Informed Consent Form for participation in SO, I HAD AN ABORTION…

This consent form is written for people contributing stories to SO, I HAD AN ABORTION…

This Informed Consent Process has two parts:

Information Sheet (to share information about the project with you)

Consent given (check boxes in Submission Form)

 Part I: Information Sheet

 Introduction

       SO, I HAD AN ABORTION… is an online platform dedicated to stories about abortion(s). You have expressed interest in participating by submitting a story in written, visual, audio or video form to be published online. You are welcome to talk about your participation with whoever you feel comfortable – take the time you need to reflect on whether you want to participate or not. Should you have any questions about the information in this Consent Process, do not hesitate to send them through the General Inquiries Form. Please ask about anything you may be unclear on at any point.

 Purpose of the website

       Existing public narratives about abortion(s) center on stigma and fear. SO, I HAD AN ABORTION… intends to provide a safe space for people to share their stories freely. It is only through exposure and visibility that minds open. In the spirit of this notion, the site is dedicated to sharing stories in an effort to normalize abortion.

       The hope for the site is to be inclusive of all narratives. As such, it is not limited to first-person stories. Further, the site is not exclusive to cis-gendered, heteronormative, female-identifying individuals. Everybody is welcome.

Participation

       Your participation in SO, I HAD AN ABORTION… is entirely voluntary. It is your choice to participate or not. Take your time to consider your hesitations. You may change our mind later even if you agreed earlier.

       By consenting to participation you are agreeing to: having your story published on the website; having sections of your story quoted on the site’s social media pages (i.e. Instagram). All stories will be kept confidential. At no point will identifying characteristics be disclosed without your consent.

Procedures

A.    Content:

Stories can be submitted in written, visual, audio or video form. In creating your stories, please consider:

i.               Confidentiality. All stories will be confidential. As such, be mindful of anonymizing your stories accordingly, using pseudonyms if necessary.

ii.              Trigger warnings. If your story includes sensitive topics, please include a trigger warning at the beginning.

iii.            Elicit language. Feel free to express our story in whatever way you see fit. Elicit and profane language is welcome.

B.    Submission:

       Once you consider your story to be ready to share, see the Contact page for the Submission Form. Once submitted, I may follow-up with you if it is in need of editing regarding the three bullets in A. (Content, i, ii, iii) above. I will not proof-read or censor your stories. What you choose to include/not include in your stories is up to you.

       Format:

i.               Written: no more than 650 words, submitted in Word format

ii.              Visual: submitted in pdf or jpeg format with an accompanying blurb no longer than 250 words (in Word)

iii.            Audio: submitted in Mp3 form with an accompanying blurb, limited to 250 words (in Word)

iv.            Video: submitted in URL or HTML embedded code format with an accompanying blurb, limited to 250 words (in Word)

These parameters were set based on compatibility with Squarespace formatting.

C.    Publication:

Once your story has been vetted for appropriateness, it will be posted on a Wednesday.

Stories will be posted once a week, on Wednesdays. It is not guaranteed that your story will be published the Wednesday following your submission. Rest assured it will be, unless you have decided to not participate anymore. Should you decide to not participate, your decision will be honored, and all records of your story will be deleted.

Risks

       There are no risks associated with participation in SO, I HAD AN ABORTION… Due to the confidential nature of the site, neither you (nor people mentioned in your story) should be identifiable. However, you are sharing something very personal, and you may feel uncomfortable sharing it. Set your own limits insofar as to what you choose/do not choose to disclose about your experience(s). Again, if at any point you decide you no longer want to participate, or would like your story removed, do not hesitate to say so. Your choice will be respected.

Benefits

       There is no direct benefit to you in participating, apart from (perhaps) self-reflection and catharsis. Your participation is likely to help combat the misleading, shame-laden messaging regarding abortion(s) propagated by pro-lifers/ anti-abortionists. Storytelling is a powerful thing and is expected to at least lend itself to more people speaking freely about abortion(s) without fear or stigma.

Confidentiality

       None of your personal information will ever be disclosed to anybody without your consent. All information apart from the story itself will be kept private. Only the site administrator will know your identity. All email correspondence is being done through the encrypted email server ProtonMail. ProtonMail has been declared as the only email server that cannot be accessed by the NSA. Further, by being located in Switzerland, where privacy laws are very strict, the servers (and our correspondence) are practically untouchable. If you have any questions about confidentiality, do not hesitate to ask at any time.

       As detailed in Procedure, A. Content, all stories should be anonymized. Please be sure to get rid of all identifying information/details. Once your story has been posted, you are welcome to “share” it within your networks stating that you submitted it. However, the site is intended to be a safe and confidential space and will not identify you as the storyteller.

       Please keep in mind that all subsequent sharing on social media sites (such as Instagram or Facebook), although anonymized of all identifying information, will be posted on sites that have particular Service Terms. As such, these sites may use all subsequent sharing for their own purposes. That being said, you will not be identified through your stories, nor will your identity be disclosed at any point without your permission.

Sharing

       You will be notified (via email) when your story has been posted. You are welcome to share your story within your networks. Keep in mind, the site will not identify you as all stories will be anonymous and confidential. 

Right to Refuse or Withdraw

       You do not have to take part in this if you do not wish to do so. You may stop participating at any point. You may withdraw before you submit your story, once you’ve submitted it, or once it’s been posted. It’s your story, your rules.

Who to Contact

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