Stigma Busting From the Ground Up: Abortion Conversation Projects Awards Five Grants

Abortion Conversation Projects’ (ACP) Grant Program supports grassroots activism that challenges abortion stigma on individual and community levels with Seed Grants and by partnering with projects. ACP announced five grants totaling $5,000 in its Fall 2016 cycle of Seed Support grants. “Out of a field of 21 we chose the five where we felt ACP could engage and make a difference,” noted Terry Sallas Merritt, President of ACP.

Women seeking abortions in Tennessee may find it difficult to find support for their choice, and the Knoxville Abortion Doula Collective is poised to change that. Their Seed Support grant will fund a hotline and website that will offer information, support, and direct contact with their volunteer abortion doulas. (Doulas are lay volunteers who offer support and information to those going through a reproductive experience.)

The Abortion Broadcast: The Podcast from the Other End of the Speculum, a project by Jacquelyn Day will amplify the voices of abortion care workers who are rarely heard. “Providers are committed and passionate about their work, and are perhaps the most stigmatized of all, so this grant speaks to us,” commented Merritt.

The Fort Worth, Texas Whole Woman’s Health Clinic received partial funding to create a mural that will serve as a bulwark against virulent anti abortion protests and a beacon for patients who seek abortion care. The Shift Stigma Mural Project replicates a previous ACP funded project in McAllen Texas, which was also a target of extreme harassment.  That mural engaged the community, visually represented its diversity, and reinforced that quality, dignified abortion care is available. Whole Woman’s Health was the winning plaintiff in a recent Supreme Court case that struck down burdensome restrictions in Texas.

ACP is also contributing to the funding of two international projects. Safer Sex is a Blessing is a traveling conversation for communities of faith in Honduras. “Abortion is not legal in Honduras, and yet The Ecumenical Leaders for Choice (Las Ecumenicas Por El Derecho a Decidir) are sparking a conversation about abortion and human rights within the context of gender equality and reproductive and sexual health,” said Merritt. The End Abortion Stigma Initiative in South Africa will celebrate 20 years of legal abortion by inviting artists and performers to engage with audiences about the considerable institutional stigma around abortion that exists in that country.

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.

The Abortion Conversation Project was founded in 2000 and spent its early years promoting post abortion emotional health, de-stigmatizing abortion through educational handouts for parents, partners, and patients, and sponsoring deeper conversations among diverse prochoice audiences. After helping to launch the Abortion Care Network, ACP explored conflict transformation techniques and decided to offer small “seed” grants to engage many more people in its mission. The group recently transitioned from a private foundation to a public 501 c 3 charity, Abortion Conversation Projects, Inc. which enables the organization to fundraise for projects. 

Abortion Conversation Projects is building a Stigma-Busting Community. Join us through our website , Facebook page and Twitter feed @ACPabortion. 

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