It is my great honor to serve on the board of directors for Backline. In the movement for reproductive health, rights, and justice Backline is a guiding light to normalizing the experiences of all providing them with support through them all. Backline leads with empathy and compassion and makes room for all of the complexities that come with reproductive decision-making. All are welcome here and all have a place at the table.
I worked for several years in abortion care. Although I worked at a wonderful organization that was well funded and valued addressing the emotional needs of our patients as they were making difficult decisions about pregnancy and abortion, as medical providers we simply did not have the necessary time to dedicate to women who were struggling with ambivalence, hesitation and feelings of guilt or sadness. The Backline Talkline was a life saver for us as practitioners and, I am sure, for our patients as well. I was confident in the support, care and validation that my patients would receive from Backline. So many women suffer with the isolation that comes with not having anyone with whom to share their struggles. Keeping something so monumental in one's life a secret is only shame producing. Backline offers women a place to share the truth about their experiences without having to suffer the often negative reactions that might come from family and friends. I can't say enough about the critical work that Backline does. They are saving the lives of women who have no one else to turn to. I thank them for what they have done for my patients and the resources they have offered me as a clinician. I could not have done my job well without them.
Backline is a conscientious, ethical, and hard-working organization. As a professional in family planning and abortion care, I rely on Backline for it's services for patients and staff. We refer to Backline because we know that they are compassionate and non-judgmental. Our staff use Backline to increase their own knowledge of pregnancy options and current issues in reproductive justice. They are a one-stop shop for pregnancy decision-making in a patient-centered, patient-empowering environment.
I have never been a part of a more compassionate, thoughtful, intentional, and brilliant board of directors, than I have with this team. I am incredibly proud to serve this organization and its tremendous staff.
Volunteering for Backline has been an incredible experience. The training process is thorough, well-organized, and makes space for feedback from volunteers so that the process can be adjusted as necessary. Additionally, Backline provides accurate and up-to-date information for its advocates so that all are well-equipped to take any kind of call surrounding pregnancy, abortion, adoption, and parenting. I am still fairly new to Backline, but the established volunteer group has been warm, welcoming, and very encouraging. The community creates space for self-care and growth, and values each volunteer's individual spirit and skills brought to the line. I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with this organization and know that the skills and heart-space I gain through Backline will stay with me in all aspects of life.
As a professional in the field, I rely on Backline as a resource for both the patients we serve and the staff that assist them. I am grateful for the wonderful volunteers that Backline trains so well who provide excellent, empathetic, non-judgmental and needs-based phone counseling to people who have chosen or are contemplating abortion. In a world where abortion is so thoroughly stigmatized, the support that Backline offers is a grace that many people who have chosen abortion do not often receive.
I recently stepped away from volunteering for Backline for over three years. The skills that I learned there have been invaluable in my professional life as a healthcare provider, and also in my personal life. I felt extremely well-supported in my development as a peer-counselor/talkline advocate, and I also enjoyed the open, nurturing, compassionate, dynamic community associated with Backline at all levels of staff/volunteer. I work in perinatal care and women's health and I continue to refer patients to Backline who may benefit from a warm, open, non-judgmental heart/mind/ear because I think this program fills a void for patient-driven open-ended conversations that is sadly absent from most harried/overbooked medical offices.
As a volunteer with Backline, I've received excellent training and immense support in my work. Volunteer time is coordinated around my busy schedule, and volunteers have access to frequent check-ins to address any questions or concerns that arise. The organization fosters a culture of support and nurturing, which I greatly appreciate!
For many years I've volunteered for Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky (PPINK). When I was counseling patients, I always appreciated having the Backline resource. Reproductive choices can complicated and emotionally wrought. With Backline, I didn't feel I was sending folks away without support. It's a great organization doing so much to offer whatever time a caller needs to talk and share with someone whose "listening ear" is kind, respectful and without judgment.
I've done a lot of volunteering in my life, but I have never been involved in a community as supportive as Backline. The leaders in this organization go out of their way to recruit awesome people, and they instill a lot of trust and confidence in their volunteers. Self-care is also heavily emphasized, and there is always support available for those who need it. They have been particularly flexible with my schedule and happy to let me help out in any way that works for me. This isn't just an organization that does good work but also an organization that nurtures and lifts up the people who work for them. Without a doubt, volunteering for Backline is one of the best things I've ever done.