The Abortion Conversation Projects (ACP) has chosen 5 new projects that are experimenting with strategies to address the stigma surrounding abortion. “We want to invest in innovative grassroots projects that engage people in conversation about abortion,” says Peg Johnston, Chair of ACP. The organization has now funded 67 Projects and offers support and expertise to both Grant Partners and applicants.
“Space Submarine Commander” is a short musical comedy video that tells the story, through allegory, of the difficulty of obtaining an abortion. Alanna Stewart, the filmmaker, lives and works in Tennessee and knows how state regulations put up barriers for women seeking abortion. According to Stewart, “We want to create space for the viewer to imagine a world in which a woman taking control of her destiny is heroic rather than shameful.” In the film, the heroine presents her abortion as normal, even if the circumstances are not, as well as an act of self love in the final ballad. (Pictured above: Alanna Stewart, Director and Katherine Dohan, Music Director, in plaid)
“Contá Conmigo,” a storytelling project, aims to change how the country of Uruguay thinks about women who have abortions. Lucía Berro Pizzarossa, a lawyer who researched the debate on legalizing abortion and found that the images presented by the members of parliament were based on harmful stereotypes rather than on women’s lived experiences. The project encourages women to tell their abortion stories on their own terms. Says Pizzarossa, “Contá Conmigo has a double meaning: in Spanish, the word ‘contar’ means to tell (a story) and also to count on somebody so in this project women will tell their stories and also support each other.
“Mommie is Pro-Abortion” will explore how abortion care workers can talk about their work with their children. Jen Groves, a NJ provider, observes, “We have inadvertently stigmatized our own life’s work.” The project will bring together front line staff to discuss what supports would be helpful. ACP is offering seed funding to create a needs assessment that will help us understand the next steps for parents who work in abortion care.
The WIN Fund started a book club to bring together pro-choice people in North Dakota, creating a space for nuanced discussion. The WIN Book Club will reach out to new audiences and help evaluate the strategy of conversations about books as a stigma reducer in a red state.
“You Are Not Alone” (YANA) received ACP funding to start a safe space for people to discuss abortion experiences using a peer support model. Stephanie Pineira has teamed up with Peer Support Space, which runs 20 support groups on diverse topics in Florida.
The Abortion Conversation Projects is committed to eliminating the stigma of abortion by supporting individuals and small groups engaged in innovative community-based projects that create new ways and opportunities to talk about abortion honestly and publicly. It has awarded 67 Grant Partnerships since the program started in 2012. ACP fundraises approximately $12,000 each year to pay for seed grants and expenses. The ACP Board also offers consultations with people working on abortion stigma as well as webinars, trainings, and workshops. For more information and to join the mailing list, consult ACP’s website at AbortionConversationProject.org or the Facebook page.