Aspen Baker is cofounder of Exhale, a nonprofit that offers emotional support after an abortion, free of judgment and politics.
Exhale was created by and for women who have abortions. The founders of Exhale gathered together for the first time, on the floor of a Berkeley apartment, in June 2000. These five women came together because they, or someone they knew, had personally experienced the lack of non-judgmental services available for women and their significant others after an abortion.
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 so many other controversial topics.
2000 Exhale founded
2002 Exhale launches after-abortion support talkline
2003 Talkline offers counseling in Spanish, training launched
2005 Talkline available nationwide. term "pro-voice" coined
2007 Talkline 5 year anniversary, abortion e-cards launched
2009 Volunteer management award, featured in Glamour
2010 Partnership with MTV to feature women who had abortions
2012 Counseling and storysharing guides published
2013 Pro-Voice Fellows tour classrooms, churches nationwide sharing abortion stories
2014 Exhale in Cosmopolitan's 2014 Top 20 Moments for Women
2015 "Pro-voice" book published
What's next? Pro-voice documentary, expanded Pro-Voice Fellowship tour, and more...