Saying Abortion Aloud

Research and Recommendations for Public Abortion Storytellers and Organizations

Storytelling has a long history of being an effective strategy for change. We know it can transform hearts and minds, and shed light on how policy and culture impacts our personal experiences. Yet stigma and shame often prevent people from sharing their stories publicly.

What should storytellers think about before deciding to share their abortion stories publicly? 

What can organizations do to help people who want to share their abortion stories cope with stigma? 

We surveyed 39 public abortion storytellers and conducted 13 in-depth interviews to ask them these questions and more. You can read the results in our executive summary and two reports.

Here’s a sneak peek of the results of our survey with public abortion storytellers:

  • A plurality of respondents (41%) decided to share their abortion story publicly in order to show a new narrative about abortion and one third (31%) shared their story as part of a political action.

  • 69% of respondents stated that they received positive online comments after sharing their abortion stories. In in-depth interviews, they shared that these positive responses helped them feel good about their decision to share.

  • Respondents also had experiences with negative reactions to their public abortion storytelling, including receiving negative online comments (28%) and negative feedback from strangers in person (21%).

  • A plurality of respondents (42%) stated that they received no support from organizations in sharing their abortion story publicly.

  • Despite this, 92% of respondents said that they would continue sharing their abortion story publicly

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