Guest Pod Post: Garnet Henderson from the ACCESS Podcast

Today, we welcome Garnet Henderson to the blog to talk about ACCESS—a podcast about abortion. It pulls back the curtain, demystifying abortion by bringing you real, first person stories, and expert perspectives. Read a post from Garnet below.

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I had big plans for ACCESS before the pandemic started: I was going to travel the country, bringing listeners inside abortion clinics, immersing them in the wildly different realities of abortion access in different states. But in the spring, as I prepared to kick off a campaign to fund my first season, it became clear that walking into abortion clinics with a microphone wasn’t going to be an option for a long time. At the moment, people having abortions aren’t even allowed to bring companions with them due to COVID safety precautions.

However, my original plan for the podcast crumbled, and telling these stories became more important to me than ever before. The pandemic quickly grew into one of the greatest threats to abortion access since Roe v. Wade. Even worse, stories about abortion were getting lost in the frenzied news cycle. So I worked out a plan to record remotely, and got started. My goal for the show was always to demystify abortion through personal stories and expert perspectives, with each episode tackling a different topic. That’s still the general format of the show, but nearly every episode deals with the pandemic in some way, because its effects have been that far-reaching.

Back in the spring, governors in states that were already hostile to abortion access used their executive power to try and force abortion clinics to close. For example, in March, the governor of Texas issued an executive order banning virtually all abortions. The ensuing legal battle led to a confusing back-and-forth. One abortion provider told me his clinic opened and closed a total of eight times during that period. One of his patients had to come into the clinic five times just to get her abortion. 

More people are also turning toward a practice called self-managed abortion. This is when people end their own pregnancies at home, usually using the same pills they’d get at a clinic. Medically, this is quite safe, but legally, it can be risky. In the United States, at least 21 people have been prosecuted on charges related to self-managed abortion.

Harassment and protests at abortion clinics have also intensified this year. I spoke with abortion clinic escorts and administrators from across the country, all of whom told me that the protesters at their clinics aren’t wearing masks or physically distancing. In Charlotte, North Carolina, hundreds of anti-abortion protesters recently gathered for an annual march despite a ban on large gatherings. In Michigan, anti-abortion activists blockaded a clinic, preventing people from entering or leaving for more than an hour.

Being able—or unable—to access an abortion is life-altering. And abortion is not a fringe issue, though it’s often treated as such in the media: one in four women will have an abortion during her lifetime, and trans men and nonbinary people have abortions, too. You certainly know someone who’s had an abortion, and you may even know someone who’s had an abortion during this pandemic. I’m proud to help people tell these stories.

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Thank you, Garnet! Check out the podcast on Apple, Spotify, and Simplecast. You can find out more about the show at www.apodcastaboutabortion.com, on Instagram, and follow the pod on Twitter at @ACCESSpod.

Guest Pod Post: Lisa Gray from the A GOOD END Podcast

We have a returning contributor to the blog! Lisa Gray, who recently shared a bit about her podcast Cause & Purpose, is back with more on another show—A Good End. Lisa is a producer, developer, consultant , and editor for the show, which is under her company Sound Mind Productions.

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 A Good End is a new conversation about Judaism, death, and dying in the 21st century. The series increases awareness, relatability and conversation around end of life care and experiences. Stories are told through real life personal experiences, perspectives and practices from patients, doctors, caregivers, rabbis, students, funeral professionals, music therapists, family members, and more.

2020 has been an exceptional year regarding the awareness of death and dying. Many of us are not prepared, nor educated enough, to properly and confidently talk about death and prepare for death—for a good end.  Thinking about one’s death and the death of loved ones can be meaningful and even life-affirming. In this series, we wanted to share the voices of those whose work involves end of life, what they’ve learned, and what they can teach and share with others. Some of the people and voices we talked with:

  • Rabbi Joy Levitt, who shares the experience of discussing end-of-life care planning with her 90-year-old mother and the surprising and touching discoveries she made along the way.
  • Getting adults to talk about death is difficult. So, what if we started sooner? Some schools are beginning to include Death Education as part of their curriculum. Sasha Zitter relates her experience with Death Ed alongside her high school peers.
  • The Jewish values of prolonging life, but not prolonging suffering come face to face with modern technologies such as artificial nutrition, hydration, and intubation. In this episode, a rabbi, doctor, social worker, and biomedical ethicist discuss the ways they help patients and families navigate the difficult issues that arise toward the end of life. 
  • Many people believe that hospice is about helping someone die. Hospice care providers will tell you that it is actually about helping someone live. Music therapy provides hospice patients and their families with social, spiritual, and emotional support and has been proven to help decrease pain perception. Listen to music therapist Meredith Ferrel’s home visit with Albert, a hospice patient with lymphoma, and to the music they create together.  

To sum up the series in the a sentence, A Good End tells powerful stories that both evoke an emotional impact as well as serve the purpose of creating dialogue and providing pertinent and relevant information. 

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Thank you, Lisa! And listeners, make sure to catch the podcast on Apple, Spotify, Stitcher, and wherever else you feed your podcast addiction.

S4: E1 Podcasts on Fleek (feat. Bodies)

Hi Pod Pals! Thanks for joining us for our first episode of the season. Start listening here and find notes below!

In the (Podcast) News

BYOP (Bring Your Own Podcast)

Lainey told us about Spotify’s Horoscope Today, part of a series of daily horoscopes for each of the 12 signs. It features soothing music and moon positions among other pieces of information packed in a few minutes. Check out all the signs’ episodes here. Listen to a Virgo episode Lainey mentioned here.

What we discussed:

  • A production of Parcast, Spotify’s in-house studio (See the Bustle article here)
  • Daily episodes for each sign
  • Episodes started in September of 2019
  • Each episode last about 2-3 minutes
  • For fans of Co-Star (and for fans of not getting their feelings hurt)
  • Lainey mentioned Written in the Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur
  • Spotify’s curation is on point. See also: cosmic playlists

Calendar Corner

Interview with Bodies host Allison Behringer

This month, we had an fantastic interview with Allison Behringer, the host of Bodies from KCRW.

A feminist documentary podcast that starts as a medical mystery, but once you peel back the layers, more questions emerge. Each episode of Bodies is the journey of one person (specifically women and marginalized genders) to solve their medical mystery. It combines intimate, nuanced storytelling with health reporting to uncover the layers that affect health, like racism, sexism, and capitalism.

There are two full seasons of backlist episodes to binge, and the show can be found on Apple, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, and wherever you feed your podcast addition. Plus, the recent episode “Not This Again” won Third Coast Fest’s Best Doc Bronze Award earlier this year.

Allison shared many great insights about creating Bodies, and she also shouted out the podcast Appearances by Sharon Mashihi—make sure to give it a listen, too!

Catch up with Bodies on the website, Instagram, and Twitter. And follow the host on Twitter too!


‘Til next time,

—Lainey & Alex

Guest Pod Post: Laura Joyce Davis from the SHELTER IN PLACE Podcast

We’re back with a guest post from a fellow Pod Pal! A big welcome to Laura Joyce Davis, the host and producer of Shelter in Place (@shelterinplacepodcast), a podcast about coming together in a world that pulls us apart. Laura is an award-winning fiction writer, Fulbright scholar, and a 2019 WNYC Podcast Accelerator finalist. With a musician’s ear, a writer’s pen, and a voice that invites you in, Laura weaves together stories both intimate and inspiring, showing us why art, not just doctors, will save us. Find out more about the podcast on their website: shelterinplacepodcast.info.

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“What is both interesting and challenging about breakthroughs is that you can’t have one without some sort of breakdown. Progress only happens because certain things start calling into question our paradigms.”

These words by Yale Professor Martin Hagglund describe what so many of us have experienced in 2020. They’re also a great description of Shelter in Place, a podcast about coming together in a world that pulls us apart.

As a fiction writer and mother of three young children in the San Francisco Bay Area, I lived in the tension of work, creativity, and family for a long time. In pre-pandemic life, my husband was the breadwinner, which meant most of the kid stuff fell to me. Writing filled in what little margin was left. It never occurred to me that there was another way.

When the pandemic came, the paradigm shifted. My husband lost his job, the kids’ school went online, and we began to see the cracks both in our own lives and in the systems around us. I launched Shelter in Place in March to work through the breakdown in community in a time when it was easy to feel alone. I thought I’d be doing daily episodes for three weeks.

Four months later, Shelter in Place had changed my life. I’d completed season one with 100 episodes, including 50 conversations (47 of which featured women and BIPOC artists, activists, and experts), and my husband was working for me. We weren’t just creating a podcast; we were rewriting our life. 

We recently launched season 2, which we’re calling Pandemic Odyssey. It follows our family’s migration across the country after wildfires and the challenges of pandemic living pushed us out of our home. Episodes feel a bit like having coffee with the friend who will laugh and cry with you, who seeks out the experts, but is still searching for answers. It’s the scariest, most vulnerable and tender writing I’ve ever done—and the most rewarding. 


Shelter in Place is about embracing the breakdown. It’s a long and winding journey that doesn’t ignore the dead ends or detours, but instead celebrates our need to rely on others to help us stay on course. We don’t know how this story will end, but we’d love to have you join us. Because ultimately shelter in place isn’t just about where you find safety. It’s about where you belong.

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Thank you, Laura!

Guest Pod Post: Noa Fleischacker from the TIGHT LIPPED Podcast

While planning our season four schedule, the DYEP team decided to take time to highlight podcasts straight from the creators. Today, we welcome Noa Fleischacker from the Tight Lipped podcast. Tight Lipped is a podcast all about female chronic pain, exploring “how gender, race, sexual orientation and class impact women and non-binary folks’ experiences of healthcare and of their own bodies…” You can find out more on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter @tightlippedpod.

Tight Lipped is a storytelling podcast about chronic vulvovaginal and pelvic pain conditions, including vulvodynia, vaginismus, and pelvic floor dysfunction. These conditions are remarkably common: up to one in four people with vaginas will experience chronic vulvovaginal pain in their lifetime. If so many people have this kind of pain, why are none of us talking about it? How do so many people harbor the belief that their pain is normal, or that they’re not deserving of treatment and care?

Shrouded in shame, stigma, and silence, people seeking care are often dismissed and misunderstood both in the healthcare system and society. Our show examines how social pressure, norms, and public discourse around sex impact how people with vulvovaginal pain experience their own bodies, health, and sexuality. We feature honest personal stories in addition to insight from professionals who offer analysis about the social, political and cultural aspects of this “private” pain. The show is hosted by me, Noa Fleischacker, and the pilot episode follows my personal story: excruciating pain when trying to insert tampons, while undergoing routine OB/GYN examinations, and during every sexual experience. The pain is so intense that it is physically impossible to be vaginally penetrated without undergoing anesthesia. I didn’t tell anyone about what I was dealing with; instead, in a state of utter confusion, shame, embarrassment, and hopelessness, I hid my pain and visited doctor after doctor in search of answers and some sense of relief. One evening my friend shared a story about someone she knew who was experiencing pain during sex. That evening, for the first time, I realized she might have an actual medical condition and that her pain was not as abnormal and rare as I’d been made to believe. The episode follows my story as I quickly learns that I’m not the only one in the world with this condition—that, in fact, chronic vulvovaginal pain conditions are incredibly common. Tight Lipped ushers listeners along a journey to learn why these conditions are so common yet so severely understudied, under-researched, and generally misunderstood.  

This subject matter lends itself to a podcast format because these experiences are often only whispered about behind closed doors, if shared at all. On our show, we create a public conversation about this “private” pain. We bring in the voices of people who are still coming to terms with their pain, some of whom choose to remain anonymous on the show. Storytelling has huge stakes for our audience—narratives told in Tight Lipped can be the difference between a listener thinking they are the only person in the world with a particular narrative and realizing that there are people all around them quietly enduring the same pain. Hearing these narratives in a public forum can also help sufferers stop blaming themselves for their pain and realize that when a doctor questions their symptoms or when an insurance company denies treatment coverage, there is a much larger political story to be told.

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Thank you, Noa! Go check out Tight Lipped here.