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The issue of abortion too often triggers polarizing debate that sheds no light on the real-life experiences of women. Politicians pass laws restricting access to abortion—more than 230 state laws in the past four years—while ignoring women’s experiences and views. More and more women are speaking openly about abortion, but their voices tend to be drowned out by the heated rhetoric of warring political factions.
After her own abortion at age 24, Aspen Baker wanted a safe and nonjudgmental space where she could talk about her experience. After being unable to find such a space, she founded Exhale in 2000, an organization that aims to change the culture around abortion from stigma and shame toward support and respect. Fifteen years after its founding, Exhale is at the forefront of groundbreaking projects that promote dialogue rather than dogma around abortion. Baker has just written a book that captures Exhale’s work and women’s real-life experiences. Pro-Voice: How to Keep Listening When the World Wants a Fight urges us all to listen, tell our own stories, and embrace the gray areas on the complex issue of abortion. And Baker recently delivered the first TED talk on abortion and the power of pro-voice listening and storytelling.
With an upcoming presidential election and potential court cases on the horizon, what does a pro-voice approach to abortion contribute to the national debate? How can we shift away from harsh, polarizing language and allow a diversity of values and voices to be heard?
Please join the Center for American Progress for this enlightening and lively conversation.
Copies of Pro-Voice: How to Keep Listening When the World Wants a Fight will be available for purchase at the event.
Carolyn Davis, Policy Analyst, Faith and Progressive Policy Initiative, Center for American Progress
Aspen Baker, Founder and Executive Director, Exhale
Heidi Williamson, Senior Policy Analyst, Women’s Health and Rights Program, Center for American Progress