Melissa Madera, 36-year-old historian, doula and founder of “The Abortion Diary,” has travelled to 18 states to record women’s abortion experiences. The online Abortion Diary has 125 first-person podcasts of women ranging from ages 18 through 85. Having undergone an abortion herself at age 17, Madera describes her mission as personal rather than political. She wants women to share their truths about abortion, a secret that she had long kept only to herself. In addition to revealing a wide spectrum of emotions, the narratives convey the legal, economic and health-related aspects of abortion.
The Abortion Diary has also taken the form of a small exhibit this month at the art museum of Denison University, where Madera has a year-long fellowship in the women’s and gender studies program. Visitors can listen to the podcasts on an iPad or listen on a rotary phone to a member of the Jane Collective, an underground abortion service, describe her work in Chicago before the passage of Roe v. Wade in 1973. Madera hopes to get funding to take her exhibit “on the road,” as she meets more women who tell her their stories.
Read the full story at The Washington Post.