Announcing the 2019-2020 inroads Steering Committee


We are excited to announce that we have filled several new Steering Committee seats to help guide and support the network as it continues to grow.

We are thrilled to have this cohort of 13 talented individuals from a range of geographic locations, expertises, and organizational experiences to lead us through the upcoming two years. Several Steering Committee members are remaining on for a second term to provide continuity to the Committee, while several are new to the cohort. We now have more content-specific seats with representation from members with different expertise and lived experience, who are committed to understanding, challenging and mitigating abortion stigma while serving as guides to the inroads directors as we support this network.

Asia and the Pacific Seat

Suchitra Dalvie, The Asia Safe Abortion Partnership (India)

Suchitra Dalvie is a practicing Gynecologist, and the Coordinator and co-founder of the Asia Safe Abortion Partnership, the only regional network in South and South East Asia working on safe abortion rights advocacy for youth and healthcare providers in the region. Throughout her career of over 20 years, she has been a fierce advocate to end stigmas based on gender discrimination, sex determination and selective abortions in South Asia.

North America Seat

Melissa Madera, The Abortion Diary Podcast, Project SANA (United States)

Melissa Madera is the founder of The Abortion Diary Podcast, and the Senior Project Manager and Research Fellow for Project SANA (self-managed abortion needs assessment) at the University of Texas, Austin. Her own abortion experience as a teenager inspired her to create The Abortion Diary. She is committed to centering the voices of people who have had abortion experiences, and creating safe, supportive, and inclusive environments for them in activist and advocacy spaces. As a multimedia historian, full-spectrum doula, and bilingual reproductive justice educator, she also works from a Reproductive Justice perspective to destigmatize all experiences related to SRHR. Melissa has several degrees, including an MA and Ph.D. in Latin American and Caribbean History from The State University of New York at Binghamton in the USA.

Africa Seat

Jedidah Maina (returning), Executive Director, TICAH (Kenya)

Jedidah Maina is the Deputy Director at Trust for Indigenous Culture and Health (TICAH), a non-profit trust organization in Kenya. She works with grassroots women creating safe spaces for frank conversations about sex and sexuality, and using our collected experiences to influence policy and program change and to increase access to medical abortion across sub-saharan Africa.

Latin America and the Caribbean Seat

María Luisa Sánchez-Fuentes (returning), Collaborations with Clínica Medieg & co-founder of Clacai and CAMILE; Independent Consultant (Mexico)

María Luisa Sánchez-Fuentes is a consultant; she encourages more options to destigmatizing and normalizing abortion: self-managed, remote care in public and private services, removing barriers beyond the first trimester and the overregulation of abortion services. She has extensive experience in advocacy and abortion care provision. In her many roles in this work, she promotes safe and quality of care in private services with a gender perspective and a human rights approach. María Luisa is the co-founder of Clacai, the Latin American Consortium against unsafe abortion; and CAMILE, the Collective of Mexican Associations for the Legal Termination of Pregnancy; and also collaborates Clínica Medieg.

Europe Seat

Marietta Wildt, Advocacy Officer Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevölkerung (Germany)

Marietta Wildt works as Advocacy Officer for DSW where she focuses on youth, gender, and sexual and reproductive health and rights. Passionate about youth participation, her background is in youth-led advocacy, like in her former position as Director of Public Relations with the International Youth Alliance for Family Planning. Marietta graduated with an MA and MSc in Global Studies from universities in Poland, Canada and Denmark.

Clinical Provider Seat

Francis Makiya, Abortion-provider, Medical Rights Watch, Global Doctors for Choice, The Coalition for the Prevention of Unsafe Abortion (COPUA) (Malawi)

Francis Makiya is a doctor, abortion provider, the vice chairperson of Medical Rights Watch at the University of Malawi, and member of Global Doctors for Choice and COPUA. Francis is an activist and experienced policy advocate with a focus on ending violence against women and girls. He is passionate about primary care, health rights, ending abortion sigma and promoting safe abortion, and works to address intersecting stigmas at all levels of society that limit access to those seeking clinical services in Malawi.

Youth Seat

Kader Avonnon, Youth Program Officer Assistant, Association Béninoise pour la Promotion de la Famille (ABPF/IPPF)

Kader Avonnon is a Youth Program Officer Assistant at ABPF/IPPF. He is a mentor, youth abortion training facilitator, and abortion policy advocate. He has consulted for FIGO to access the needs for safe abortion advocacy in Benin, and has been working with young people to reduce abortion stigma for five years. Kader is passionate about amplifying the voices of young people in his community and developing their leadership, and has trained young people, teachers, and students to address abortion stigma in situations that directly affect youth.

Legal and Human Rights Seat

Joanna Erdman, Professor, Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University (Canada).

Joanna Erdman is a community-engaged academic and advocate. Her work focuses on human rights and abortion law and policy, with a critical take on how law creates and reflects relations and structures of social life and power, including stigma, from the perspectives of those most directly affected by it. She seeks to create research that matters to the lives of people, and that can lead us toward more just and inclusive societies.

Development and Sustainability Seat

Madeleine Belfrage, PhD candidate, School of Social Sciences, The University of Queensland. (Australia/Mexico)

Madeleine Belfrage is a current PhD candidate focused on abortion stigma at University of Queensland in Australia. She has a Masters in Development Practice, and experience working in development for a women’s rights organization in Mexico; designing, evaluating and fundraising for projects about abortion access and stigma reduction. She values creativity, collaboration, and is committed to reflecting about intersectionality, reproductive justice and decolonial practices in our lives and work.

inroads Staff Ex-officio Seat

Katie Gillum, inroads Executive Director (United States)

Katie is an organizer, producer, and strategist focusing on reproductive justice and migrant rights. She came to inroads after serving as Co-Convenor for the Abortion Rights Campaign in Ireland. Katie has worked in design, education, and film, and she led media and arts engagement initiatives including an award-winning short video addressing abortion stigma. At inroads, Katie focuses on keeping the agenda and mission of the network focused on member needs and grounded in inroads’ values. She is responsible for strategic program management, leads inroads external partnerships–including donor relationships and inroads’ presence at conferences and events–and authors opinions and editorials when she can.

Self-Managed Abortion Seat

Kinga Jelinska (returning), Executive Director, Women Help Women (The Netherlands/Poland)

Kinga Jelinska is the Executive Director of international activist non-profit Women Help Women. She works on programs about abortion pills and community empowerment with aim to de-stigmatize self-managed abortions and community models of provision of information and services.

Institutional Seat

Laura Hurley (returning), IPPF & Safe Abortion Action Fund (United Kingdom)

Laura Hurley works as a Technical Adviser on Youth at the Central Office of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF). For the past four years her role has included providing technical assistance to a programme addressing abortion stigma as it affects young people’s access to services. In 2019 she will be providing maternity cover as a Programme Adviser on the Safe Abortion Action Fund based in IPPF; supporting local and grassroots organizations around the world to implement projects focused on safe abortion.

Network Research and Evaluation Seat

Kristen Shellenberg (returning), Ipas

Kristen Shellenberg is a research scientist at Ipas who collaborates with colleagues and partners all around the world to further our understanding and measurement of abortion stigma; design, implement, and evaluate stigma reduction efforts at multiple levels of society; and generally works to ensure that women get the abortion experience they want, need and deserve – in or out of the formal health system. With their wealth of experience and important diverse perspectives, there is no telling what inroads can accomplish. Please welcome them and feel free to reach out the them about the network and stigma in their fields or regions.

Posted 4 January 2019 12:00 AM by The inroads Team