Insight to Incite: Abortion Stories from Elders

What is it?

Grandmothers for Reproductive Rights (GRR!) is establishing the first formal national abortion storytelling program for people who had abortions in the United States during the pre-Roe years through 1980. Our first cohort of trained and supported abortion storytellers will launch this May in anticipation of the Supreme Court’s decision in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case. At a time when anti-abortion politicians are in positions of power to roll back rights and access, it is crucial that elders speak up loudly and move in alignment with current demands for abortion justice. No matter where someone lives, how much money they have, or their background—everyone needs access to abortion on their terms, without barriers or stigma. Insight to Incite Storytellers make public what we were told to keep secret. In doing so, we affirm the dignity and autonomy of younger generations, as well as our younger selves.

Why this program?

Abortion is often discussed as an ending. When elders share their reproductive journeys, we learn abortion is often a beginning of the future families, adventures, and achievements that were to come. In this storytelling program, we amplify the stories of those who had abortions years ago and what those decisions and experiences made possible in their lives. Resourced with hindsight from decades of living since their abortion decisions, grandmothers and elders look back on their experiences and examine the doors that opened up to them as a result. The ability to access an abortion when they needed and wanted it facilitated a lifetime of choices afterwards. Through storytelling that banishes shame and centers autonomy, Insight to Incite Storytellers are fighting for informed decision-making and accessible options for current and future generations.

What kinds of things does a storyteller do?

  • Storytellers are catalysts for culture change who move the needle on abortion stigma in several ways, including, but not limited to:
  • Sharing their experiences in multimedia formats for public dissemination
  • Speaking on panels and at events hosted by GRR! and/or allied organizations
  • Responding to press inquiries
  • Speaking with lawmakers to champion policy proposals
  • Speaking at rallies and other direct actions and mobilizations

How will it impact the movement for abortion justice?

Our storytellers seek to:

  • Highlight barriers, nuances and unique dimensions of elders’ abortion experiences;
  • Break taboos about older women and create a public archive that names abortion as a common reproductive experience and lowers stigma;
  • Illustrate how reproductive autonomy facilitates women and all people who can become pregnant in powerfully shaping their own futures; and,
  • Connect and build grassroots power with younger leaders in movements to advance abortion justice and liberate this life-saving care for all.

How can I get involved?

We will be posting a call for our second cohort very soon! Sign up to receive our newsletter, follow us on social media, or check back here. Thank you for your interest! Send questions and/or speaker requests to info@grrnow.org.