‘There is a problem here’: advocates sound alarm over abortion access in Canada

‘There is a problem here’: advocates sound alarm over abortion access in Canada

By Heather Yourex-West
June 21, 2019

WATCH: In Canada, abortions are legal but access can be difficult. As Heather Yourex-West explains, it can depend on where you live and how deep your pockets are.

It’s been a few years since a woman — whom we’ll call Joanna — made a 450 km journey across Canada for an abortion. Joanna asked to remain anonymous because she doesn’t feel safe speaking publicly about her abortion, but her ordeal, she believes, is something that needs to be shared.

Joanna was living in Fort McMurray, Alta., when she first learned she was pregnant. Right away, she says she knew she wasn’t prepared to carry the pregnancy to term.

Continued: https://globalnews.ca/news/5417539/advocates-abortion-access-canada/

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Support Networks ‘Invaluable’ for Mexican Women Seeking Illegal Abortions

Support Networks ‘Invaluable’ for Mexican Women Seeking Illegal Abortions
In Mexico, where most states ban abortion completely, women seeking that procedure find support networks on their own.

Marissa Revilla Senior Reporter
May 1, 2019

A note about this series: Global Press Journal reporters around the world examined their communities’ approaches to reproductive health, including values and priorities and how international policies impact them. Read the other stories in this month-long series here.

SAN CRISTÓBAL DE LAS CASAS, MEXICO — Already a mother and just a few weeks pregnant again, Cinthia N., 26, was certain she wanted to get an abortion. She was in a relationship with a violent man, she says, and didn’t want to bring another child into that situation.

But abortion is largely illegal in Chiapas, Mexico’s southernmost state. Involvement in an abortion, whether as the pregnant woman or as someone assisting, can lead to jail time.

Continued: https://globalpressjournal.com/americas/mexico/support-networks-invaluable-mexican-women-seeking-illegal-abortions/

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USA – ‘Unconditional support’: A day in the life of an abortion doula

'Unconditional support': A day in the life of an abortion doula
It is controversial work providing compassionate support to the lonely and stigmatized

Amy Wright Glenn
January 21, 2019

Clare is a “full spectrum doula” who specifically focuses on supporting people having abortions. She chose this profession because of her own abortion experience.

“I felt very much alone,” she remembers.

Even though Clare, who asked to be identified by her first name only, knew she wanted an abortion from the onset of her pregnancy, she did not receive “any support from medical providers in finding out about what abortion options were available.” She felt ignored, silenced and “even shamed” by her gynecologist for the choice she'd made. Why?

Continued: https://www.phillyvoice.com/abortion-doula-controversy-full-spectrum-amy-wright-glenn/

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Canada – Abortion doula training offered to help fill gap in health care

Abortion doula training offered to help fill gap in health care
'It's a medical procedure and we wouldn't send somebody to get a heart operation without any support'

Aya Al-Hakim · CBC News
Posted: Oct 28, 2018

A group of women were trained Saturday on how to best support a woman going through a medical or surgical abortion.

The training was offered at Mount Saint Vincent University. It was organized by the university's feminist collective.

Continued: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/abortion-doula-training-healthcare-mount-saint-vincent-university-1.4881366

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UK – Abortion doulas are helping more women who are having a termination

Abortion doulas are helping more women who are having a termination

Natalie Morris
Sunday 21 Oct 2018

You’ve probably heard of pregnancy doulas, maybe even death doulas, but now more women are turning to little-known abortion doulas to guide them through the process of having a termination. A doula is a woman who gives support, help, and advice to another woman, traditionally during pregnancy and birth.

Using a doula is becoming more popular – one study found that the number of women who used a doula during pregnancy doubled between 2006 and 2013 from 3% to 6%.

Continued: https://metro.co.uk/2018/10/21/abortion-doulas-are-helping-more-women-who-are-having-a-termination-8052024/

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USA – I’ve been an ‘abortion doula’ 2,000 times

I've been an ‘abortion doula’ 2,000 times

By Kirstie Brewer BBC Stories
14 October 2018

Doulas typically give women emotional support during childbirth, but in New York some help women through abortions too. Vicki Bloom has been in the room for more than 2,000 procedures since joining the non-profit Doula Project in 2010.

One of the things Vicki Bloom found most surprising when she first became an abortion doula was just how many of the women - most of them already mothers - wanted to chat about their children.

Continued: https://www.bbc.com/news/stories-45666460

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USA – What You Need to Know About Abortion Doulas and Their Vital Work

What You Need to Know About Abortion Doulas and Their Vital Work

Sezin Koehler
Aug 6, 2018

While most people have heard of birth doulas and generally understand their support role during pregnancy, labor, and after, very few have heard of abortion doulas and know even less about what they do to support people terminating pregnancies.

Gina Martinez Valentín first heard about abortion doulas from Hip Mama magazine 20 years ago: “There was an article about a young single queer mom who was showing up and helping her friends when they were having an abortion, to offer support. For unrelated reasons the mom ended up dying, and that’s when I knew I was going to do this.”

Continued: https://wearyourvoicemag.com/health/abortion-doulas

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USA – “Whatever’s your darkest question, you can ask me.”

“Whatever’s your darkest question, you can ask me.”
A secret network of women is working outside the law and the medical establishment to provide safe, cheap home abortions.

March 28, 2018
By Lizzie Presser

On a winter morning, Anna* walked the aisles of an herbal-medicine store, picked up a bottle each of blue cohosh and black cohosh, along with a plastic bag of pennyroyal tea, and drove to the topless bar on the edge of town where she worked. There, she met Jules, another dancer. They performed on a small stage with crystal curtains, the green light of an ATM flashing on their left, until 9 p.m. The women, both in their 20s, then drove to the Motel 6 where Jules lived and entered her dim room on the second floor, which smelled of grape cigars. Anna pulled out the tinctures and tea and explained the plan. She was going to help Jules try to have an abortion.

Continued: https://story.californiasunday.com/abortion-providers

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USA: The long five minutes: Abortion doulas bring comfort during a complicated time

The long five minutes: Abortion doulas bring comfort during a complicated time
By Monica Hesse
November 28, 2017

“Do you support reproductive choices of all shapes and sizes?” the flier had read, posted online in early April. “Become an abortion doula.”

More than 50 women had seen the flier on Facebook or Twitter and responded to the email address at the bottom, not entirely sure what an abortion doula was. Twenty-five had been selected for a weekend-long training at a Virginia abortion clinic, and now, one Saturday morning in May, they’d arrived to see whether they were right for the work.

Continued at source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/the-long-five-minutes-abortion-doulas-bring-comfort-during-a-complicated-time/2017/11/27/c63f179c-9f04-11e7-8ea1-ed975285475e_story.html

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Who Should You Listen to on Abortion? People Who’ve Had Them

Who Should You Listen to on Abortion? People Who’ve Had Them

MAY 20, 2017

When I arrived at the clinic in Washington, I looked for the young woman I was waiting for. Her body was covered with tattoos of birds and stars. She hugged me with a warm smile and introduced me to her boyfriend. He didn’t look at me. In fact, he didn’t look me in the eye for the five hours we sat together in the waiting room.

I assumed it was out of shame until I noticed the white supremacist tattoos on his shaved head, neck, forearms and knuckles. As a black woman, I was scared of him. Yet I felt a bond. They had driven several hours from Virginia to avoid the numerous restrictions on abortions there. He was returning from jail. She already had a child and wasn’t ready for another. I knew the feeling well.

She asked for an abortion doula because she wanted unconditional support, no matter what she decided. She wanted me, a total stranger, to reinforce her trust in herself. After she went to the procedure room, her boyfriend and I went outside, me to make a call, him to smoke. In the elevator down, he finally spoke: “Thank you.”

Continued at source: New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/20/opinion/sunday/abortion-people-whove-had-them.html?_r=0

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