for creating connection after abortion


feel it. the thing you don’t want to feel. feel it. and be free.

-Nayyirah Waheed



I am collaborating with Jacqui Morton of Holding Our Space to bring you a weekend mini-retreat in Natick, MA.  

There is no right or wrong way to feel or process your abortion experience; the  range of emotions and responses is vast. But it can be powerful and healing to connect with other people who have shared this experience regardless of the passage of time or our different feelings and circumstances.

This spring take a weekend for yourself amid the beauty of Massachusetts. Enter a sanctuary space created for us to gather together, and restore, reflect, and connect with each other as a community. We will share in our stories, restorative yoga, meditation, ritual creation, nature walks, and lots of time to connect with one another. This retreat will offer you the opportunity to connect with your body, your own abortion experience, and with other people who have experienced abortion.

Please join us in relaxing our hearts and minds, and nurturing our bodies and souls with new friends.

Dates: April 7 & 8, 2018

10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

We will be creating a sanctuary at a yoga studio within an hour of Boston, MA. 

$35  + Pay-What-You-Can spots (please, contact us). No one will turned away for lack of funds.   Breakfast and lunch, all activities and materials, and all taxes are included.

Bring: yourself, a yoga mat, good walking shoes or boots, and a small altar item.

We can help coordinate lodging for those coming from out of town.

 In order to sign up, please send us an e-mail at [email protected]


Melissa Madera travels the world with her podcast,  The Abortion Diary. She is a story-sharer and dedicated story-listener, recovering academic, multimedia historian, speaker, consultant,  full-spectrum doula, and a bilingual reproductive justice educator and advocate. Her own abortion story and the deep impact sharing it (13 years later) had on her, her family, friends, and complete strangers inspired her to create The Abortion Diary, a project she has self-funded for the past four and a half years. Melissa travels across the country, and around the world creating spaces for personal abortion story-sharing, story listening, and capturing diverse abortion experiences; stories that are as different as the people who share them.

She is a nomad (according to her mama) from Washington Heights, New York who sometimes lives in South Florida (where she gets to spend time with her mom and dog named Jack). When she’s not on the road story-listening or working on all the other abortion diary things, she can be found practicing yoga, cycling, swimming, knitting, reading science fiction novels or exploring the great outdoors.

Jacqui Morton is a full spectrum doula, freelance writer, and facilitator. Her essays and poems have appeared in places such as Salon, the Guardian, The Rumpus, Cognoscenti, The Mom Egg Review, and MUTHA Magazine. She is the author of a chapbook of poetry, Turning Cozy Dark, which was published by Finishing Line Press in 2013. Jacqui created Holding Our Space with a grant from the Abortion Conversation Project as a way to honor the loss of her second pregnancy. Holding Our Space seeks to create spaces where people can process their reproductive experiences, through therapeutic activities and discussion, in community.

Jacqui loves dancing and pizza. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband, two sons, two kitties, and a fish sometimes known as Pudge.


Listening is not a reaction, it is a connection.

– Ursula Le Guinn


*This mini-retreat has been made possible by a seed grant from Inroads: the International Network for the Reduction of Abortion Discrimination and Stigma.