When Aspen Baker had an abortion at 24, she felt caught between warring pro-life and pro-choice factions, with no space to share her feelings. So she cofounded Exhale, a nonprofit that offers women and men emotional support after an abortion, free of judgment and politics. After being constantly asked to pick a side in the abortion conflict, Baker and her cofounders started a new conversation.
Abortion is extremely common. In America, for example, one in three women will have an abortion in their lifetime, yet the strong emotions sparked by the topic — and the highly politicized rhetoric around it — leave little room for thoughtful, open debate. In this personal, thoughtful talk, Aspen Baker makes the case for being neither “pro-life” nor “pro-choice” but rather “pro-voice” — and for the roles that listening and storytelling can play when it comes to discussing difficult topics.
Leaving the black-and-white debate behind, they embraced the gray areas and personal stories hidden behind the fight. They invented “pro-voice,” a philosophy and practice that uses listening and storytelling to help people have respectful, compassionate exchanges about abortion, and many other controversial topics. Called a “fun, fearless female” by Cosmopolitan, Baker is an award-winning leader and author of Pro-Voice: How to Keep Listening When the World Wants a Fight.