The Abortion Conversation Projects (ACP) Board selected 6 projects that address abortion stigma for funding in its summer 2017 cycle. “We chose proposals that excite us and that would benefit most from seed money and from our capacity to engage with our resources, expertise, and interests,” observes Terry Sallas Merritt, ACP President.
Three of the projects directly help abortion providers and their clients. Reclaim in Michigan will bring neighbors and the public into clinic space to hear stories, take tours, and understand the abortion experience more fully. The Spiral Collective in Minnesota is a doula-based anti-stigma group that brings training to staff as a way of making space to explore how stigma affects their lives and how staff can help each other and the patients in their care. In This Together (Michigan) also supports staff as well as providing activities for children who may have to accompany patients; a companion activity kit for patients will help with long waits. ACP will be watching each of these projects for replication elsewhere.
Three other projects were chosen for their innovative approach to counteracting abortion stigma. ACP believes that even small amounts can leverage shifts in perception. The Centre for Solutions Journalism Project in Malawi will offer training and stipends for journalists to represent unbiased and more realistic depictions of the abortion experience in that country where abortion is still illegal. The Theatre Club in Dublin Ireland will present an installation called “Not At Home” at the Fringe Festival and live streamed to the internet. The artistic event draws upon the stories of women who have had to leave Ireland to find abortion services and will offer interactive theatre to help people understand these experiences. The Abortion Hackathon will bring together providers and programmers and other tech people to collaborate on solutions to problems at a weekend conference in New York in the Fall.
Watch this space for progress reports on our Grant Partners. If you want to make a contribution to support these seed grants, click here.