Abortion Stigma-Busting Poetry and Videos

"Let It Out!" 2nd Abortion Stigma Busting Video Competition

We welcome submissions to Let It Out: Abortion Stigma-Busting Video Competition. Stigma is a key strategy of anti-abortion extremists who want to shame everyone into silence about abortion. This year we have seen the consequences of this stigma—clinic closures, women who can’t find services, and right wing extremists in charge of women’s health. It is urgent that we create cultural pushback against those who would try to stigmatize us. So, we encourage you to “Let It Out”, be it about your own or a loved one’s abortion experience, outrage over current politics, or calling out those who would stigmatize us. Registration and details here. 


Women Have Abortions Every Day: It's Just One Choice

In March 2014, the video was announced as one of two winners of the Abortion Care Network's first-ever Abortion Stigma Busting Video Competition.

Funded and produced by the Irish Family Planning Association and the International Planned Parenthood Federation as part of an initiative to facilitate an open, honest dialogue on abortion and to dispel myths that stigmatise women who seek abortion services.

Direction and Story Edit: Katie Gillum
Animation: Fuchsia Macaree
Online Edit and Colour: Conor Maguire

Speaking of Women Have Abortions Every Day by filmmaker Katie Gillum, Baumgardner said, "This short film is totally moving, simple, and philosophically powerful. Abortion occurs in the context of a whole life--and that truth (often buried) was demonstrated beautifully by seeing these quick timelines of these diverse women."

This is My Story by Emily Letts

To Emily Letts, Baumgardner commented, "This video, by an abortion clinic staffer who finds out she needs a procedure is very raw and accessible.

Thank you, Emily, for talking about having a positive abortion experience, for sharing your surgery experience with us, and for being so open." Emily's video subsequently went viral and she was at the center of a controversy for months.

Winning entries receive cash prizes and a $100 donation will also go to the abortion fund of her choice, in this case, Abortion Support Network in the UK and Women's Medical Fund in Philadelphia.

A third entry by Jeff McCreight, won an Honorable Mention for his film A Force Called GRR.
Says Jeff, "When grandmothers are willing to defend reproductive rights, standing up against injustice becomes just a little easier for everyone."

"We are in dark times and these videos are bright lights to show the world the reality of women's experiences with abortion,"
according to Peg Johnston, coordinator of the event for the Abortion Care Network.



Lighting the Way: Poets Inspired by Abortion Rights

The 2015 Poetry Contest is being judged by Katha Pollitt of the Nation. In 2014, Sara Brickman won the top prize with her poem "Migration Patterns" about growing up in--and leaving--"Small-town Michigan." She writes, "In these towns, don't is definite as winter."

In Second Place is Devi Lockwood's "a poem about abortion" from the perspective of an abortion care worker. "Somewhere one of my patients pees on a stick and lets down her hands and her hopes like a shade at a too-bright window."

Third place in the contest is shared by two poems. "Book of Names" by Seth Michelson asks how we remember those eight clinic workers who have been killed by anti abortion terrorists: "...what to say to the victims' children other than your parents died to help women choose to live?" Adele Hampton's "Reclaim" starts out, "I'm not afraid to say abortion." She concludes, "It is what it is, an eight-letter word we should never be afraid to say."

Lighting the Way was co-sponsored by the Abortion Care Network and Split This Rock, a national network of socially engaged poets. 70 poems were submitted. To read all 4 poems, click here. The poems were formatted into handmade books by Peg Johnston and MaryRose Griffin and supporters in Binghamton NY.


Amy Hagstrom-Miller and Wendy Davis, both honored by ACN

ACN Honors Outstanding Contributors to Respect and Dignity of Women

The Abortion Care Network dedicated its 2014 Conference to the Center for Reproductive Rights for its extraordinary advocacy for independent clinics and its visionary campaigns to end the stigmatization of abortion.

Tracy Weitz, ACP Vision AwardeeACN honored Amy Hagstrom-Miller, CEO of Whole Woman's Health with the David Gunn Lifetime Achievement Award; Tracy Weitz, former Director of ANSIRH, with the ACP Vision Award; and Jodi Jacobson of RH Reality Check with the ACN Person of the Year Award.

Rep-FrankelThe Abortion Care Network again recognized exceptional legislators who have stood up to assaults on reproductive rights. Honored with the Legislative Profiles in Courage Award were Congresswoman Lois Frankel, (D) Florida, and Texas State Senator (D) Wendy Davis.