Shifting the Conversation on Abortion
My Abortion, My Life is changing the conversation by creating safe spaces for sharing abortion stories and having nuanced, respectful conversations about abortion experiences. We recognize that the black-and-white rhetoric from both sides of the political debate leaves little room for the complex stories of people’s lives. From our website, to public abortion conversations, to intimate house parties, to our podcast where stories are shared and perspectives shifted, My Abortion, My Life creates spaces that promote sharing, active listening, and understanding.
When we talk about abortion, the first things that usually come to mind are the protesters angrily shouting outside clinics, anti-choice billboards advertising lies, politicians regulating procedures they know nothing about, and arguments with strangers on the internet. We hear so many voices talking about abortion, but rarely do we hear the experience of someone who actually had an abortion, and the complex situations that led them to that decision.
Having an abortion can mean the chance to graduate, to leave an abusive relationship, to raise the children you already have with dignity, to center your own needs. It can be a sad option in a series of disappointing events, an unhappy end to a wanted pregnancy, and an outcome fraught with emotion. In the stories you'll read or hear from My Abortion, My Life, you will find themes of sadness and confusion, as well as resilience, determination, relief, and happiness. Just as every person’s life is unique and nuanced—so is every abortion story.
My Abortion, My Life is about listening… and really hearing. It’s about opening space in our relationships so that others can share. It’s about helping all of us who have been silenced by stigma to find our voice, to speak about our own experiences, and to develop support for and trust in others.
Ready to help change the conversation? Here's how...
Share Your Abortion Story Do you have a personal story about your own abortion or first-hand experience with someone else’s abortion? If you're willing to share, think about how you might feel comfortable telling it. You can submit your story here or, if you're ready, tell your story to someone you know.
Start a Conversation Talk about abortion with a friend, family member, or co-worker. Even if you don’t have a personal story to share, you can listen with compassion and respect. Open a conversation with people in your life… you may be surprised how many have a story to share.
Host a Film Screening or Public Conversation Check out our Conversation Starters list for suggestions of films, books, and other readings that can be the centerpiece of an event for your group or organization, large or small, and spark conversation. Representatives from My Abortion, My Life may be available to facilitate discussion.
Throw a House Party House parties are small, informal gatherings that promote open and honest discussion. When most people think about abortion, they think about a divisive political or moral issue. House parties provide an intimate space for people to delve into the more nuanced complexities of abortion. These can be powerful and transformative events. Our House Party Toolkit is available to help you plan your gathering and create a safe space for conversation. We may be able to provide a facilitator as well... ask us!
Host a Breaking Our Silence Event Breaking Our Silence is a public event that features readings of real abortion stories submitted to this website. This story-sharing event is an opportunity for the public to hear real people's reasons, experiences, values, faith, struggles, triumphs, beliefs, and emotions. Sometimes the stories are funny, sometimes heartbreaking, but they are always thought-provoking—and always real. This event breaks the mold of what a “normal” abortion looks like. Your organization may use this event to build community or as a fundraiser. We've created the Breaking Our Silence Toolkit with everything you'll need to host an event in your community. Check out some of the videos from one of our events.
Invite a Speaker If you are in the Cleveland, Ohio, area, My Abortion, My Life can provide a speaker for your class, group, or organization. Content can include background on abortion and abortion stigma, efforts to effect cultural change and shift in discourse about abortion, and how to create spaces and start conversations.