Ilyse Hogue is a young (well, 45) woman with a story to tell. A story with twists and turns so fascinating, it was given prominent coverage by the Washington Post.
For a long time, Hogue’s liberal-feminist credentials were impeccable. She went to Vassar, where she studied environment science. When she needed something more publicly engaging, she moved into international human rights and ecology work. Then, answering a need to be more politically engaged, she moved on to MoveOn.org, where she worked in communications. Finally, she achieved her apotheosis: she would be the president of NARAL, America’s most strident abortion advocacy group.
In researching NARAL’s work, Hogue had one of those moments when the fog you hadn’t realized was there lifts. Some might call it an epiphany. She saw clearly now that a woman’s reproductive freedom was “a foundational issue upon which everything else is built.” Yes, everything.
Only two things occurred which marred her perfection as a lib-fem. First, she met a man at a bar whom she married four months into her NARAL job. A blot, assuredly, but a small one. But then she got pregnant. At 45. With twins. “[A]fter years of trying.” Not to be indelicate, but might the President of NARAL actually have had fertility treatments?
How was she going to break this to her staff, she wondered. She experienced “trepidation.” She fretted, “Is it going to change the way they look at me? Are they going to treat me differently?” If pregnant, is she letting down the side? Did she “choose life”? And if so, is she in league with the enemy?
But no. Rest assured, readers, that she received “nothing but support.” Whew! And then she had yet another epiphany: NARAL was all about choice. Hogue wasn’t obligated to abort her twins. She could choose to have them. Lucky babies! How much more wanted and loved they will feel when she tells them that they were chosen, that they are alive because she chose not to kill them.
Not that Hogue would advise every woman to chose the way she did. Because, you see, she was privileged. In her case, the necessary conditions to carry a child to term obtained: She had job security. She had paid parental leave. She did not have to experience “pregnancy discrimination.” Presumably, those not so blessed must be offered the sacrament of abortion.
Pregnancy has not changed her, Hogue assures us. For her, abortion is still an aspirational vision for the 21st century, a vision “to build a movement around.” And let no crisis pregnancy center be permitted to offer a woman an alternative to abortion. You know, a choice. Hogue wants no ads for this alternative to appear on Yahoo or Google when women type the word “abortion” into a search engine.
My dear Ms. Hogue. Rest assured that your lib-fem credentials have not been tarnished. Babies are a privilege reserved to the rich. A different standard applies to the poor. You are a hypocrite, Ms. Hogue. A lib-fem to the bone still.
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