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Preparing for Your Abortion Access House Party

In this kind of house party, the host leads a discussion on abortion access and encourages people to commit to showing up in support of abortion access.

Here are the steps to prep.

Decide your date and location:

  1. Choose a date that is 2-3 weeks out from a rally or other public event to give you and your participants time to prepare.

  2. Consider a weekend if most of your attendees work Monday to Friday. You could host a brunch in the morning or a light dessert event in the mid-afternoon. If the weekend doesn't work, consider a happy hour during the week. 

  3. Choose a location that is convenient, familiar, accessible, and comfortable for your guests — like your own residence or a local park.

    • After you choose a location, make any arrangements you need to book the space. For example, ask your roommates if it’s OK to take over your living room for the party.

    • Not comfortable doing this in person right now? Opt for an online gathering on Zoom, Google Meet, Jitsi, or Facebook messaging rooms. If you opt for an online meeting, consider inviting your larger network of friends and family in other states!

Arrange for food and drink:

  1. If you and any party helpers you have can provide drinks and/or food, great! If not, don’t worry.

  2. You don’t have to provide all of the food or drinks. Ask people to bring something to share, or just for themselves to enjoy.

Create your event page on the Planned Parenthood Hub:

  1. Log in to your account or sign up.

  2. Click “Host an Event” on the top banner.

  3. Fill in the relevant information about your event, including title, a short description, the date, and time. 

  4. The location field will automatically fill in based on Google Maps search results.

    • It's important to only search for the address of the event location.

    • For example, don’t enter “Outside the Safeway” as your location. Instead, search for “Safeway [Anywhere, NY]” or “Safeway [123 Main Street]”.

    • You can also check the box to make it a private event, if you want the location to only be available to attendees after they RSVP.

  5. If you'd like, you can also set an attendee limit. 

    • The size of your party will likely be dependent on how many people your venue can hold.

    • Note that the max number of attendees does not include the host. When a limit is set, the system will only accept that number of “Yes” RSVPs. 

    • Once the limit is reached, site visitors will be asked if they want to join the waitlist for the event, and will have to wait until the limit is increased or another attendee switches their response and a spot opens up.

  6. Once your event is approved, you will receive an email and an event sign-up link you can send out in your invitations.

Assign roles:

  1. Host

    • This should be you since it’s your event! 

    • Being host means that you will secure the venue, invite the guests, move the agenda forward, and answer general questions about the event! 

  2. Co-host

    • You may find it helpful to have a co-host during the event. A helper can catch people up if they’re late, refill food and drink, and answer logistical questions (such as if someone needs help locating water, restroom, etc.). 

    • During the call-to-action section (see below), they should also help secure commitments by helping people think through their networks and draft messages.

The helper can also take pictures during the event.

Invite your guests:

  1. To get started creating your guest list, think of people who are interested in social justice and supportive of reproductive rights already, as well as people who may be unsure of how they feel about abortion access, but could become supportive with more education. 

  2. Using your Planned Parenthood Hub event link, invite your guests!

    • Reach out to them in the medium you usually chat. That may be text, a phone call, Facebook, or Instagram. 

    • Reach out 2-3 weeks before the event in order to give attendees ample time to plan.

  3. Keep a list of who you’ve invited, how, and what their RSVP status is.

Develop your story of self and prepare to tell it:

Storytelling is a powerful tool to connect with people on shared values and to understand the urgency of taking action now. Prepare to open your event with sharing your story about:

  • your own abortion;

  • helping someone you love get an abortion; or

  • your journey to support abortion loudly and proudly.

Answer these questions to get started on crafting your story.

Learn what’s at stake for abortion in your state:

  1. Research abortion rights an access in your state. Learn the facts, so you can really set the stage for your guests to show the importance of fighting for abortion access, right now, in your state.

  2. Here are some resources on what abortion access currently looks like in your state:

  3. Here are some resources about abortion access nationwide:

Prep materials:

Recommended materials for a successful party:

  • Sign-in sheet 
  • Pens
  • Paper, in case people want to take notes
  • Food
  • Drinks
  • Cups
  • Napkins
  • Plates/bowls

Confirm attendees:

Do this the day before and right before your event:

  • Send a reminder email and

  • Reach out via text, Facebook, Instagram, or however you first invited them!

For more information:

This teach-in toolkit has additional resources and guidance for planning an event, including a sample agenda and guidance on accessibility.

Hosting a teach-in is similar to hosting an abortion access house party.

Return to the House Party Toolkit's homepage


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