The other day, a colleague at Heartbeat International emailed me a link to this story from NewsBusters regarding NARAL president Ilyse Hogue who, interestingly enough, is about to give birth to twins.
In the story, News Busters points to the Washington Post’s “glowing profile” of Hogue, which paints her as a politically moderate centrist who was a surprise choice as CEO for NARAL in 2013. NewsBusters writer Kristine Marsh blows open this myth, noting that Hogue held “senior positions at both MoveOn.Org and Media Matters,” two left-wing organizations committed to destroying conservative thinking.
Hogue is in the midst of an interesting dynamic.
The fact is NARAL’s president, while excited about her own children, fights for an industry that makes millions and millions of dollars convincing unsure moms and dads that their children are “problems” that must be eliminated. And when pregnancy help centers (PHCs) attempt to provide a positive perspective regarding these precious lives, NARAL colludes with legislative bodies to attack our work.
Ms. Hogue and I are different. The very people she vilifies, I support. The same pregnancy help centers NARAL attacks, I work with. And when a couple leaves a NARAL-member abortion center and chooses life, I celebrate. Most would tell me that she and I have no areas of agreement.
Or do we?
Tweet This: Congratulations to @NARAL prez @ilyseh, from one parent to another. @KirkWalden
Looking at Ms. Hogue’s upcoming birth of her twins, I tried another perspective. Instead of seeing her views on her children as contradictory—and as “fair game” to be attacked--is it possible she has made a small move in our direction?
Consider, while she and her husband had been trying to have children, no one “plans” twins. Common sense tells us that at least one of these twins then, is “unplanned.” Yet she chose life for both. This is a positive step.
Second, she is 45-years-old. At that age, most in the abortion industry would have a different opinion from Hogue on carrying these children to term. Another step.
Third, she is married and I’m sure she wants to be a good mom. We in the life-affirming community advocate for these types of families.
Then it hit me. Kirk, you can disagree any time. Why not celebrate what is good and let that be enough for today?
Tweet This: "Why not celebrate what is good and let that be enough for today?" @ilyseh @KirkWalden
Today then, I’m headed to the store. There, I’ll buy a $25 gift card to a baby-related retailer, and when her children are born I’m sending it to NARAL, c/o CEO, Ilyse Hogue. I’ll enclose a letter:
Dear Ms. Hogue,
Congratulations on the new additions to your family! My family celebrates with yours as you welcome twins into this world.
You might find this letter surprising coming from someone like me. I’m a pro-life author and speaker, and work alongside pregnancy help centers every day through my service with Heartbeat International.
Yet while you and I are on different sides of a cultural divide, we can unite in saying that just as being a dad is one of the greatest joys of my life, being a mom will undoubtedly be a thrilling journey for you as well.
As you take on this new role, today we are simply parents who are doing the best we can. We both want what is best for our children, we both will do anything we can to support them, and we both believe new lives are worth celebrating.
We’ll leave the cultural debates for another day. The Walden family is with you, and I’ve enclosed this gift card as a small way of offering our support, from our family to your family.
I’m not telling anyone else what to do here, but wouldn’t it be interesting if Ms. Hogue were flooded with positive, uplifting comments from those of us in the pro-life community? She chose life, after all.
I’d be more than happy to debate Ms. Hogue on the issues of our day anytime—except now. Because today, she’s taken a step in the right direction. It’s a step worth celebrating, and we never know where that step might lead.
Kirk Walden is an Advancement Specialist with Heartbeat International and a senior writer with Pregnancy Help News. For banquet speaking engagements, contact Gloria Leyda at Ambassador Speakers Bureau.