Last week I received my first “death threat” voicemail. It sounded to be a young man who was very angry at me for having an abortion and speaking about it publicly. Some of his words were nonsensical and yet the message was clear: “I want to come up there and kill you.”
Yes, I reported it to the authorities. Yes, I posted about it on Facebook. Yes, I found it terrifying. The odd thing was that it was not an unexpected message.
I have heard these kinds of words directed at women and other people I know and love countless times. Many of us have been targeted by hate, or simply dismissed or demeaned by those with whom we work, live, or simply pass on the street. Sadly, it is a common reality for women and other marginalized groups. This should never happen and should be stopped.
Though I imagine the caller’s intention was to shut me down, the voicemail had the opposite effect. The message has inspired me to think bigger about how we continue to bring people together nationally for abortion conversations — to show love in the face of hate. And what better time than now?
We cannot give up. Our stories are powerful. We must keep speaking and listening to one another. Please donate today to support the critical work of Exhale.
Are you moved to get more involved with us? Our first abortion storytelling event is on Saturday, August 4th in Seattle, kicking off a 5 city tour of storytelling events and conversations. We will present a brand new model of moving pro-voice into your community through becoming a Pro-Voice Ambassador. If you can’t make it to one of our events but are interested in being a Pro-Voice Ambassador, sign up here. Real conversations on abortion will change the culture. YOU can be a part of making it happen.
We will not be deterred by threats like the one I just received. We will continue to provide the space to have deep conversations about abortion, but we can’t do it alone. Please donate today to help Exhale continue to do this work — no matter what.
Let’s do this together!
Exhale Executive Director