This past week, I had the extraordinary opportunity to witness an abortion doula at work.
We were performing a 12 week termination on a woman who had a fetal demise. The woman was teary before the procedure and definitely nervous. The abortion doula sat with her while she received her counseling, while her IV was placed, and while she waited for the procedure room to become available.
As the patient entered the room and sat on the table, the doula was with her the entire time. The doula stroked her hair out of her face, held her hand and talked to her about anything and everything. While we were performing the procedure, the two women talked about the patient’s children, the weather, and popular tv shows. Before the patient knew it, the procedure was over.
I have always been a supporter of doulas-whether for child bearing or termination-but to watch the abortion doula in action was amazing. She was so supportive of the woman. She was her advocate and her friend throughout the whole procedure. The doula completely changed how that woman will remember her experience.
Doulas should be an integral part of the pro-choice movement. They are patient advocates and their supporters. Years later, the patient will most likely not remember me or the attending, but she will certainly remember her doula.
You can read more about abortion doulas here