“I wanted a space where I could share my own story and where I could listen to other people’s stories so I that I could feel part of a community, instead of feeling alone.” – Melissa Madera, Founder and Director
Traveling U.S., she takes oral histories of abortion
After an abortion at age 17, Melissa Madera was unable to talk about the experience until age 30. She created “The Abortion Diary” podcast to document other women’s histories of a most private moment, and create the conversation she found lacking.
Yesterday, I celebrated the one year anniversary of The Abortion Diary by speaking at Florida Gulf Coast University. It was a packed house! We discussed abortion access, our beliefs, abortion story-sharing and the power of sharing our stories. We also shared our own stories and experiences with each other.
I am stunned by all that this year has brought. 100 stories have been shared with me for The Abortion Diary in the last year. This is a big deal for me because when I came up with this idea, this podcast on abortion stories, I was pretty sure no one would share their story with me. I’m so grateful to them all. They’ve given all of us such a gift. We are fortunate to be able to listen to them. Thank you to all The Abortion Diary story-sharers (all 100 of you) for the gift of your stories, and for being brave and badass. And Thank you all for listening.
It’s my 35th Birthday today! I’d love it if you’d make it a fabulous one by donating to The Abortion Diary Tour Indiegogo campaign. And you’ll be the one’s getting the gifts on my birthday! Isn’t that awesome?
I’ll be will be traveling to Oklahoma City, Ok this week! I’ll be there from September 4th to September 18th listening to, recording and sharing abortion stories. If you’d like to share your story with The Abortion Diary, please drop us a line at [email protected]
Finally, I get to tell you what I’ve been working on over the last few months. Today I am excited (and super nervous!) to announce our Indiegogo campaign for The Abortion Diary Podcast Tour.
My mission and vision for this project has always been to create a space where people (around the world) can access, engage with and listen to abortion stories so that they know that they are not (and have never been) alone. My goal has been to create a diverse, stigma busting, stereotype breaking, conversation starting, healing and people connecting audio collection of abortion stories and to connect people who have had abortions with one another. We are accomplishing those goals. People have been courageously and graciously sharing their stories and people have been listening.
For almost nine months I have been making this podcast as a labor of love. I have listened to and recorded 74 stories in 6 states. The experiences that have been shared and recorded span from the 1950s to 2013. I have edited and posted 36 of those stories online. I have facilitated and been a part of workshops. I have witnessed people experience complete and full self-expression and tremendous healing. And so have I. People throughout the United States (in cities and towns big and small) and in 40 other countries have been listening to the podcast. There have been over 5,500 individual listens to the podcast since it launched in late November.
I’ve been on the road since February 4th! It’s been four months of road trippin’ with the podcast. Here’s a little of what I’ve seen and done from JFK->SFO->LAX->SFO->PDX->and beyond.
Seeing the Pacific Ocean for the first time. What a beauty.
A Jellyfish at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, where Jean Richards was adamant that I visit and where we recorded her story. We sat at a table in the cafeteria while workers had at meeting a table nearby, children played and people sipped their coffee.