Public Conversation Project Shares Work on Abortion Conflict

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For more than five years, the Public Conversations Project in collaboration with Susan Podziba, a public policy mediator and PON seminar instructor, has been facilitating on ongoing confidential dialogue among a group of pro-life and pro-choice leaders in Boston. On January 28, 2001, the Boston Sunday Globe published “Talking to the Enemy” a lengthy article on this work by these thoughtful activists.

The dialogue began in response to the fatal shootings of two women in an attack on two abortion-providing clinics in Brookline in 1994. The Public Conversations Project has placed the Globe article on their website. The Project invites all readers to read this article, and share it with others in their networks. The six members of this extraordinary interchange have demonstrated that civil dialogue and passionate advocacy need not be mutually exclusive. They have formed relationships of reciprocal respect and affection, while continuing to hold widely differing positions on an issue of great emotional significance. Readers may write to them directly at

This dialogue and its impact are examples of the interactions fostered by the Public Conversations Project in areas of polarized conflict. Director Laura Chasin invites advocates involved in such conflict to explore the resources offered by the Project.

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