The Abortion Conversation Project was founded in 2000 to address the problems created by the stigma surrounding abortion. Originally, the ACP was the 501(c)(3) sister foundation to the National Coalition for Abortion Providers, a lobbying and trade organization for several hundred independent abortion providers. In July of 2008, both organizations joined forces to form the Abortion Care Network, a 501(c)(3) not for profit that expanded the abortion care community around independent providers and harnessed the energy generated by our “open and honest” conversations.
In the first 8 years of its existence, ACP created several initiatives that addressed the abortion stigma. They helped bring together researchers, mental health professionals, clergy, and providers to discuss the issue of post abortion emotional health. From these meetings came greater attention to the real needs of women post abortion and to assessing risk factors women may have for poor outcomes. Eager to accommodate abortion clinics that desired better assessment tools and intervention strategies, they created Healthy Coping After an Abortion. In addition, the ACP became an essential resource for clinic staff and patients.
Another initiative was the Mom, Dad I’m Pregnant project which resulted in a website www.momdadimpregnant.org and two handouts, one for parents and one for the young people involved in an unintended pregnancy. The Abortion Conversation Project sponsored “Abortion Conversations”in Texas, Florida, and the Northwest (2005-2007) in an effort to create a space where providers and prochoice allies, including clergy, activists, academics, students, and health professionals, could come together to talk openly and honestly about abortion. They found that people needed to understand each other’s work and perspectives in a tolerant atmosphere where people can ask questions without risk.