As abortion debates have turned black-and-white, Aspen Baker advocates being "pro-voice" — listening respectfully and compassionately to all kinds of experiences.

Why you should listen

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.

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.

Aspen Baker’s TED talk

More news and ideas from Aspen Baker

Live from TEDWomen

Be pro-voice: Aspen Baker flips the conversation on abortion at TEDWomen 2015

May 29, 2015

Aspen Baker had just graduated from college when she found out she was pregnant. She was sitting at the bar where she worked and her co-worker, Polly, asked if she wanted a drink. Baker had to confess, “I’m pregnant. I’m not sure what I’m going to do yet.” “Without hesitation, Polly replied: ‘Oh, I’ve had an abortion,'” remembers Baker on the TEDWomen […]

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