Yes, it’s true that abortion is stigmatized and that the voices of those who have had them are often hidden and neglected. We rarely hear them in public discussion. But that doesn’t mean that personal abortion stories are never shared. They are. Lots of them.
To hear personal abortion stories, you have to be willing to listen and show up when, where and how a woman wants to be heard, on each woman’s terms. You have to literally “meet her where she’s at” including the forums she chooses.
Despite the great risks that can come with sharing a personal story, thousands of women make this choice everyday. A woman makes the choice – and faces the risk – every time she seeks support from her friends, faith, family or community. She makes the choice and faces the risk when she picks up the phone and calls the Exhale talkline. Or she joins the online community. Or she accepts abortion doula services. Or she answers questions from a researcher. Or she completes a digital storytelling workshop. There are many stories to be told and many ways for a woman to tell hers. However a woman chooses to share her story, she must be recognized and honored for her unique experience.
Exhale honors the Courage of every woman who has ever made the choice to share her story.