Posts Tagged ‘Pregnancy’

In celebration of our 5th Anniversary of expanded service, Exhale is excited to present a very special award – our “Pro-Voice High-Five” – to five individuals and organizations who have made significant contributions to creating a more supportive and respectful social climate for women who have had abortions.

Our “Pro-Voice High-Five” Awards go toooooo……(drumroll please)….:

I invite you to read the interviews of each of our awardees to learn more about their passion and commitment to creating something positive, purposeful and powerful for every woman who has experienced abortion.

Congratulations to all of our “Pro-Voice High-Five” Awardees!


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Last year, Exhale made our case before the National Institutes of Health about the importance of research to promote the wellbeing of women who have abortions.  An often overlooked field of study that is incredibly difficult to fund, the wellbeing of women who have had abortions is generally not at the top of many research agenda’s, let alone on the agenda at all.  Enter the Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH) Program at the University of California, San Francisco led by Tracy Weitz.  Despite the great obstacles they face to find funding on this topic, they have taken the initiative to launch new investigations into the social and emotional aspects of abortion.

Exhale is honored to give a “Pro-Voice High-Five” to ANSIRH for New Research.  I hope you enjoy my interview with Kate Cockrill, the Project Director for Abortion and Stigma.

Kate Cockrill and Tracy Weitz

Aspen: What is ANSIRH? (more…)

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Historically, a doula is a person who provides emotional and physical support to a woman giving birth.  Her sole focus is to help the woman in labor – not the family or the medical staff – and to serve as her advocate, making sure she has the birth experience she wants and needs.  More recently, this idea is being expanded to encompass other pregnancy-related events, including abortion and adoption.  The people who are doing this work operate under the radical assumption that every woman deserves support and respect for her unique pregnancy experience.

Earlier this year, we interviewed Mary Mahoney of The Doula Project on our blog.  A completely volunteer run-and-operated organization, the Doula Project is providing abortion-doula services to women in New York City.

Exhale is honored to give The Doula Project a “Pro-Voice High-Five” for New Services.  I hope you enjoy my interview with Lauren Mitchell, their Board President, about how their service is changing the world and what else is needed to grow their impact.

Aspen: Tell me about The Doula Project and how it got started. (more…)

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*Guest Post by Alison Cole*

I discovered the power of listening to pregnant women during my five years as a paramedical worker in an abortion clinic.  The conversations I had with women prior to their abortions were “patient education,” but I asked every patient, every time: “How are you feeling about being here today?” and I listened to the answers they gave for as long as they needed.

Some women assumed everyone felt the same way as them.  Others assumed their feelings about the abortion were unique among all women.  Women would describe the children they had to feed, jobs they could not lose, birth control which had failed, educations they wanted to pursue, and unhealthy relationship they did not want to turn into dysfunctional families. I very rarely saw a woman whose reasons for not wanting to have a child were not totally understandable to me, and I told them that.  In the last few minutes of patient education, I told them what happens during an abortion procedure, what they were likely to experience physically, and the statistics on physical health complications.

During these conversations, conversations where I mostly listened as women talked, I saw how the truth can set people free. (more…)

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