Exhale is pro-voice. Coined in 2005, the term “pro-voice” was developed by Exhale to represent our approach to creating a social climate where each person’s unique experience with abortion is supported, respected, and free from stigma. Designed to pay homage to the historical struggles for voice and affirmation that our founders had learned from—civil rights, queer acceptance, and the anti-domestic violence movement, among others—pro-voice points towards a whole new way forward on abortion conflicts by giving new focus to an element typically exploited or ignored: personal experience.
A Practice of Nonviolence
Pro-voice is a practice of nonviolence rooted in conflict-transformation principles. It is a process to create fundamental change in the way our culture addresses personal experiences with abortion. Our pro-voice approach creates, replicates, and sustains strategies that grow culture change. Our nonviolent practices are modeled by how we:
- Create opportunities for women and men to feel heard, with dignity and respect.
- Take a public stand of support beside all women and men with personal abortion experiences.
- Develop projects, programs, and strategies in direct response to the voices and needs of women and men with personal abortion experiences.
To be pro-voice is to make personal and institutional decisions that prioritize the voices, experiences, and leadership of people who have had abortions. Rather than speak on behalf of women and men who have abortion experiences, a pro-voice approach creates room for women and men to speak for themselves and facilitates forums where they feel heard. By keeping the emotional wellbeing of each person front and center, a pro-voice approach never compromises community needs for political ends. When you are pro-voice, the means are the ends.
Take a Deeper Look at Pro-Voice
Exhale co-founders Aspen Baker and Carolina De Robertis wrote the first overview of the pro-voice framework in 2005. Five years later, Exhale published its second in-depth piece exploring the potential impact of a pro-voice approach on the abortion conflict. You can read both papers, here:
- “Pro-Voice: A Framework for Communicating Personal Experiences with Abortion,” by Exhale co-founders Aspen Baker and Carolina De Robertis, published by Exhale in 2005
- “Can Listening to Women Who Have Had Abortions Create Abortion Peace?” by Eyal Rabinovitch, published by Exhale in 2010
As a community of women and men with personal abortion experiences, we support each other by sharing our stories and listening respectfully. Feeling heard is crucial to our emotional wellbeing, and that’s why we share a commitment to pro-voice practice.
- After-Abortion Support
- Pro-Voice Community