Have you recently heard the term ‘abortion doula’? Are you wondering what an abortion doula is or what they do? Then you’ve come to the right place to learn more!
What Is An Abortion Doula?
An abortion doula is someone who supports you before, during, and/or after an abortion. Some doulas offer emotional support, resources, and information about what to expect during the decision-making process. Others provide emotional support in the waiting room and/or during the procedure at a clinic. It’s also common for an abortion doula to continue providing emotional support once the abortion is over, as well as throughout medical abortions at home (the pill option.) Because navigating the process of getting an abortion can be intimidating, especially in Texas, an abortion doula can empower you to feel more comfortable and prepared.
I Need An Abortion. Do I Need An Abortion Doula?
Deciding whether or not to use an abortion doula is a personal choice. Here are some questions you can ask yourself if you’re wondering if it’s right for you:
- Do you feel unsupported in your decision to have an abortion?
- Can I prepare for my abortion alone or do I need support?
- Are you without support afterward?
- Do medical settings make you uncomfortable?
- Are you experiencing anxiety surrounding how an abortion is performed, or what the process will be like?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, an abortion doula may be right for you! The goal of an abortion doula is to make you feel as supported as possible and to provide you with a comfortable experience. And most abortion or full-spectrum doulas offer abortion support for free or low cost.
Many people who’ve had abortions report such positive experiences with their own doula, that they decide to become an abortion doula themselves. Many feel this choice is a great way to give back and advocate for the community as a whole. If you are wondering how you can support people who choose abortion, think about attending abortion doula training. Keep reading to find out how to become an abortion doula.
How To Become An Abortion Doula, And Where Can I Find One?
There’s no official ‘abortion doula’ certification, but some organizations do expand upon traditional doula training to equip individuals with the tools needed to provide others with support during an abortion. People who have taken this training are often known as “full-spectrum” doulas; certified doulas who provide support beyond childbirth and which includes miscarriage/pregnancy loss, adoption, and abortion.
Many abortion doulas volunteer their services, as some organizations also provide less formal training that is specifically tailored to abortion, like The Doula Project. Radical Doula compiled a list of volunteer organizations which are known to provide abortion doula support, or which are known to offer training to become an abortion doula. You can view the organizations listed by state by clicking here.
Where Can I Find Out About Abortion Doula Trainings in Austin?
The Bridge Collective is an Austin based volunteer-led practical support organization. Initially a full-spectrum doula collective, TBC volunteers now provide free rides to and from the Austin abortion clinics, as well as emotional support at the clinic and general information about what to expect when deciding to have an abortion. Follow them on social media to learn about upcoming training, or contact them at 512-524-9822 if you need support.
Where Can I Find Abortion Doula Trainings Online?
While gaining experience from in-person training is beneficial, we understand not everyone has the means or availability to do so! Below are some resources that may help you gain experience through online learning:
- Doula Trainings International hosts online and in-person training to become a full-spectrum doula for a fee.
- Full Spectrum Doula Circle periodically provides online courses focused on abortion support.
- All Options offers a virtual pregnancy options workshop which includes information on abortion, adoption, parenting, and how to offer unbiased support through the decision-making process. Scholarship option available.
If you’re thinking about providing support as an abortion doula, it can be an empowering journey! You’re helping to create a safe space for people during a time where they may feel vulnerable; encouraging them to feel confident in their experience, while also following their lead. People who have abortions deserve to have support throughout the process, not feel alone or shamed. At Austin Women’s Health Center, we understand the range of emotions involved in making the decision to have an abortion, and we support you every step of the way!
Stay tuned for a Q&A with AWHC’s abortion doula, Emily O’Bront!