Notes from CLPP: Abortion Care.

13 Apr

See my previous intro on our “Notes from CLPP” posts.

Here are the highlights from my notes from the session called Abortion Care.

From Emily Kane-Lee at the National Abortion Federation:

  • 87% of counties in US don’t have an abortion provider
  • Advanced practice clinicians: nurse practitioners, midwives, physician’s assistants are legally permitted to provide abortions in 13 states. Why so few states? Politics
  • 37 other states: only physicians can provide abortions
  • Laws passed right after Roe v. Wade stating only physicians can provide abortions with the aim to protect women from unskilled abortion providers, ended up limited who can perform abortions
  • NAF created a toolkit for advanced practice clinicians (APCs) to help fight laws preventing APCs from providing abortion care
  • APCs generally serve rural communities, underserved communities
  • We must use inclusive rhetoric when talking about abortion providers and not just use the term “doctor” but instead  “health care provider”
  • How do we get medical students to see that abortion care is also important?


From Mary Mahoney of The Doula Project:

  • Many different types of doulas: pregnancy doulas, labor doulas, post labor doulas, abortion doulas
  • Goal of doulas is to connect experience across pregnancy
  • Abortion doula: meet the patient the day of abortion in abortion clinic, keep woman company, distract her from any pain, help her get comfortable, helping the patient communicate with the provider

Since I don’t have as many notes from this session, I’m going to insert some analysis.  This was the first time that I was introducted formally to the idea of an abortion doula. On the one hand, I love the idea of a supportive person helping a patient through her clinic experience. On the other, I find it problematic. Who decides which patient is “deserving” of a doula? How do the clinic and the doula communicate to make sure the patient doesn’t get conflicting information about abortion? Who trains the abortion doulas?

I’d love to hear about anyone’s experience either as an abortion doula or as someone who received care from an abortion doula.

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