By Dave Andrusko
Editor’s note. We are reposting this story from last February in conjunction with a story about Hogue’s speech to the Democratic National Convention we’re posting today. They nicely complement one another, giving a fuller context to her extraordinary convention remarks.
What exactly do you think NARAL president Ilyse Hogue means when she tells us “I always say my abortion story is boring”? Before you answer, here’s the entire paragraph as seen in the YouTube video:
I always say my abortion story is boring. I got pregnant, I wasn’t ready to be a parent, I wasn’t with the person I wanted to be with for the rest of my life, we weren’t financially secure, we both had dreams that we wanted to go on and achieve.
Presumably, Hogue means by this no “obstacles,” that is–once she’d decided at age 26 to have an abortion, it was smooth sailing. Not like today!
Let’s think about this paragraph and a few others.
To her credit, Hogue doesn’t conjure up a story intended to appeal to those undecided about abortion. She aborted because, and only because, of “contraceptive failure.”
So, here are the tradeoffs. On the one hand, she was not with the guy she wanted to be with indefinitely, and she not ready to be a parent (note to self: you WERE a parent). Moreover, both she and the guy have dreams to achieve.
Versus, on the other hand, protecting a defenseless baby that Hogue could have released for adoption. (At least she didn’t tell us she preferred taking the child’s life to “giving her baby up for adoption.”)
That’s surely a “boring” choice, a no-brainer. At least for Hogue.
Consider where the video was shot: in front of the Supreme Court. Like many of the briefs submitted to the Supreme Court in the challenge to portions of Texas’ pro-life HB2, Hogue is telling us nobody should give a second thought to what happened to the baby because her/his demise allowed the woman’s career to flourish. [Ed. Note. The High Court threw out the law.]
The abortion, we’re told, 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.
Moreover, “If we can’t decide that we’re not ready to be parents then everything else we aspire to fades from view.” Really? In an era of unprecedented opportunity for women, that’s the message of 21st century feminism?
For coherence and a statement on contemporary life, that ranks right up there with Madeline Albright antiquated pitch for Hillary Clinton: “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other.” (Ahem, 55% of the women in New Hampshire voted for Bernie Sanders and against Hillary Clinton.)
Take two minutes and watch Hogue tell her “abortion story.” It is truly unpersuasive.