Advocate Spotlight is back, y’all! Our first Spotlight of 2019 is on Nicole T. (she/her/hers), who has been an All-Options Talkline Advocate since Spring 2016. She is a soon-to-be Registered Nurse (congrats, Nicole!) and is as abortion-positive as they come. Read on to learn more about Nicole and her nearly three years of work on the Talkline!
How/when/why did you first get involved with All-Options and how long have you been volunteering?
Another volunteer, Camille, told me about the organization at a time I was seeking a way to become more involved in the reproductive health and justice field. It seemed like a perfect fit! I’ve been volunteering for almost three years.
What’s your favorite thing about being on the Talkline?
When I interviewed, I remember being told that the communication skills learned in the advocate training had changed the way my interviewer communicated with everyone in her life. And it’s so true! I love being able to lend a compassionate ear to my friends and family when they are struggling. As well, I’m about to enter into work as an RN, and the communication skills I’ve learned on the line are absolutely invaluable in my work with patients.
What has surprised you most in your work on the Talkline?
That abortion narratives can follow the same lines… it’s almost like there’s valid, common reasons that people seek abortions! 😱 But like many of our callers, and people who haven’t had abortions before, I’d never given it much thought. Now, after three years on the line, I am able to take a step back and see how policy can shape Americans’ lives.
Why is an all-options approach to reproductive health and support so important?
Because abortion is reproductive health! I’ve spoken with so many people who seek abortion because of medical issues preventing them from carrying a pregnancy to term. But that shouldn’t matter, honestly. In any other healthcare field, people are able to make decisions about their care. Do they want to operate on a tumor, or leave it in? Take an antidepressant, or lean more heavily on therapy? People should just as well be able to choose whether or not they want to be pregnant. People have bodily autonomy in every other aspect of their care outside of reproductive issues. It’s high time we include uteruses on the list of organs people can make their own choices about.
Tell us something about yourself that might surprise your All-Options colleagues.
I’m lucky enough to enjoy a close camaraderie with my fellow advocates – I’m not sure if there’s anything that might surprise them! My “go to” fun fact about myself is that I’ve donated over a gallon of blood in my lifetime.
What is your favorite thing to do for fun?
READ! And knit, cook, run, garden, roll around in the woods, snuggle my dog…
If All-Options’ mission were achieved and all people had the support and resources they needed for pregnancy, parenting, abortion, and adoption experiences, where would you volunteer your time?
I’d foster kittens à la Kitten Lady, Hannah Shaw. Go look at her Facebook page or Instagram feed if you want your day to instantly be better.