The Doula Project
Photo by Ruby Fitch

New Abortion Diary Podcast!

A new Abortion Diary Podcast is up from DP doula Melissa Madera!

Meet Our Doulas: Melissa Madera

At The Doula Project, we're lucky to work with a fabulous roster of incredible volunteer full-spectrum doulas, and we'll periodically share their work with you here on our blog. First up: an extraordinary project launched by doula Melissa Madera. Melissa is the creator of the Abortion Diary Podcast, an ongoing project that records people telling stories about their abortion experiences. We'll be cross-posting new podcasts here on the Doula Project's blog; you can find previous podcasts at The Abortion Diary Podcast site and find out more via the hashtags #TellYourStoryTuesday and #TYST. Below, Melissa explains the origins of the podcast.

Sharing Our Stories: The Abortion Diary Podcast

This blogpost is a shortened and modified version of a blogpost posted on The Abortion Diary’s blog.

I launched The Abortion Diary Podcast in November 2013, a few months after the idea first entered my mind. Last summer, I felt a very strong need to connect to people with this shared experience. For sixteen years I remained relatively silent about my own abortion experience as a seventeen year old. But I came to realize that I needed to share that experience and that I needed to be surrounded by the stories of others. I needed to listen and know I wasn’t alone.

I searched online for something to read or listen to and share my story with, but I didn’t come across anything that resonated with me. I thought about listening to a podcast that featured abortion stories, but I was surprised to find that there were no audio stories that I could listen to online. A podcast seemed logical to me because I wanted to hear another human being’s voice. I yearned for the kind of connection that only listening offers. Since I couldn’t find a podcast on abortion stories I created one.

The Abortion Diary is a space anyone can access at any time so that people know that they are not alone. Every person’s story is different, and so are people’s feeling and emotions about their own abortion experiences. People may feel joy and relief while also feeling sadness and grief. Too often our experiences are reduced to two minute soundbites. Lost are our personal struggles, real life traumas and the riches of our successes. I am committed to creating a deeply personal space and community of support where we can tell our own stories, and where every story could be told and heard. A space where we can share and honor the fullness of our experiences.

For the past eight months I have been listening to people as they share their abortion stories with me and, with the help of digital media, podcast listeners around the world. As I continue to travel and record stories (over sixty-four so far) I have realized that, like me, people have craved the space to share their stories, to let their stories out, to be listened to, to heal, to share with others and feel connected. I am constantly surprised by people’s bravery, vulnerability and willingness to share.

Every time I am on my way to meet someone and listen to them share their story I have doubts about what I am doing and then I sit down with them and listen as they share and I know why I am there. And this girl with a podcast is humbled and grateful for every moment of it.

these are the stories we share.

Melissa

Melissa Madera is the Founder & Director | Curator | Dedicated Listener | Story-Sharer at The Abortion Diary. She is a multimedia historian, full spectrum doula with The Doula Project, co-creator of The Mother Wit Conference, and CoreAlign Generative Fellow. Melissa is currently on a cross country (and soon worldwide) road trip with the podcast. You can listen to our abortion stories here. To share your story e-mail her at melissa@theabortiondiary.com.

Thank You!

Dear Friends of the Doula Project,

We are so very glad to report that we surpassed our fundraising goal for the Bouquet of Choice Spring Fundraiser - because of your kindness, generosity and support we raised approximately $10,000 through our online campaign and direct donations during the Bouquet of Choice fundraising event!!! We promise to put these funds to work supporting pregnant people across the reproductive spectrum in NYC and expanding access to our amazing doulas.

Thank you for your donations, promoting our work, and spreading the word about The Doula Project. We are incredibly grateful and continuously in awe of our supporters.

Sincerely,

The Doula Project

Support The Doula Project This Spring!

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Bouquet of Choice
Online Campaign at IndieGoGo
Join us to launch our spring fundraising campaign!
Drinking, Dancing & Happy Hour Specials
Thursday, May 8th 6-9pm
Bubble Lounge
228 West Broadway NYC
FREE Entrance!
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Dear Supporters,

In 2007, The Doula Project created a model of care that seeks to advance a new vision of holistic pregnancy support: a doula for all reproductive choices. Since that time, our organization has grown from two to more than 75 volunteer doulas. These doulas have provided compassionate, respectful support to more than 15,000 pregnant people in NYC, and operate under the guiding principle that all people deserve compassion, care, and support, whether they choose abortion, adoption, or to raise their child.

We have made an impact, but there is more work to be done.

Bouquet of Choice

Our spring online fundraising campaign “Bouquet of Choice” honors the decisions people make in their reproductive lives. Each flower represents a crucial service that The Doula Project provides to our clients, based on the decisions they make. Please consider supporting The Doula Project by picking a flower from our Bouquet of Choice:

Daisy: $50 contribution

Train an Abortion Doula
The Doula Project has trained hundreds of volunteers around the country on the abortion doula model of care. Help us continue to train our doulas so that they can provide this crucial support to people terminating their pregnancies, or experiencing miscarriage or fetal loss.

Tulip: $75 contribution

Send a Doula to a National Conference
As leaders in the full-spectrum doula movement, we believe it is our mission to educate the healthcare field about the work we do. Help us continue to promote and grow our movement by supporting our presentations at reproductive health and justice conferences around the country.

Lilac: $100 contribution

Support New Partnerships with Clinics
In order to provide full-spectrum doula care to even more clients, we must build partnerships with new abortion clinics, hospitals, and organizations. Your contribution will help us create, nurture, and maintain these partnerships.

Rose: $250 contribution

Provide a Birth Doula
The support a doula provides during labor and birth is invaluable, but for many it is unaffordable. Your contribution will provide a person the support and assistance they deserve during their labor and birth.

Orchid: $500 contribution

Hire Our First Staff Member!
Since 2007, we have been an entirely volunteer-run organization, providing services to thousands of pregnant people at multiple clinics. We are now committed to hiring a staff member to help us elevate and expand our work.

All contributions are tax-deductible and can be made via our IndieGoGo campaign page where you can track our progress towards our $7,000 fundraising goal. If you would like to make your gift in honor of someone special, please email your request to .

We are incredibly grateful to the volunteers who make The Doula Project run, and to our donors and supporters who allow us to do this great work.

Thank you,

The Doula Project

Welcome to Our New Site!

We are so thrilled to debut our fabulous new website, designed by the multitudinously talented Bryan Reedy! This project has been some time in the making, and we're incredibly grateful to the behind-the-scenes volunteers who've provided countless hours of tech support to the Project over the years. Keep an eye on this spot for our new blog, and be sure to join our mailing list for regular updates on volunteer opportunities, educational programs, and other Doula Project news. We're so lucky to be supported by such a fabulous community, and we can't wait to see what the future brings!

--Media Coordinator Sarah

Introducing Our Photo Match Program!

We're so excited about a new partnership with photographer Seze Devres! We're committed to supporting positive birth experiences for all people, and documenting the first days and weeks of their child's life is a big priority for many new parents. However, many families are unable to afford the costs of a professional photographer. Through our new Photo Match Program, we're offering an opportunity for mothers to support mothers. In partnership with Seze Devres Photography, new parents can purchase infant photo shoots for their own family as well as the family of a Doula Project client. For more information, check out our Photo Match form here.

Photos by Seze Devres

2013 Annual Appeal

Dear Friends and Supporters,

Last year, The Doula Project was named as one of the best non-profit organizations to donate to in The Nation magazine. That’s because since 2007, we have provided full-spectrum doula care to over 10,000 people in the New York City area, free of charge. In addition to providing free birth doula services to people who are not in a position to pay for it and to those choosing adoption, our doulas provide the same benefits to people choosing to terminate their pregnancies: pain management and relaxation techniques, information and education about pregnancy, and above all emotional support and empathy. Our ongoing partnerships with clinics and hospitals allow us to provide an entirely innovative service model.

Traditional doula services are often inaccessible to the people who need them most: low-income people and people without existing support structures. By partnering directly with health care providers, we become part of the clinic structure, seamlessly integrating support into our clients’ experiences regardless of the outcome of their pregnancy. In 2013, we directly supported over 3,500 people choosing abortion or experiencing fetal loss and over 50 births. We have plans to continue to grow our existing relationships and to partner with new locations in the New York City Area.

We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished in the last seven years and we look forward to what the future brings! We need your help to do that. Your contributions are needed for ongoing training of doulas locally and nationally, expansion of our local NYC doula services to reach even more low-income clients, and stipends to pay our doulas for their critical services. The Doula Project is supported entirely by individual donations from people like you who believe that all women should have the support they need during their pregnancies. We believe that the work we do continues to be the number one reason to once again be considered one of the best-non- profit organizations to donate to in 2013!

The Doula Project is a 501C3, not-for-profit organization. Your donation is 100% tax-deductible. You can donate online or send checks payable to The Doula Project, PO Box 5172, Astoria, NY 11105

Thank you from all of us!