The First TED Talk On Abortion By Aspen Baker Included These 5 Phenomenal Quotes
TED Talks have been around for about 30 years and there's been a talk on everything from the right way to tie your shoes to an explanation of the hour of 4 a.m., but until Friday, there had never been a TED Talk on abortion. Aspen Baker gave the first TED Talk on abortion at the TED Women Conference in California and it was fantastic. Baker, the founder and executive director of Exhale Pro-Voice, an organization that supports women's unique experiences with abortion, never thought she would have an abortion. "And, then I did," she said in her TED Talk.
About three in 10 women in America will have an abortion by the age of 45, according to Guttmacher, so why aren't we talking about it more often? Baker wants to make it more acceptable and common to talk about abortion, because, as she explained in her TED Talk, there's currently little room for belief or thought other than pro-choice or pro-life in the U.S. Her organization's stance of pro-voice means listening to every woman's voice and story. Her TED Talk focused on the need for everyone to share their personal stories about abortion and listen to others' with empathy, as well as the fact that everyone experiences abortion differently. Here are Baker's best quotes from the talk.
On Asking About Abortion
Ask open-ended questions: 'How are you feeling?' 'What was that like?' 'What do you hope for now?' Another way to be a good listener is to use reflective language. If someone is talking about their own personal experience, use the words they use. If they are talking about their abortion and say 'baby,' you can say 'baby.' If they say 'fetus,' you can say 'fetus.'
On Talking About Your Abortion
One risk that you take when you share your story to someone else is that, given the same set of circumstances as you, they might actually make a different decision. If you are telling a story about your abortion, realize that she might have had the baby. She may have tried adoption. She may have told her parents or partner. She may have felt relief and confidence, while you felt sad and lost.
Empathy is created when we imagine ourselves in someone else’s shoes. It doesn’t mean we have to end up in the same place.
Pro-voice is about the real stories of real people. It can change the way abortion and so many other politicized issues are understood and discussed — from sexuality and mental health to poverty and incarceration.
Our experiences can exist on a spectrum.