Building a Pro-Voice Movement: Exhale Tour on Abortion Stories

Posted Monday November 12th 2012 by Isaac Lev


This February Exhale, an Oakland-based organization created by and for women who have had abortions, will set out on college campuses to connect with students, professors, and health staff to transform culture around abortion from one of stigma and shame to one of support and respect.   

These women have shared their stories publicly on MTV, the BBC, and New York Times, and will be traveling across the United States to talk with young people about what we can do to create more social acceptance for the one-in-three women in America who will have an abortion in their lifetime. The tour is part of Exhale's work to build a Pro-Voice Movement to create space for intentional listening and sharing stories about abortion without a political agenda. 

If you would like to bring this tour to your campus, email Lev.

Sharing Our Stories: Exhale's National Pro-Voice Tour, Spring 2013 from Exhale on Vimeo.

About Exhale

Most known for their national, multilingual after-abortion talk line (the #1 referral of Planned Parenthood), Exhale has a decade of experience generating conversations about abortion that are based in real, lived experiences.  From Glamour Magazine and MTV to CNN and the New York Times, Exhale continues to find new, creative ways to talk personally about abortion and transcend the politics of the day.

About the Tour

This year, Exhale has partnered with women who have shared their stories publicly on MTV, the BBC, and New York Times in order to talk with young people about what we can do to create more social acceptance for the one-in-three women in America who will have an abortion in their lifetime. 

Exhale is launching a speaking tour to bring pro-voice dialogue to college campuses. The idea for this tour comes directly from women who have had abortions and are ready to share their stories and talk face-to-face with other young people.

Using Exhale’s proven model for pro-voice conversation, these young leaders will share their stories, engage students in interactive exercises, and teach the basics for pro-voice communication that give students new tools and ideas for how support people who experience abortion. Changing campus culture is just one step to a broader cultural climate of support and respect for each person’s unique experience with abortion.

The tour will take place in Spring 2013 and aims to connect with leaders who shape campus culture, especially students, staff of campus health centers, and resident advisors. The goal is create connections with campus leaders.

About The Speakers

 Kassi Underwood's essays, book reviews, and author interviews have appeared in The New York Times,, The New York Daily News, Exhale's Pro-Voice Blog, The RumpusPublishers Weekly, and The Days of Yore, among other publications. She is working on a memoir about her quest for post-abortion therapies and cultural rituals. She lives in New York City with her partner, Travis, and their Beagle named Bug. 

Kate Hindman is a Political Science major at Cuesta Community College in San Luis Obispo. Raised in Los Angeles, she was always drawn to reproductive issues, and after the election in 2008, really honed in on her beliefs and life goals in this area. She is currently an Exhale talk-line counselor. She hopes to one day make political documentaries.

Mayah Frank is an adventurer and guide by trade, a student and an activist. She has passion in her soul to seek justice and equality for all living things.

Natalia Koss Vallejo is a feminist activist from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In 2011 she appeared on a television program called No Easy Decision, broadcast internaonally by MTV, on which she spoke about the importance of de-stigmatizing abortion and supporting women through this common experience.  She is currently working on an undergraduate degree in Women's Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.

Ronak Davé is a graduate student at Tufts University in Boston, MA, pursuing a dual M.A./M.S. Master’s degree in Urban Environmental Policy and Planning, and Food Policy and Applied Nutrition. Her graduate work focuses on health disparities and the intersections of the built environment, health, and sociopolitical inequities. Ronak was recently awarded the Alvin Levin Fellowship by the Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning, and the Robert P. Guertin Student Leadership Award from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Tufts University, both for her leadership in and dedication towards social change.