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Choice Out Loud: An Introduction

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Sarah LaDue is the assistant director of public affairs at NARAL Pro-Choice America

I don't remember a time when I didn't consider myself pro-choice. I think that it was always a given for me. I just never even questioned whether or not women should be able to decide for themselves when they were ready to be a mother.

It probably helped that my own mother instilled her values in me. She wasn't the type to march in rallies, nor do I ever recall my mom calling herself a feminist. Some things were just common sense in our house: we recycled, we were opposed to war, and we were pro-choice.

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Me, my little brother, and my mom, circa the early '90s. You only have to look at my Rainbow Brite shirt to know that I was a Millennial kid.

So when I asked my mom last year whether or not she'd ever had an abortion, I was shocked at her response.

"Yeah, in my late 20s," she said, her voice hesitant. "Why?"

I almost laughed. For years, I've been working to protect the right to choose. And my mom couldn't imagine why I might want to know about her own abortion?

It was an eye-opening experience for me. Even though I talk about choice almost every single day, there were stories in my own family that I'd never heard.

That is why I am so excited about Choice Out Loud.

I'm a proud member of the Millennial generation, which is 77 million strong. Abortion has always been legal in my lifetime. My friends and I don't think about this issue in the same way that our parents did, because our experiences have been different than theirs. We get that abortion is a personal issue, and we don't always feel comfortable sharing our stories or asking other people to tell us theirs.

Choice Out Loud is designed to give us a new way to tell our stories, many of which are already being told online -- in videos, pictures, blogs, and status updates. Through Choice Out Loud, these stories will be amplified, which will hopefully have an exponential effect as more young people are inspired to share their own thoughts and stories. Maybe some people will even be inspired to ask their own mothers, aunts, or sisters to share their experiences with abortion.

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That's me today! I've outgrown the Rainbow Brite shirt, I'm sorry to say.

I'm thrilled to be a part of Choice Out Loud. I get the unique privilege of managing our social media pages, and I can't wait to start meeting new people and hearing what they have to say. Our generation has already accomplished so many things, and I know that I still have so much to learn from all of you.

In the meantime, I'd love to talk to you! Don't hesitate to shoot me an email at Sarah@ChoiceOutLoud.org, or send me a tweet at @ChoiceOutLoud. I can't wait to hear your story.

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