For once, Newsweek got it right.
A two page article, “War of the Wombs” tells the story of Personhood USA’s Keith and Jennifer Mason.
The article by Abigail Pesta is ultimately a tribute to this pro-life Denver couple who have been able during the last four years to get 22 Personhood bills introduced as bills and ballot initiatives across the country.
Though these initiatives and bills have not passed yet in any of the states in which they’ve been introduced, each time they are voted on the margin of defeat narrows, and abortion issue is thrust back into the public square where it belongs.
As soon as I saw the article, I called Keith to congratulate him. He said that during the rather long and intense interviews he had with Pesta, he felt that she was coming to understand just what he and Personhood USA were trying to do.
She became involved in the story and he thinks she was very sympathetic to the cause by the time she wrote the article. It appears so.
In the article, Keith reveals that he believes that the best way to eventually overturn Roe v. Wade is to define human embryos as persons from the moment of fertilization. That is why he has worked nearly 24/7 for the past four years to convince other pro-lifers to get personhood initiatives on their ballots.
Pesta calls Mason “charismatic” and, at age 31, says he is young enough to attract other young people to his cause. She points out that Mason was brought into the pro-life movement in part by a graphic picture he saw as an 8-year old, but later joined an anti-abortion protest and decided that protesting abortion was a way of serving God.
It was in a campaign in 2006 in South Dakota that sought to ban abortion completely that made him decide that just trying to chip away at abortion through restrictive legislation was not enough. By 2007, he was collecting signatures for a personhood bill in Colorado — 103,000 signatures in all.
While it is not in the Newsweek story, we know that Keith and Jennifer were also very active in trying to keep a Planned Parenthood abortion facility from being built in Denver.
Members of the Pro-Life Action League met with Keith’s pro-life group for a massive protest at the building site just as he was getting involved in the personhood initiative. We were so impressed with his leadership some of us hoped he would continue with his direct action. But perhaps we were wrong.
While Pesta drags in comments from several pro-abortion hard-liners to try to show that personhood laws would deny women some basic rights, would interfere with women who miscarry and is an attack on women’s rights in general, she does concludes her article by giving Mason the last word. “As long as I have arms, I’m gonna be swinging them.”
Swing away, Keith.