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|Hayley Matthews • 5/13/16|
The 411: Through powerful videos, NotAlone.us gives women who’ve had an abortion a safe place to share their stories with other women so they can no longer feel afraid, ashamed or alone.
Whether you’re pro-life or pro-choice, most of us would agree that abortion is a serious subject that affects millions, if not billions, of people, and it’s often a tough decision.
In the hopes of changing the conversation and fighting back against attacks on women’s rights, NotAlone.us provides an outlet where women can feel comfortable discussing their choice to have an abortion and the impact it’s had on their lives.
Not only does NotAlone.us allow women to share their stories via video, but it also recommends helpful financial, medical, statistical and political resources.
The organization was founded in 2013 by Sherry Matusoff Merfish and her daughters Beth and Brett, and Emily Letts, whose video of her own abortion experience went viral, joined the team in 2014.
Now with more than 30 videos on the site, NotAlone.us encourages women every day to be brave enough to voice their opinion about a topic that is commonly surrounded by secrecy and shame.
“We had seen, especially with the success of my video, how influential that experience can be — not only recording the video and sharing the story publicly, but also seeing somebody’s face and hearing them talk about such a stigmatized experience,” Letts said.
It’s one thing to read someone’s story in an article, but what the team at NotAlone.us feels makes even more of an impact and gets even more people talking is video where women can actually see and hear what the experience was like for someone.
“To have somebody record their abortion story can be an extremely difficult thing, even if they do feel safe and ready, so one of the things we have been doing is setting up interviews with people and recording Skype conversations where I ask them questions and support them in a much more tangible way,” Letts said. “We’re really trying to create a community for all those people who have shared their abortion stories publicly.”
What Letts and the Matusoff Merfish family are doing is very incredible, and the future looks to be even more incredible, with fundraisers, political activism, counseling and more on the horizon.
“We’re definitely looking toward that and also just figuring out how to create safe spaces online in terms of healing because obviously not all abortion stories are as positive as, for example, mine was, so we’re interested in post-abortion healing and counseling,” Letts said. “One in three women will have an abortion in their life, and we want to figure out unique ways to use social media and YouTube and all of these new techniques at our fingertips to help with de-stigmatization.”
To learn more about NotAlone.us and listen to the compelling stories of so many courageous women, visit notalone.us.