We Heart: The “Abortion Out Loud” Campaign Centering Young Voices

Advocates for Youth has re-launched their 1 in 3 campaign for abortion rights as Abortion Out Loud. The new campaign is focused on fostering conversations about abortion rights that center young people—who are both disproportionately impacted by abortion restrictions and make up more than half of those who have abortions.

The campaign kicked off Wednesday with a week of action engaging students on over 100 campuses. The launch events will be part abortion speak-out and part reflection on an increasingly urgent question: “Why do you say abortion out loud?” Some are also acts of resistance in a country where abortion rights are under attack.

Orange Coast College’s event will become a counter-protest while an anti-abortion movie screens on campus. “This is extremely dangerous to my school,” Bex Whitehead, a junior at Orange Coast College, explained in a statement. “We are trying to shift the culture on campus to one that is understanding that abortions are health care.”

Dillard University’s event will lift up voices from the intersections in a state whose anti-abortion laws are currently going before the Supreme Court. “On my campus and in the state, abortion is almost never talked about,” junior Kaylan Tanner said in a statement. “I am using this campaign to fight for reproductive rights and freedom for women in Louisiana, especially women of color in marginalized communities. I want to spread knowledge and create awareness about the reproductive injustices we are facing.”

In the Rio Grande Valley, that conversation needs to include self-managed abortion—so the speak-out will, too. “We need to be talking about these issues, especially when our political climate can affect our choices,” Veronika Granado a University of Texas Rio Grande Valley sophomore, said in a statement. “People fear being detained and might self-manage their abortion, and should be able to do that without being criminalized. It’s important that people are aware about these things so that they don’t spread misinformation and continue to have stigma turn into policy.”

The 1 in 3 campaign, founded in 2011, ultimately collected over 1,500 abortion stories from people across the country and amplified them through art and activism events. Those stories smashed stigma and shifted national conversations around abortion access and reproductive justice. Now, young people will take the reigns of that conversation—and zero in on the urgency of the fight for their bodily autonomy, and their futures.

“The young people who are part of the Abortion Out Loud campaign are dedicated to ensuring youth are not left behind as attacks on abortion access intensify,” Debra Hauser the President of Advocates for Youth, said in an announcement. “They’re sharing their own abortion stories with their community and with policy makers. They’re working on initiatives like SB 24, the California bill that would require campus health centers to offer medication abortion. They’re enlisting their fellow students in the fight. They won’t remain silent as our abortion access is stripped away—and they’re not afraid to say ‘Abortion out Loud.’”

About

Carmen Rios is the Managing Digital Editor at Ms. and has spent over a decade raising hell in feminist media. Her work has been published by outlets like the Atlantic's CityLab, BuzzFeed, ElixHER, Feministing, Girlboss, Mic, MEL and Everyday Feminism; and she also spent six years writing and editing for Autostraddle, was a founding blogger and activist with the SPARK Movement and was the inaugural managing editor of THE LINE Campaign blog. Carmen is additionally a co-founder of Webby-nominated Argot Magazine.