Abortion doulas provide emotional support to women before and after their abortion procedure. The path to becoming an abortion doula requires both emotional and mental fortitude due to the nature of the work. However, the profession is one of the most rewarding, because you will be supporting women in their greatest time of vulnerability and need.
Abortion doulas will continue to be in demand as long as women’s clinics such as Planned Parenthood offer services to women who are making a life altering choice. Continue reading to find out more information about the roles performed by an abortion doula. Also, find out more about the training and any certification requirements for women interested in becoming an abortion doula.
What Does an Abortion Doula Do?
Abortion doulas provide specialized support to women before, during, and after their abortion. They give emotional comfort and empowering education during this emotional vulnerable time. There is much misinformation and negative stigma regarding abortions. A large part of a doula’s job is to dispel the misinformation and stigma through education. The educational information provided also includes an explanation of the abortion procedure as well as what to expect in terms of outcomes during and after the procedure.
If the procedure calls for the client to stay awake, the abortion doula provides continual source companionship during the procedure. The doula accompanies her client into recovery where she retains active communication and empathy with whatever is on her client’s mind at the time. She can offer physical support by adjusting pillows or adjusting the temperature to her client’s preference. She can also offer spiritual or religious support if it is required from her client.
How to Become an Abortion Doula
Abortion doulas have no conventional path for training, unlike birth and postpartum doulas. Additionally, there are no certification programs or requirements in order to work as one. In order to become an abortion doula, most doulas receive training through volunteering at a women’s reproductive clinic such as Planned Parenthood. Once there, doulas gain one-on-one experience and training on how to provide emotional, physical, and spiritual support to women undergoing abortions from established abortion doulas working at the clinics. Ideally, this specific training is supplemented by general doula training provided by a major doula training organization such as DONA or CAPPA, although it is not required.
Abortion Doula Training Programs
Currently there are only a few abortion doula training programs scattered across the country. Most programs are full spectrum doula programs and are on a volunteer basis. A full spectrum doula is trained in providing prenatal and postnatal supportive care; this includes birth doula, postpartum doula, antepartum doula, and abortion doula training. At this time, programs such as DONA or CAPPA do not offer abortion doula training.The following is a listing of current abortion doula training programs across the country.
Full Spectrum Doulas – A collective of doulas and reproductive advocates serving Washington state area.
The Doula Project – A New York City based organization of full spectrum doulas who offer an internship for abortion doulas.