Our work began over a decade ago
Abortion Conversation Projects is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, with origins in ACP as a private foundation founded in 2000 to create strategies to challenge the stigma surrounding abortion. ACP was originally conceived as a sister organization to the National Coalition for Abortion Providers, a lobbying and trade organization for independent abortion providers. In July of 2008, members of both boards worked together to form the Abortion Care Network, a nonprofit organization that expanded the abortion care community around independent providers and harnessed the energy generated by ACP's "open and honest" conversations. In 2011, ACP reorganized as a separate organization and we continue to collaborate with the Abortion Care Network frequently. In 2016, we re-envisioned ourselves and formed a Public Charity to enable us to grow and serve.
In the first 8 years of its existence, the Abortion Conversation Project engaged in defining 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.
With the co-sponsorship of Exhale, we brought together researchers, mental health professionals, clergy, and providers to create an agenda to promote post abortion emotional health, a term that we coined.
From this came greater attention to the real needs of women post abortion and to assessing risk factors women may have for poor outcomes. Independent providers were eager to incorporate assessment tools and intervention strategies into their practice and the handout Healthy Coping After an Abortion has become an essential resource for clinic staff and patients.
ACP collaborated with the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice to develop a curriculum on reproductive loss for their clergy training program.
We also distributed the workbook, A Guide to Emotional and Spiritual Resolution After an Abortion for the Pregnancy Options Workbooks series at PregnancyOptions.info.
Another initiative was the "Mom, Dad I'm Pregnant" project which resulted in a website and two handouts, one for parents and one for the young people involved in an unintended pregnancy. To our knowledge, it is the only resource for this particular crisis in family communication.
Similarly, we worked with the creators of the Men and Abortion website to create a handout called Especially for Men. The original handouts and two more in the series developed by the Abortion Care Network are available in Spanish on this site.
2005-2007: Conversation Initiatives
The Abortion Conversation Project sponsored Abortion Conversations in Texas, Florida, and the Northwest in an effort to create a space where providers and pro-choice allies, including clergy, activists, academics, students, and health professionals, could come together to talk openly and honestly about abortion. We have found that people need to understand each other's work and perspectives in a tolerant atmosphere where people can ask questions without risk.
The Abortion and Spirituality Working Group brought together clergy and abortion counselors to explore training aids, handouts, and strategies to assist women with spiritual concerns about an abortion experience. We offered several workshops on this topic. We are delighted to report that this initiative has largely been continued by Faith Aloud, a national "religious and ethical voice for reproductive justice."
By maintaining our relationship with ACN, we are able to make our training events and materials available to members of both organizations. ACN also has a history of combating stigma around abortion so our connection remains very energetic and powerful.
2008-2015: Conference Plenary Speakers
Starting in 2008, we began sponsoring lectures by nationally recognized leaders, researchers, academics, and culture change makers in shifting stigma at the national Abortion Care Network conferences.
- 2008: Krista Jacob discussed stigma based on her role as editor of the anthologies, Abortion Without Apology and Abortion Under Attack.
- 2009: Kate Cockrill, now Executive Director of The Sea Change Program, presented her research on abortion stigma as a researcher at ANSIRH.
- 2010: Karl Hagstrom Miller, PhD presented his talk titled "On Intimacy, Death, and Tickets to Blur" about abortion in pop music.
- 2011: Heather Ault, visual artist and creator of 4000 Years for Choice, presented her groundbreaking presentation on pro choice and anti choice messaging and the role of visual culture.
- 2012: Tracy Weitz, PhD then Director of ANSIRH, shared a talk about how abortion is portrayed in movies titled "Is Abortion Too Much for the Big Screen?"
- 2013: Loretta Ross, founder of SisterSong, inspired us all with her talk "Warrior Women Moving Forward Forever"
- 2014: Miriam Zoila Pérez of Radical Doula spoke about the intersections of reproductive justice and abortion care in her talk "Radical Doulas and Reproductive Justice: Building a 21st Century Movement".
- 2015: Amy Hagstrom Miller CEO of Whole Woman’s Health shared insights gained from her leadership as an abortion provider and grassroots movement leader in Texas.
2012: Conflict Transformation
In 2012, ACP sponsored a weekend workshop, with participants from varied fields, that explored ways to address abortion stigma by reaching out to others, especially those outside our core, in innovative, respectful and attentive ways. Eyal Rabinowitz, internationally recognized Conflict Transformation trainer, led and facilitated the powerful conversations.
2015: Video Competition
In 2015, the Abortion Conversation Project co-sponsored "Let It Out! Abortion Stigma Busting Video Competition" with the Abortion Care Network and the 1 in 3 Campaign.
2012-Present: Seed Grants
Currently, the Abortion Conversation Project offers small seed grants to individuals and grassroots groups for innovative projects in keeping with ACP's mission 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. We are particularly interested in innovative and creative approaches to challenging and eradicating abortion stigma.
The ACP Board is committed to an ongoing, collaborative relationship with our grant partners. We respect your project and offer support not often found with other grantors. Our Board has expertise and connections in many areas, so we encourage each prospective grant applicant to review our past grant partners on this site, to view our webinars, and to discuss their project with a member of ACP before submitting an application. If you have a project idea that may lend itself to our grant program, see the Apply for a Grant section of our website to get started.
Organizations mentioned in our history
- 1 in 3 Campaign
- 4000 Years for Choice
- Abortion Care Network
- Faith Aloud
- Men and Abortion
- Radical Doula
- Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice
- The Sea Change Program
- Whole Woman’s Health
Videos of conference plenary speakers