By: Skylar Locke
The Abortion Diary is a podcast that gives women the opportunity to share and narrate their own personal abortion stories in a safe and supportive place where people listen without political judgments and with more empathy. The creator of this project is Dr. Melissa Madera and her inspiration for this podcast began when she shared her personal abortion story after thirteen years. She travels the world capturing untold abortion stories through her podcast and hopes that her podcast helps end the stigma, shame, and isolation behind the experience. The Abortion Diary website consists of a blog, a gallery, an abortion story map that shows where all of the stories have come from, resources, workshops and talks, and stories based on region, illegal, pre-roe, and post-abortion rituals. The overall goal of this project is to “help destigmatize abortion and allow the storytellers to process their experience and control their narrative.”
Regardless of your political and ethical viewpoint on abortion, women have abortions. It is their personal choice, it is their body, and it is their story to share. Most of the time, they do not have any outlet to help them through this process. This project is a resource for them to express their feelings from their pain, their grief, their anger, their recovery, and everything in between. Oftentimes, people are so absorbed in the act of abortion that they forget it is not always an easy choice for women. A lot of times, it is their only choice. Every women has a different experience and they should not have to feel like their only option is to keep silent. They do not need judgment or hate or shame. When a woman shares her experience on this podcast, she is claiming her story and that is powerful.
This project is slowly humanizing abortions instead of over politicalizing them. I find this to be an extremely amazing and empowering project for women who receive a lot of hate for having abortions. No one likes to feel alone no matter what the situation is. It is important that people know they matter and their stories matter. We have the power to make destigmatize abortions and support women by simply listening to their stories.