abortion candidates. That’s a solid rule for me.
NRLC: What do you wish other people your age understood better about the pro-life argument?
NT: As I mentioned before, I want them to understand that abortion is something of the same ideology as slavery. Our society has normalized it to the point that we don’t see it that way, but it really is. Even the argument of a slave-owner explaining that we couldn’t free enslaved people because it would threaten the owner’s livelihood is exactly the same argument that abortion is necessary so the child doesn’t interfere with the mother’s (or father’s) life. I hope young people pursue the pro-life movement with the same vigor they do against slavery and racism.
NRLC: Are you part of any local right-to-life organization?
NT: I actually entered an essay contest a year or two ago with Life First in Montgomery County Texas. I was a little confused about how to approach the essay, and I realized at that point I wasn’t as committed or educated on the pro-life issue. Doing the research for that essay is what really got me started on my search for the arguments people make on both sides of this issue. Even though the essay I submitted wasn’t great, it’s what started me thinking more deeply on the subject. It’s one of the best research projects I’ve ever done.