THE ABORTION TIMES
June 24th, 2023 would mark the anniversary of the overturning of Roe V Wade and months of devastating headlines about the decision. Since the ruling, abortion was made completely illegal in 14 states, and six additional states had greatly increased restrictions to access.
Exactly was approached by I Need An A and We Testify, two national reproductive rights non-profits, to build an activation that would do two things: reassure lawmakers and the rest of the nation that the fight is not over, and help those in need of an abortion – especially in the places where they are most difficult to obtain.
We needed to cut through the noise and create something that worked both on a national and hyper-local level.
The narrative around the state of reproductive rights is not only depressing, it is often stigmatizing and shame-provoking. And the narrative is defined by the traditional media headlines we see. What if we could give America a new headline for the state of abortion rights, a year after Jackson V Dobbs?
A physical print newspaper called “The Abortion Times” bearing the cover headline “We Are Still Having Abortions, All Across the Country” that would be a beacon of positive energy and resilience for the community fighting for body autonomy in this country.
The paper had all the elements of a traditional newspaper: crossword puzzles, comics, op-eds, classifieds, and editorialized articles - all of which tied to the core narrative. The centerfold was a data visualization poster of different access across the country, that could also double as a wheatpasting poster.
“The Abortion Times” would be physically distributed in Washington D.C., Texas and Tennessee through branded newspaper boxes and Newsies-style experiential, as well as a hyper-local print media buy inserting the full page cover & headline into newspapers in states affected by the ruling allowing access to the full edition digitally.
An integrated social and digital campaign was launched simultaneously to drive awareness in places not touched by hyper-local activations.
While the project just happened and the full results are still being compiled, the campaign resulted in over a million impressions of the digital copy, over 20 million impressions in organic social media shares and an overwhelmingly positive response both by the reproductive rights community, and readers at large. It even got made into a meme.