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Dear DNC: Abortion Isn’t Empowering. It Turns Women Into Bullies


The Democratic National Convention made history for women this week. No, I’m not referring to Hillary Clinton receiving the nomination, making her the first woman to be running for president for a major political party. I’m talking about Ilyse Houge, the president of NARAL. She shared with the nation that not only does she champion abortion rights, she has had an abortion for nonmedical reasons. Since Hogue missed a basic tenet of ethics, I will spell it out for her: destroying the weak is not strength.

Hogue, and her organization, would disagree. National Abortion Rights Action League Pro-Choice America (known as NARAL) is a political activist nonprofit centered on expanding abortion access. Since 1969 they have been fighting for what they call a woman’s right to choose—that is, to select abortion whenever, wherever, and for whatever reason. The Democratic Party has similarly supported abortion, with policy changes and varying degrees of emphasis, since the 1976 DNC. This year’s DNC has featured endorsements from both Planned Parenthood and NARAL. Abortion and abortion access are central issues determining whom these radical groups support for political offices.

While Planned Parenthood’s president Cecile Richards downplayed the importance of abortion and focused on women’s health, Hogue took a far different approach. She opened her endorsement with her abortion story: “I wanted a family, but it was the wrong time. I made the decision that was best for me—to have an abortion, and get compassionate care at a clinic in my own community.”

I Have a Right to Clear People Out of My Way

The care Hogue received was voluntary, and she felt no need to excuse herself by citing health issues for either her or the baby. Instead, she decided a baby didn’t fit her plans and the reasonable solution was abortion, saying this choice empowered her. This announcement did not meet silence or shock, but rather applause, cheering, and encouragement from the audience, and later from the media.

The most basic definition of a bully is someone who picks on the weak. Such people use their strength to take what they want, regardless of the way it may injure another. Hogue, in a moment of truly blinding irony, called for Americans to elect Hillary Clinton as president so she could stand against bullies.

“We need a president who has the experience, the wisdom, and the grit to stand up against the bullies. We need a president who knows that ‘women’s rights are human rights.’ We need a president who will keep expanding the frontiers of freedom for all Americans,” Hogue said. Yet Hogue is a bully. She ended the life of someone with no defense, with no recourse, and she did it for her own convenience. She also shows no remorse over her actions. This choice was not brave, nor admirable.

Don’t Celebrate People Taking the Easier Way Out

We celebrate people who do hard things, who make the impossible seem attainable. We put celebrities on a pedestal. We admire those who push us to be better, stronger, more than we were before. A mother who raises her children, and pushes through adversity to bring them up well even when it’s hard, is admirable.

Hogue chose a far different route. She chose her desires over every ounce of possibility that child had, and she did it thinking she was strengthening her family: “When we have power over our own destiny, we not only strengthen our families, we honor our most cherished traditions of liberty and equality.” Her destiny may have been honored here, but her child’s future was destroyed. Instead of mourning this loss and confessing her wrong, at which point others could rightly offer compassion, Hogue is treating the outrage as a joke.

Hogue is not a hero for women and women’s rights. The audience members cheering for her were not cheering a victory over adversity, or an inspirational accomplishment. They cheered the death of a defenseless unborn person.

Abortion does not expand the possibilities for all Americans, because it always results in loss and in the termination of the future of at least one person. You don’t take care of your family by killing part of it, and that isn’t how you build a strong family or a strong and healthy future. A culture of life does not tell women to end the lives of their unborn children, and the powerful do not become strong by trampling the weak. This was not a win for women, but rather a profound loss, and a discouraging sign of the political climate surrounding this election cycle.