Abortion is so often silenced in both private discussions and public discourse, which is why ACP’s seventh cycle of seed funding aims to give voices a place to be heard in diverse communities. The Abortion Conversation Project (ACP) announced six successful grants totaling $5,000 in its Fall 2015 round of Seed Support Grants. “Each of these projects will expand where and how abortion conversations can happen,” states ACP President, Terry Sallas Merritt.
The “Artivism” project of the COLORado 1 in 3 Youth Council will blend artistic expression with activism on Denver campuses as it fosters dialogue and story collection to destigmatize abortion among young people, especially Latina women. In Buffalo, NY ACP funds will be used to start a Western NY Reproductive Justice Film Series to stimulate discussion and also encourage small acts of social awareness. The group Passion for Women and Children in Malawi will create a short video to put a human face on abortion in a country where the procedure is highly restricted and stigmatized.
The NYC Doula Project will produce an Abortion Self Care booklet to be shared with patients and other doula groups, thus sharing the philosophy of nonjudgmental care to a greater community. Lena Hann will use her Seed Grant to develop a guide to help clinic workers show interested patients fetal tissue. The Clinic Vest Project will provide more brightly colored vests to patient escort services all over the country.
“Each cycle we are impressed with the level of commitment to end abortion stigma and these projects have shown innovative approaches to shifting the culture around abortion dialogue. It is an honor for us to support them with seed funding as well as a connection for resources and problem-solving,” noted Sallas Merritt.
ACP’s mission is “to challenge the polarization that characterizes abortion conversation, lessen the stigmatization of abortion, and promote speaking and listening with empathy, dignity, and resilience about even the most difficult aspects of abortion.” In addition to funding, ACP supports grant partners in outreach, fund-raising, evaluation and sustainability or next-steps.
Founded in 2000, ACP spent its early years promoting post abortion emotional health, de-stigmatizing abortion through handouts for parents, partners, and patients themselves, and staging community conversations to have deeper conversations among diverse pro-choice audiences. Currently, ACP offers small “seed” grants to engage many more people in its mission. The next cycle starts July 1st, 2016.