“Out From Under The Rug” Featuring Emily Cortez

Theme: “Out From Under The Rug”
Storyteller: Emily Cortez

In her early twenties, Emily Cortez felt her life was really starting to take off when she fell in love with an older man, missed some birth control pills, and suddenly found herself gaining weight and fighting back nausea. With multiple tests confirming her pregnancy, Emily knew she was not ready to be a mother. Going against her Catholic faith, she chose to abort her pregnancy. “Walking into the clinic, I was greeted outside by a middle-aged man holding a sign: ‘You’re going to hell!’” Later, a full range of emotions overtook her, including fear of being judged and a wavering between guilt and non-guilt. Ultimately, however, the experience transformed her: “My unplanned pregnancy helped shape the timid woman I was into the strong, vocal woman I am today. To that protestor who held that sign, I want you to know: I am like you—a person—a human with stories, moments and experiences that have shaped me but do not define me.”

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Introducing Elise Bilodeau, “Out From Under The Rug” storyteller

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When she was 16, Elise Bilodeau had no idea what her future would look like. Later this month, she’ll take the Oral Fixation stage in “Out From Under The Rug” to share her story of how an experience she had as a teenager changed her life.

Elise Bilodeau is a transient liberal, who mistakenly made Dallas home. She works at an abortion clinic and volunteers with TEA Fund and DARCC. Her favorite acquisitions while living in the South include an affliction for cheese fries, a dog named Boo, tattoos, and an appreciation for “family” near and far.

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Introducing Scott Ross, “Out From Under The Rug” storyteller

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Scott Ross and his wife, Jeni, experienced the tragedy of a medically induced abortion due to fetal anomaly. Hear how this experience forever changed his life in “Out From Under The Rug.”

Scott Ross is a tech professional and father of three young daughters. He has lived in Austin for seven years with his wife, Jeni. He grew up in New Jersey, went to school at Boston University, and has lived in New York and San Francisco. He spends too much time on sports and making jokes.

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Our Eyes Are Fixed On: Daniel Kanter

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Rev. Daniel Kanter looks back on a moment in his youth and tells the story of how one decision shaped his future. Hear Daniel reflect on his life and experiences in “Out From Under The Rug.”

Daniel Kanter is the Senior Minister of First Unitarian Church of Dallas. He serves as vice-chair of the national clergy advocacy board of Planned Parenthood Federation of America and is active in multi-faith efforts to bring Dallas together around issues of race and equity. He is an avid cyclist, has two teenagers, and is married. 

Fixated Facts:

If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would it be and why? Erasmus, because he was a tenacious reformer of his time.

What do you want to be when you grow up? A doctor, but that didn’t pan out freshman year of college.

What is your favorite Dallas hangout? The Old Monk, you can find me there with a pint on occasion.

What is the best book you’ve read in the last decade and why would you recommend it? Red, by Orhan Pamuk, because it is an incredible book on perspective and so fun to read.

Sneak peak: “At the clinic, and sometimes with my parishioners, I receive a kind of confession about mistakes and abortions and screwed up relationships, and I can sit there with some integrity, having been there myself. I know in receiving those stories we are both healed.”

Don’t miss Daniel perform on the Oral Fixation stage in the “Out From Under The Rug” Dallas show on Wednesday, September 21st.

Meet the Cast of “Out From Under The Rug” [DALLAS]

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Don’t miss these upcoming stories told live @ Dallas City Performance Hall on Wednesday, September 21.

This fall, Oral Fixation (An Obsession with True Life Tales) sweeps out the shame with “Out From Under The Rug: True Life Tales of Abortion.” Powerful, personal stories, “Out From Under The Rug” will tug at your heart strings with empowering tales from men and women whose lives have been affected by abortion and women’s rights activism. Taking the Dallas City Performance Hall stage on Wednesday, September 21 at 8 p.m., our eight storytellers will motivate, impact, and encourage audience members to join them in chipping away at the stigma of abortion. From renowned physicians to clinic workers, women’s rights advocates to clergy, and brave young women to devoted best friends, “Out From Under The Rug” will personalize stories that often get distorted by the political spotlight. In advance of the presidential election this November, our presenters will leave viewers with more understanding of real experiences from a variety of different perspectives. Do not miss this show! $25 tickets are on sale now! Keep an eye out for more details: storyteller profiles will be published in coming weeks. First, though, some introductions are in order:

  • Unitarian Minister Rev. Daniel Kanter reflects on his life, looking back to a moment in his youth and revealing how one decision shaped his future.
  • An abortion provider shares his story of how he came to support women’s rights through his career.
  • His best friend wants to have a baby (desperately), but when things go wrong, Clark Harding supports her through a difficult decision.
  • Not having any practical or even theoretical knowledge about sex, Lulu Ward gets pregnant at 15.
  • Raised in a Mexican Catholic family, Emily Cortez wavers between feeling guilty and believing she made a selfless decision after having an abortion.
  • After having an abortion as a teenager, Elise Bilodeau devotes her life to working in an abortion clinic and helping other women.
  • Caught up in a brittle on-again-off-again relationship, Britt Payne learns that her pregnancy will not create the stability and life she longs for.
  • Show host, Nicole Stewart, opens up about her own personal experience with a late-term abortion due to medical anomaly and her passion to protect women’s reproductive rights.

Join us on Wednesday, September 21, at 8 p.m. at Dallas City Performance Hall. $25 individual tickets are on sale now. More info to come on every storyteller as their profile is published in the coming days. We can’t wait to see you there!

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