The Story Behind The Stories

Melissa during a late night audio editing session in a borrowed living room during her visit to Cambridge, MA.

Abortion happens every day. It has been estimated that 42 million people worldwide have an abortion each year. But the majority of those people will never talk about their abortion experience.  What If millions of people broke their silence and told the truth about their lives and their choices?

Melissa Madera created The Abortion Diary in the summer of 2013. Since then she has been running the project, and making its podcast out of pocket and as a labor of love. Her own abortion story and the deep impact sharing it (13 years later) had on her, her family, her friends and complete strangers inspired her to create The Abortion Diary.

It may not be feasible for people to talk to their family members, friends or partners about their abortion experiences or the ones they are considering.  Melissa created this personal space where people can share their full, unmediated abortion experiences in a safe and supportive environment. You can read the story behind the podcast here.


The Abortion Diary is the intersection of self-expression, healing, and the art of story-sharing and story-listening. We are dedicated to creating a space for people to share stories they haven’t been able to share and listen to stories they haven’t been able to hear.


The Abortion Diary is a space for people to speak out against the shame, stigma, secrecy and isolation surrounding abortion by generating, sharing and receiving personal stories.  People around the world are able to share their personal stories, and empower others to give testimony about their personal experiences and choices surrounding abortion.  These are our personal choices and stories shared by us.

What We Do:

  • The Abortion Diary creates a safe and supportive environment for all people to share their personal, unmediated abortion experiences and the complex decision making process surrounding the choice to have an abortion.
  • We are interrupting the narrative of abortion storytelling by moving the conversation out of the political realm and into the personal realm in order to decrease isolation and build community for people who have had abortion experiences.
  • Create connection and community building amongst people who have had abortion experiences. We are healing each other by sharing our stories.
  • We rely on human connection. There is always someone listening in person while the story-sharer is sharing their experience. When was the last time you felt listened to by someone?
  • The Abortion Diary also creates safe spaces, gatherings and workshops; transforming the act of sharing and listening to the podcast to creating connection and community.
  • The Abortion Diary is the only publicly accessible audio collection of abortion stories.

We post one new story on the website every Tuesday. You can stream the stories on our website (under the abortion stories tab) or listen to the stories on SoundCloud, iTunes, Stitcher Radio, and ivoox. On the Voices We Hear page of our website you can view the photos of some of the people (or sometimes their objects and pets) who have shared their story with the podcast. The Multimedia page provides a space for other ways of sharing our stories.


Thank you for listening and sharing our stories.