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An Open Letter to Ilyse Hogue, President of NARAL Pro-Choice America

ilyse hogueDear Ilyse Hogue,


You must have been ecstatic when you were asked to speak at the Democratic National Convention. And it’s obvious why they invited you. You are passionate, well-spoken, and professional.  I have a confession to make, before your speech I didn’t know who you were. But when your title, President of NARAL Pro-Choice America, was announced following your name, I immediately knew one thing.


You wouldn’t like me much.


See, I work for a Pregnancy Resource Center and, as you know, NARAL pretty much hates what we do. I’ve spent 25 years on the front lines defending the unborn and offering hope and help to women facing crisis pregnancies. It’s difficult for sure. If there is anything I’ve learned in that time it’s that life isn’t always celebrated. We live in a broken world, and I’ve met a lot of hurting women.


I have seen tragic situations that have made my heart literally ache. I’ve seen women choose life despite tragic circumstances and never regretted it for a moment.  I’ve met women who assured me that having an abortion wasn’t a big deal, though the cracks in their voices always betray their words. I’ve also sat in rooms bursting with despair so deep that a young mother was willing to forfeit her faith and convictions over to a desperate heart swayed into believing that an abortion will make a wrong all right—a terrible lie masquerading as an enticing promise. I often feel like I’ve seen it all.



But the other night at the convention. When you stood before millions and millions of people and shared your story, your confession of aborting your baby was hardly off of your lips before the packed crowd erupted in cheers.


Well, that was a new one for me.


Up until that point, I had never heard a massive crowd celebrate one woman’s abortion.


Truthfully, I’m not as political as I should be, so will you be gracious enough to allow me to set that aside for a moment?  Because there’s someone I just can’t get out of my heart and head.


Your baby.


It might have been easy for you to get caught up in that moment. Your nervous energy of speaking before a large audience, the exuberant crowd, the excitement of the convention, but I had to wonder something. As you lay in bed that night and the exhilaration had worn off, did it hurt you that the multitude was rejoicing over the end of your child’s life?  Did they even care that the beautiful little one was half of YOU? Mother to mother, you know what I mean. You have two children now. You say they came at a good time in your life. You say they are incredible, and I totally believe you.  But I’m sure she would have been amazing too.


And if we could miraculously bring her back today for just a few minutes, we’d probably see that she has your smile, bubbly personality, and strong, determined spirit. And in those precious few moments we’d have with her, I know one thing.  She would fight vehemently against the very thing that took her life.


I bet she would be PRO-LIFE.


And regarding the freedom and liberty you spoke of. I want to promise you something. I promise that I will pray for you by name every time I think of you, Ilyse. I will pray that you come to know what TRUE FREEDOM is through Jesus Christ. Here’s the thing, once you know that kind of FREEDOM, then LOVE and TRUTH infiltrate your heart and you just can’t deny it any longer.  You’ll long for it, and HE won’t disappoint. And best of all, he is the greatest healing physician of all time. I hope one day you know HIM.


In His Grace,


Traci Lester


If you or someone you know is struggling with pain and regret over their abortion decision, there is forgiveness and restoration. Call 704-664-4673 and they will guide you to a local pregnancy care ministry who can help.