ACP Board President, Terry Sallas Merritt, recently did an interview with datingadvice.com, a decidedly new audience for the Abortion Conversation Project. Usually, and unfortunately, pro-choice activists are guilty of “talking to ourselves.” A dating site attracts ordinary people, perhaps people who have never really considered the topic of abortion. And yet, these are folks that may face an unintended pregnancy or who have already had an abortion experience. Remember, 37% of all women will have an abortion before the age of 45. So, introducing the topic on a general interest site is precisely where we need to be.
According to Sallas Merritt, it’s all about taking small steps that stop perpetuating silence and encourage listening and understanding.
“When the conversation comes up and you hear that stigma language, you don’t want to let it hang in the air. You can say ‘For me, I would not assume I could make this important decision for anyone else but myself,’” she said. “This is what being pro-choice is all about, respecting the moral authority and capability of people to make these decisions. I think even if you are not comfortable sharing your story, you can be comfortable sharing the universal idea of respect and dignity.”
Hayley Matthews, the editor in chief of Dating Advice, is responsible for creating diverse and controversial content for the site. Even if you don’t need a date, check out her content.