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The Public Conversations Project
Forum Promotes Dialogue Among Abortion Supporters, Opponents

audio icon Listen to Adler's report.

audio icon Listen to the full conversation between NPR's Margot Adler and members of the Public Conversations Project.

more Read about the 30th anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

Offices of the Public Conversations Project, Watertown, Mass.
Offices of the Public Conversations Project, Watertown, Mass.
Tracy Wahl, NPR News


Laura Chasin, director of the Public Conversations Project
Laura Chasin, director of the Public Conversations Project.
Photo: Tracy Wahl, NPR News.


Laura Chasin, Melissa Kogut, Francis Hogan, NPR's Margot Adler, Madeline McComish and Anne Fowler
Laura Chasin, Melissa Kogut, Frances Hogan, NPR's Margot Adler, Madeline McComish and Anne Fowler.
Tracy Wahl, NPR News


Jan. 19, 2003 -- They came together, reluctantly, in the aftermath of violence.

In December 1994, two women were shot and killed, and several others wounded when a gunman opened fire in two Boston-area women's health clinics.

The shootings prompted calls from then-Gov. William Weld and Cardinal Bernard Law for leaders on both sides of the abortion debate to start talking... to lower the rhetoric and calm inflamed passions.

Six women -- three from each side of the debate -- answered the call, and agreed to meet with each other, secretly, four times the following year.

Those four meetings grew into a series of conversations that would last seven years.

The meetings were sponsored by the Public Conversations Project, housed in a small suburban home in Watertown, Mass. The project promotes constructive conversations among people who have differing values, world views and perspectives about divisive public issues.

NPR's Margot Adler met with four of the six Boston participants to talk about how the conversations changed their attitudes toward each other, and helped shape their public rhetoric on abortion.

In Depth

Read more about the 30th anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

Other Resources

The official Public Conversations Project Web site.

Read the op-ed article the women published in The Boston Globe in 2001.




   
   
   
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