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NARAL President tells her carefully crafted abortion “story” to Teen Vogue

by | Jan 17, 2017

By Dave Andrusko

Ilyse Hogue, President of NARAL Pro-Choice America

We’re told by Teen Vogue that to mark the 44th anniversary of the “momentous” 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, the magazine “is sharing the stories of real women who have chosen to have an abortion in their lives.”

Today Ilyse Hogue, the president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, tells the story of her abortion.

Although she tells us “I’m not all that comfortable talking about my abortion, even today,” Hogue is sharing her abortion “story” more and more frequently. Last summer she spoke at the Democratic National Convention, widely touted as the first time a woman had spoken about her abortion at a convention to nominate a party’s presidential candidate.

If you heard her speak or saw the video NARAL put out last January, there is not a lot new in her as-told-to story. What there is, however, is worth some reflection.

Hogue is threading the needle. She knows perfectly well a sizable percentage of women have post-abortion complications–physical, emotional, and psychological. So Hogue tells us

When I had my abortion, I had to learn the difference between having feelings and having regrets. We have to tell young women that when they face choices in life, it’s OK to have feelings — and that’s not the same thing as having regret. There are terribly damaging effects that arise from the unwillingness to talk about things authentically. And I had a lot of feelings about choosing to have an abortion. I had some grief. I had some confusion. I certainly wouldn’t say I was joyful. We can be human and complicated and have feelings and that’s OK.

In case you missed it, problems arise not because a woman reflects upon her decision to abort and wishes she had chosen otherwise, but if a woman is unwilling “to talk about things authentically.”

Later this very revealing statement:

There’s this acute moment when you realize that adult life is full of decision-making points. When one door closes, another one opens — and it’s OK to mourn the path not taken while still joyfully embracing the path still in front of you. We rarely set off on a path at 18 years old and go linear ‘til we die. And how boring that would be! My life has had a lot of twists and turns and I’m a better person for that, and for experiencing all the different things I’ve experienced and to know what I know — and to know what I don’t know.

So if you annihilate your kid, that’s merely a path not taken. “After all, going “linear” on one path–“how boring that would be.”

Or, switching the metaphors to doors, it’s kind of like an inversion of the game show “Let’s Make a Deal.”

In this case, in foregoing the chance to open doors, it’s not as though she retains something of worth–her baby. That consideration never crosses her mind. Having her baby resembles falling through a trapdoor. But by aborting….

As she told us last year in her NARAL video, the death of her first child allowed Hogue to go on “and do work that I think was incredible impactful on international rights and [the] environment, before I came home to dedicate my life to women’s equality.”

Lesson? An unplanned pregnancy is not only a bummer for someone like Hogue, if allowed to continue, that baby would have squelched her capacity to do meaningful work for the global community.

Clearly there is plenty Hogue still doesn’t know. She still is oblivious that someone else paid the price for the path not taken.

Categories: Abortion