There isn’t a new abortion diary entry this week. I’ll be posting a new story on Tuesday, January 3rd, and return to our weekly schedule. Until then listen to over 140 stories that have already been posted on The Abortion Diary, and listen to this new audio mosaic of some Abortion Diary story-sharers talking about why they want to share their stories.
Thank you for listening, and have a safe and happy New Years. ~ Melissa
Help us continue to break the silence in 2017 by donating to The Abortion Diary today.
Dr. Melissa Madera, Founder of The Abortion Diary Podcast, was interviewed for Rewire‘s new Artist at Work series!
“I don’t speak to the political explicitly because I don’t want to ever shift my main focus: providing people with a platform to talk freely about their abortions, because they don’t have anywhere else to do that.”
Did you listen to NPR’s Weekend Edition on Saturday Morning? Melissa was interviewed by Lourdes Garcia-Navarro about her work with The Abortion Diary Podcast. You can now listen online!
“It’s not always the political [process] that makes change, as much as the people who are out there who are really sharing and talking with each other in their communities. Because that’s really the place where we’re going to make change — in our communities. So we feel safer to tell our stories.”
I make this podcast out of pocket and as a labor of love. Help us continue our work and share our stories by donating.
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.
Do you enjoy walking around NYC and learning about reproductive justice? Join the founder of The Abortion Diary, Melissa Madera, on June 7th for the Reproductive Justice Walking Tour, a 90-minute walking tour with performances and interactive talks, organized by Words of Choice. The walk will conclude at the Reproductive Justice Roundup and Fair at Judson Memorial Church on Washington Square in Greenwich Village (enter at 239 Thompson between 4th St and 3rd St), which will take place from 2:30 to 4:30 pm. Melissa will be at Judson Memorial Church talking about the podcast and recording stories. Walkers and others unable to walk are invited to the Roundup and Fair. You can find out more about The Reproductive Justice Walking Tour and get tickets online.
On June 7th, Melissa will also be facilitating the Talkback at Mom Baby God’s 7:30pm performance. You can find out more about Mom Baby God, a new one-woman show that takes audiences inside the anti-abortion movement, and buy tickets here.
Melissa will be in New York City from June 4th through June 20th, listening to and recording stories to be shared. People interested in sharing their stories should contact Melissa at [email protected]
A few months ago, I sat on a bus headed to Salinas, California, a three hour bus ride from Oakland, where I was traveling with the podcast. As I sat on the bus, I watched the California landscape with the sun shining upon it; a view that was quite different from the snow covered trees and slush I left behind in New York City a month earlier. I was on my way to Salinas to meet a woman who wanted to share her abortion story with The Abortion Diary. Jean contacted me through The Abortion Diary’s website a few days prior to our meeting. As I sat on the bus I thought about how strange it was to once again be on my way to listen to a stranger share such an intimately personal experience. Sometimes these stories have never been shared with anyone else.
For the past six months I have been listening to people as they share their abortion stories with me and, with the help of digital media, podcast listeners around the world. I launched the podcast in November, a few months after the idea first entered my mind. Last summer, I felt a very strong need to connect to people with this shared experience. For sixteen years I remained relatively silent about my abortion experience as a seventeen year old. Most of the silence came from the understanding, from society and my own family members, that my abortion was not something I was allowed to talk about or even acknowledge. But what I came to realize was that I needed to share that experience and that I needed to be surrounded by the stories of others. I needed to listen and know I wasn’t alone.