Hey fam,

We’re talking about some heavy stuff today, but I hope you can dip your toe in these waters and wade in the deep for a little bit. Being a full spectrum doula is very important to the quality and diversity of services that I provide, now more than ever. I support the full range of family planning experiences and that includes abortion. Rare is the sensationalized image of abortion as a seedy procedure being done in a dark alley. Abortion is a lifesaving, medical procedure both physically and mentally. A lot of the public conversations hypothesize the right to abortion in cases of fetal viability, maternal mortality, or sexual assault. Abortion isn’t only justified in the most heinous of situations. It is a valid choice solely because someone wishes to no longer carry a pregnancy. Terminating a pregnancy should not carry shame.

So what role do I, your badass neighborhood doula, play in supporting someone through a procedure to terminate a pregnancy? I provide non-judgmental support at any point throughout the termination journey. As a licensed clinical social worker, one of my strongest skill sets is resource coordination. So as a doula, I tap into those skills and connect folks with a list of caring, attentive, and inclusive abortion providers and, if desired, a list of mental health providers in their area. I work hard to ensure that folks feel empowered, educated about their choices in termination methods, risks, benefits, side effects, and recovery expectations. I’m mindful about practicing within my scope, so together we create a plan for safety and support. I am also a traveling doula and offer virtual support. My presence at the institution during the procedure depends on the person’s support network, the institution’s policy, and the chosen method of termination. Sometimes folks work with me just for the planning process, others only want me to be present at the clinic, and some just want the aftercare support. Support at home includes (but is not limited to) physical and emotional support, light tidying up, meal prep, monitoring for changes in symptoms, continued education, and help with advocacy. My supportive services vary depending on their unique needs.

Folks who make the decision to move forward with abortion are deserving of empathy, guidance, care, and unwavering support. My sincerest hope after reading this is that whether or not you support someone’s choice to terminate a pregnancy, you know a caring professional who is trained and committed to making them feel safe, not judged, and cared for in their recovery.

With Gratitude, 

LunaDoula Jo