When you are not an active participant fighting for or against legal abortion, people tend to label you as “neutral.” This is inaccurate. Unfortunately, another consequence of the abortion war is a total lack of language for anyone who has something to say about abortion that is not about legal rights.
Exhale has a stand and it is not neutral. We stand with every woman who has had an abortion. We stand with every woman who regrets her abortion, with every woman who live-tweets her abortion, with every abortion-addict, and with those who are not sorry. We take this stand because we believe every woman who has had an abortion can experience wellbeing and because every unique story should be heard with dignity and respect.
Our stand is also for one of transparency. We will tell you the name of every donor. You can read the name of every board member. You can review our service reports, our program evaluations, and find our public presentations online. We have nothing to hide. We want you to ask. We hope you do.
You may not like what we stand for. You may disagree with our mission. You may challenge our strategies.
But, you will know exactly what they are. You will know exactly who we are. What we really want is to learn with you, to listen to you, to engage in a dialogue with you about how to support every woman after an abortion and how to create a social climate that supports and respects her unique experience.
We are proud to, as Susan Dominus wrote in the New York Times, have led the way towards:
more honest discussions about the range of emotions that can accompany terminating a pregnancy. Exhale, a postabortion hotline based in San Francisco, states on its Web site that for women who have had abortions, feelings of “happiness, sadness, empowerment, anxiety, relief or guilt are common.” It is also states that of the five founders, most support abortion rights and some have had abortions.
The reality is, the more honest we are about the reality of abortion in women’s lives, the more we build trust, authenticity and value. The more we have a chance to create abortion peace.