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Mission Statement

Shout Your Abortion is a decentralized network of individuals talking about abortion on our own terms and encouraging others to do the same.

Following the U.S. Congress’s attempts to defund Planned Parenthood in 2015, the hashtag #ShoutYourAbortion became a viral conduit for abortion storytelling, receiving extensive media coverage and positioning real human experiences at the center of America’s abortion debate for the very first time. SYA quickly evolved into a grassroots movement, which has inspired countless individuals to share their abortion stories through art, media, and community events all over the country.

Although a quarter of American women have abortions and seventy percent of Americans support abortion rights, access has been decimated in recent years and Roe vs. Wade is on the brink of reversal. This disconnect between public opinion and policy is a direct result of the prevailing expectation that those who have abortions remain silent, and this silence has allowed the anti-choice movement to dominate the conversation, unchallenged.

We’re in a fight for our lives, and it’s time to tell the truth. Every single day, all sorts of people have abortions, for every reason you can imagine. We are your siblings, your coworkers, your spouses and your friends. Abortion helps people live their best lives. We are the proof. And we’re only going to get louder.

 

FAQ

Is SYA an “official” organization or what?

Yes! Currently SYA has nonprofit sponsorship, meaning we function like a nonprofit and can accept tax- deductible donations, but we’re also an LLC. Currently SYA is in its third year as an organization, and we fund our programming with grants, donations, speaking fees, and income from our online shop. Our budget pays our tiny but mighty staff and allows us to facilitate projects and events all over the country.

SYA functions more like a collective than a traditional nonprofit. We see SYA as a conduit. Each community that springs up around the concept of SYA is responsible for establishing their own values and norms. What works for a group of punks in Brooklyn will probably not work as well for a group of retirees in the Midwest—in fact, these groups might find one another’s tone or tactics questionable!— and that’s okay. In fact, that’s great! SYA believes that the effort to dismantle compulsory silence and shame surrounding abortion requires a vast range of approaches. You do you.

Can I be a part of SYA? How do I do it?

Congratulations! Your application has been accepted and you are now an official SYA operative. You can find ideas here and you can sign up for our newsletter which we use to send various calls for participation.

You can also just do your own thing altogether. Some things that people have done include: making zines, having art shows, writing love letters to abortion clinics, organizing a book club, having a film screening, producing a storytelling or comedy event, having a button-making party, painting a mural, hanging a banner on an overpass, writing songs about abortion, making music videos or podcasts about abortion, students doing research projects about abortion and abortion stigma, putting together a panel discussion with community organizations that work on abortion-related issues, hosting an abortion speak-out, telling someone or everyone about your abortion, talking about abortion on a first date, talking about abortion with a child, letting the people in your life know that you want to support them if and when they have abortions, throwing yourself or your loved one a party to honor, celebrate, grieve, or otherwise commemorate a recent or upcoming abortion.

Where are you located?  Is SYA a U.S.-focused organization?
SYA has no official headquarters. Our work is focused in the U.S., although we do have friends and sister organizations in other countries and we support universal access to abortion without shame for everyone in the universe.

How should I deal with the possibility of anti-choice protesters at an event I am planning? 
Dozens of SYA events have happened all over the country without anti-choice people showing up, but sometimes they do. Prepare for the possibility by setting aside time before your event and checking in with event hosts and volunteers. Considerations about security vary based on where you live, whether your event is public or private, the size and nature of the event, the venue, and the resources available to you. Because of all those variables, it’s difficult for us to advise you specifically on what your game plan should be. We suggest discussing what your system of responses will be if anti-choice people show up, based on their tactics and how uncomfortable they are making you feel. For example, your group might decide that a couple of people holding anti-choice signs outside of the venue doesn’t merit any response, but that if one of them tries to come inside, you will deny them entry. You might also decide that if a group of protesters becomes more vocal and is harassing attendees or encroaching on private property, you will call law enforcement or campus security, or you may agree not to involve these groups. You may decide to hire professional security for your event or enlist a door person from your favorite bar. We believe in your ability to decide what feels right and reasonable based on your unique situation. If someone is making you or your guests feel unsafe, you have every right to treat that threat as serious and use whatever resources you would normally use to report a threatening person: telling them, “You are harassing me,” “You are making me feel unsafe,” “I need you to stop threatening people and leave,” or “I’m calling security.” And then call for help (the owner of the venue, a mentor, security, or 911 if you wish). We recommend deciding which resource you will call in advance and talking about that with your team so you’re not scrambling for a number in the moment.

How do you deal with online trolls and what advice do you have for people who are experiencing online harassment?
When people harass us online, we delete their comments and block them immediately. There is an incredible wealth of information and resources about online harassment at crashoverridenetwork.com. There is also an excellent toolkit at onlinesafety.feministfrequency.com, which was created by activists Anita Sarkeesian, Jaclyn Friedman, and Renee Bracey Sherman. It outlines some quick, easy precautions that are geared toward protecting people who may be more vulnerable to harassment as members of a marginalized group or because they are engaging in online activism. We highly recommend taking a look at these sites before sharing your abortion story publicly, and they’re good resources for everybody who uses the internet.

Can I use your logo?
Probably! Email us a little more information. We might also be able to help promote your event/action/art through our website, newsletter, or social media.

Can I use your messaging?
Please do! SYA messaging belongs to everyone and it’s meant to be widely proliferated.

I have a great idea for an SYA event! Can you help me with resources and funding? 
Maybe! Email us to tell us more about what you have in mind and join our mailing list to receive our calls for events.

Can you speak at/have a table at my event?
We are available as schedules allow, sometimes for a modest fee.

Do you donate merch to good causes?
Often! If you have a silent auction or raffle coming up to support your org, hit us up!

Can I donate to SYA?

Yes, thanks! As a nonprofit project, we can accept tax-deductible gifts of service, goods, or cold, hard cash, which we use to support all sorts of projects, art commissions, and events. You can donate here. Thank you!

#SYA in the Press

#ShoutYourAbortion has been covered by media outlets the world over.