Letter to My 17-Year-Old Daughter

from the High School Secretary in Response to Her Pro-Choice Art Project Resist;


How I Helped Her Process It

Dear G—,

I am writing to you in response to the quotes you made in the school newspaper about your lovely art piece made from your mother’s wedding dress.

How fortunate are the women whose names you sewed into the skirt of your gown, women who blossomed from “the right to life.” The bodice of your dress criticizes President Trump’s inauguration speech as “constricting” to women. I disagree. The idea that Trump denies women their “right to choose” misses the point that abortion denies the “right to life” for an unborn child.

I want you to see the reality of “the right to choose” in the video testimonies of abortion survivors at #FacesOfChoice. You will find it to be a shocking confrontation that exposes the myth that abortion is a good choice.

Please be alert to the political/cultural pressure to conform us into a controlled society of people without the freedom to think for ourselves or express opinions contradicting the “group consensus” promoted by anti-biblical globalists who control the media and universities.

As you prepare for college, keep your ears open to this and remember in Christ is our true citizenship, not in this culture of deception and death. If you do take time to consider these things, you may find yourself being thankful for a president who is the first ever to attend a Right to Life rally and to see your art piece in a different light.

Love and blessings,

Ms. B—


We process the letter. I tell my daughter that on one hand, the letter is typical religious right bullshit. My private response (which I did not suggest) was: Do you really think Donald Trump has never paid for an abortion? Really?

On the other hand, the letter is mostly respectful, even if at the same time it is wildly inappropriate and a bit condescending.

I empower her to basically say, “Thank you for your letter. I don’t wish to engage in further discussion of the topic of abortion or my art piece with you.”  In three months, I remind my daughter, she graduates and is out of there, whereas Ms. B— is unlikely to ever leave the confines of her closed mind.

About the Author

Candice Kelsey teaches writing in the South. Her poetry appears in Poets Reading the News and Poet Lore among other journals, and her first collection, Still I am Pushing, explores mother-daughter relationships as well as toxic body messages. She won the 2019 Two Sisters Writing Contest for her micro-story about cancer and was recently nominated for both Best of the Net and two Pushcarts. Find her at

Supporting Reproductive Rights

This is a critical time in our fight to preserve access to abortion and reproductive healthcare. We believe that every action counts. Here are three things you can do.

  1. Fight stigmatization by sharing your story and/or supporting people who have shared their stories. Supportive comments and likes make a big difference to the people who have chosen to share their personal experiences.
  2. Reach out to your representatives on the federal, state, and local levels and tell them that you want them to pass legislation that protects reproductive rights including abortion access.
  3. Donate to organizations committed to protecting access to safe and legal abortions. This writer recommended Afiya Center in Dallas, Texas for the work they are doing to fight for reproductive rights.

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