Jones, 46, is now a film producer, author, and human rights worker known for his pro-life activism. He remained an atheist for years, though his contact with Christian organizations and study of political philosophy eventually led him, in 2003, to the Catholic Church.
In his comments to CNA, Jones, who is now married with seven children, said that it can be hard to discuss abortion because the friends and loved ones of someone who has had an abortion often become defensive, saying that to condemn abortion is to condemn a person they care about.
"The irony is that you know your sister had an abortion because she called you crying about it, with a broken heart. And then when that person stumbles upon a pro-life activist, they get angry because they think you are calling their sister a bad person."
"We need to help people understand that when a woman gets an abortion it's...an act of desperation," he said. "She's a victim just like the child."
Jones said the pro-life movement needs an "apologetic" that is able to get the truth about abortion across in a simple way, and which teaches men to defend women and children.
"You do not need sophisticated arguments to tell a man: you don't pay a stranger to kill your baby. As a man, you defend your child from violence ... you defend the woman carrying your child from violence...it's just very simple."
He said that much of the language used in the pro-life movement is designed for women and to talk to women who are in a crisis situation, but men interact differently and need to be approached in a different way.
"When I talk to men about abortion, I talk to them as a man. I talk to them plainly," he said. "I talk to them as a man that has lost his child."
Many people can be cavalier and insensitive about abortion, he said, explaining that he can become passionate and wants to remind people that "we are victims in this too."
When speaking about abortion, he says men should just be themselves: "Don't talk about abortion differently that you talk about everything else, don't put it off to the side. You are allowed, as a man, to talk about an issue like a man."
Jones said his message to people who might be in a state of fear or crisis because of an unexpected pregnancy, said his message to them would be "what are you afraid of?"
(Story continues below)
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"I had that experience, I became a teen parent," but looking back, "what was I afraid of? … Being a father is such a beautiful gift ... there is no more beautiful thing in the world than being a father."
Elise Harris was senior Rome correspondent for CNA from 2012 to 2018.