Making Waves: The Fourth Annual Abortion Rights Poetry Contest

Posted December 12, 2014 by abortionconversationproject
Categories: Uncategorized

Making Waves: The Fourth Annual Abortion Rights Poetry Contest

Judged by representatives of the Abortion Care Network and Split This Rock, with special guest judge this year Katha Pollitt!
Sponsored by the Abortion Care Network and Split This Rock

Deadline: Midnight (EST), January 5, 2015

The Abortion Care Network (ACN), a national organization of independent abortion providers and prochoice supporters, and Split This Rock, a national organization that celebrates poetry that provokes social change, announce our Fourth Annual Abortion Rights Poetry Contest, to be held in conjunction with ACN’s annual conference in March 2015.

We are pleased that our panel of judges this year will include Katha Pollitt, the reknown polemicist, poet and feminist.  She is currently touring the US to promote her new book Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights (2014), a defense of abortion as a social good.  She is also the author of numerous collections of essays and poetry, including The Mind-Body Problem (2009).

The experience of people who seek abortion and other reproductive services is as varied as the individuals involved. For some, there is safety, relief, and good medical care. For others, there is doubt, harassment, and stigma. For all, health care takes place in a politicized context in which even the most basic choices about our bodies, sexuality, and childbearing can be scrutinized. Reproductive rights are also linked to a whole host of other social issues, such as economic status and the accessibility of safe, affordable health care.

ACN and Split This Rock welcome the submission of poems on these themes. We will award the following prizes: First ($100), Second ($75) and Third Place ($50), and Honorable Mention. The first-place winner will be invited to read the winning poem at ACN’s annual meeting. The prize-winning poems will be transformed into handcrafted artistic booklets distributed to all meeting attendees and will be published in the ACN’s quarterly newsletter, ACN Notes.  Poems will also be placed onto the Split This Rock website at <>.  Poets from any part of the U.S. may submit poems, but we regret that no travel funds will be provided so that the winning poet may read at the meeting.
Read last year’s winning poems here.

Submission Guidelines:

•   Submit up to 3 poems (6 pages maximum) by midnight, January 5, 2015, using Submittable, here:
•   If the form is not accessible to you, please contact us at
•   All styles and approaches accepted.
•   Previously published in print is acceptable, but, please, not on the web.
•   Simultaneous submissions accepted. Please inform us at immediately if the poem has been accepted for publication elsewhere.
Questions?  Contact us at:


Grant Deadline Extended to Nov. 15th, 2014

Posted October 29, 2014 by abortionconversationproject
Categories: grants for conversation projects


All of you engaged in the election, busy with Halloween, or just need a little more time to craft your brilliant project for an Abortion Conversation Project Seed Support Grant, there is good news!  The Deadline is now November 15th. For information or to talk to a board member before you submit, email  Application and guidelines below.

Nov 1st Grant Deadline

Posted October 24, 2014 by abortionconversationproject
Categories: Uncategorized

Tags: , ,

Here is the revised application for the Abortion Conversation Project’s Seed Grant program for innovative, creative projects to bust stigma. It’s due Nov. 1, 2014 to

Abortion Conversation Project

Seed Support Grant Application Information

Applications Due November 1 and July 1

The Abortion Conversation Project offers small seed grants to individuals and small 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. We also want to encourage projects that engage people on a grassroots level.

The ACP Board is committed to an ongoing, collaborative relationship with our grantees; 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 discuss her/his project with a member of the ACP Board or ACP Grant Subcommittee before submitting an application. Contact to get in touch with someone who can review your idea/proposal.

ACP offers both seed money and help for grantees. Our goal is to connect each grantee with advice about implementation challenges, including fund-raising, extending outreach, dealing with difficult conversations that come up, and developing an evaluation process.

We maximize the reach of stigma-busting culture change by granting ‘seed’ money grants in smaller amounts that allow us to assist more projects. We give priority to new, innovative projects or for new portions of existing projects. Grants are available for direct project costs, including technology, equipment, facility and other material and production expenses. We are willing to provide grant money in some cases for salaries/person hours/honoraria, etc. Grants to pay for personnel will be for completed projects and direct costs will be reimbursed with receipts.

The Abortion Conversation Project encourages social change, so we intend to work with you to publicize your project. Grantees agree to allow ACP to promote their projects on our website and in other ACP publicity materials and to provide evaluative feedback from their projects. Likewise, grantees agree to acknowledge ACP in all communications about their funded project. Logo and ACP tag line will be sent to all grantees.


All grantees agree to submit a brief 6-month Check-In Report and a Final Report to ACP within 30 days of completion.(The Completion Report Form is available on the ACP website or by contacting Neglecting to submit a Completion Report will result in ineligibility for future grants.

Application Process

Applications are accepted for two annual grant cycles; deadlines are July 1 and November 1, annually. Applicants are asked to complete the ACP Support Grant Application form, after initially speaking with a member of our team to discuss your project. Grantees will be notified of the decision of the ACP Grant Subcommittee within 30 days. Recipients may not apply for two grants in one twelve-month period.

Please submit all application forms electronically, and make inquiries to

Abortion Conversation Project Seed Support Grant Application Form

Contact Information




Email address

Institution/Organization (if applicable)

Social Media Contact Information

Twitter address

Facebook address


Project Title/Summary (Title or 1-2 sentence description of the project)

Detailed Description of the Project (two paragraphs, up to 500 words)—be sure to address

  • What do you envision as the outcome of this project?
  • How will you work to decrease polarities and invite people into abortion conversations?
  • How does the project connect with a community?
  • What relationships do you see coming out of this project?
  • Define your intended audience.
  • What aspect of abortion stigma do you see your project addressing? (How is it manifested? On what level does this kind of stigma operate? ex: Individual, community, institutions, policies/laws, media?)
  • How will you evaluate the effectiveness of your project?
  • If this project will continue, how will it be sustained?
    • What is the plan for continuing the project or taking it to the next level?
    • What does the future for this project look like after ACP funding?
    • What relationships do you see coming out of this project?

How does this project support the Mission of the Abortion Conversation Project (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)? (up to 250 words)

How did you learn about this grant opportunity?

Proposed date(s)/timeline of the project:

Estimated budget for the project

  • Please provide details of costs; include source of estimated costs of major items.
  • How much funding have you already secured? Source?
  • What other sources of funding have you sought/are planning to seek?

Amount of grant support requested (up to $2000)

If you do not receive the full amount requested from ACP, how will you adjust your proposal?




Have you told the story of your abortion?

Posted July 31, 2014 by abortionconversationproject
Categories: abortion, dialogue

More and more women (and men) are telling their stories. Until recently, those stories were not very accessible but now these stories having the potential to change the stigma of abortion in our culture.

Our grantee, Emily Letts, whose video of her abortion has gone viral, is working with not alone, a site for video storytelling.

Because public sharing of your abortion story can bring positive reactions as well as negative, Renee Bracey Sherman has set up a survey to find out the impact on those who choose to share. If you have experience in telling your story, please help with this survey. More about the Sea Change sponsored survey:

As you may know, I have been sharing my abortion story publicly for several years. This experience has brought great joy, a feeling of empowerment, and connection to other people who have had abortions across the country – especially other storytellers. While this has been wonderful, it also brings harassment, both online and off, threats of violence, and thus has highlighted the missing pieces of support for abortion storytellers in our movement.

To ensure that storytellers are truly supported, I am conducting a survey and interviews with public abortion storytellers to look at what support systems have been working for them, and what we as a movement could do better to ensure their needs are met.

To that end, I am asking you to complete this survey, if you’re a public abortion storyteller, and forward it to any and all people who previously and currently share their abortion story in public forums including: journalism, media, video, workshops and panels, nonprofit advocacy campaigns, lobby visits, and interviews. I want to hear about all the best (and worst) practices so we can crowdsource a list of recommendations on how to best support our public abortion storytellers emotionally, mentally, and physically.

The survey can be found on The Sea Change Program’s website at:

And, you might want to read the guides on Exhale’s site.

Just Start those Abortion Conversations

Posted July 17, 2014 by abortionconversationproject
Categories: abortion, dialogue

Andrea Grimes, an activist journalist in Texas, was already a hero in our world because she has covered the real story of the legislative assault on women and clinics and the consequences for women.

But now she has gone a step further. She has decided to “come out” or stop avoiding conversations about abortion. She had not wanted to talk to her mother about her work, but when she pushed herself to broach the subject she was delightfully surprised. “I had no idea what she would say, how she would react. I was 30 years old, and I had never really had a conversation with my mom about abortion before….It was just incredible. A conversation I’d been dreading for a decade brought me closer than ever to the most important woman in my life.”

She concludes with, “Which is why those of us who can afford to take the risk must do so—we must talk openly, loudly, and enthusiastically, not just about abortion but about the full spectrum of reproductive health-care decisions that we should all be empowered to make.”

It’s well worth the whole read on RH Reality Check.

And thanks for these stories that RH Reality is so good at publishing.

ACP proudly partners with AbortionChat!

Posted May 21, 2014 by abortionconversationproject
Categories: Uncategorized

ImageFall, 2013 ACP minigrant awardee AbortionChat  has been spreading the word and engaging in challenging conversations about abortion. Author Lynne Schmidt and her collaborators, Alex and Allie, used their ACP minigrant funds to better organize their weekly chat topics on Twitter and to carry their message to several national conferences across the U.S. At these conferences, they shared the AbortionChat story and asked people to make declarations about their own beliefs around questions of pregnancy and reproduction. ACP is proud to have helped bring AbortionChat to so many audiences.

We asked AbortionChat to share some of their grant-funded work with us. Here are some highlights from their year: “We traveled to North Carolina, Seattle, Boston, and New Jersey. . . .We asked people’s opinions on abortions. We asked if they were to get pregnant (they themselves or their partners) what they would do. We encouraged those conversations. We talked about forms of birth control. We met several people who had experienced their own abortions. We met people who encouraged the work we do, and people who were in fear for our lives because of the work we do.We attended our first ever Abortion Speak Out and hope to host one in the upcoming year. We encouraged a 19 year old woman who had an abortion a year ago to be more open about her story, and offered support because she still hasn’t been able to tell her mother. We shared our own stories. . . .” They also gave out brochures and increased the traffic on their Twitter feed.

They learned how important it is to create “a safe place to talk,” and found that, when they did, “stories started pouring out of people.” They report that their grant “helped redefine AbortionChat, give us a better direction, and a greater understanding for the work we’re doing. Rather than just giving our opinions all the time, we’re better able to ask for OTHER people’s . . . allow[ing] them a safe place to converse, no matter what they’re saying.”

As they continue to move forward, AbortionChat has big plans: They hope to host an abortion speak-out in the coming year. In addition, at the Association of Writers and Writing Programs, they will host “authors Kassi Underwood, and Bonnie Rough discussing their abortion experiences, as well as what it was like to write their memoirs.” They report, “We are working toward hosting Repro Happy Hours in the Portland, Maine area so that we can engage people in the community even more. We have had a couple of invitations for universities and are hoping to start branching out in that avenue to continue sharing stories, as well as continuing to make it more and more safe for people who’ve faced abortion to share their stories. We are hoping that by 2015 we will have applied and received non-profit status to continue the work we’re doing.”


Please join ACP as we congratulate AbortionChat for their wonderful work and be sure to follow them on Twitter and Facebook!

Spring Grants Announced

Posted May 12, 2014 by abortionconversationproject
Categories: abortion, grants for conversation projects

Tags: , , , , , , ,
Emily Letts quote

Emily Letts quote

Abortion Conversation Project Awards Six Grants


The Abortion Conversation Project announced six successful grants totaling $5,000 in its Spring 2014 round of mini-grants. “The awards represent diverse ways to extend necessary conversations about abortion,” noted Peg Johnston of the Abortion Conversation Project Board.


The Abortion Conversation Project’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.”


Emily Letts, whose video, “This is My Story” has gone viral after winning the Abortion Care Network’s Stigma Busting Video Competition, was awarded a grant to do further videotaping and to enter film festivals. Lori Brown, an architect, whose book Contested Spaces examines the controversy at clinics as a design issue, was awarded a grant for a contest to design a fence outside the Jacksonville abortion clinic, the only remaining clinic in Mississippi.

Megan Smith, who founded the Repeal Hyde Art Project, plans to create a leadership course for young women in the Boston area. Also, the Boston Doula Project received a grant to host a monthly Salon Series to foster dialogue about reproductive experiences, including abortion.

Another grant will help establish Social Workers for Reproductive Justice by creating training materials for social workers. The Peace Foundation in Pakistan, where abortion is legal but is considered a sin by many, has received a grant to buy software to communicate vital abortion information with women in far-flung rural areas.

The Abortion Conversation Project was founded in 2000 and spent its early years 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 prochoice audiences. After helping to launch the Abortion Care Network, ACP explored conflict transformation techniques and decided to offer small grants to engage many more people in its mission. The Abortion Conversation Project has a website at and a blog at, as well as a Facebook page. Supporters can also receive an e-newsletter by clicking on the link on the home page of the website.