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New Trend: Doulas for Abortions

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A doula typically supports a woman going through pregnancy and labor. Now, you can get a doula to help you through an abortion too.

woman holding pregnant woman

Approximately 43% of all American women will have an abortion at some point in their childbearing years.

It's a controversial subject that divides many of us, yet one undeniable fact is that it can be a very isolating and difficult experience for a woman. Now, an emerging movement offers support through these difficult times: The Doula Project provides doulas for abortions and can "help explain the procedure, provide a caring touch that doctors cannot." Currently, the program consists of 20 volunteers who operate at a hospital in New York (they have not released the name of the hospital). One abortion doula told Jezebel: "Many of these women probably don't have health insurance or don't know they have options under the law. Many of the women are under familial pressure and most of them are forced to go through the procedure alone."

They perform typical doula tasks like holding the patient's hand, stroking their hair and talking with them. So far, the program has assisted in 500 abortions, even late-term ones. The doulas have 20 hours of clinical training and are present before and after (not during) the procedure.

If your hospital offered you a doula for birth or abortions, would you use one?


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39 comments so far | Post a comment now
Rachel February 19, 2010, 11:20 AM

Jamie, with all due respect, your logic seems flawed. Women were having babies without anyone championing the “choice” cause for thousands of years. My God, how did anyone in the colonial period manage to have babies without the prochoice people around to “allow” them to have a baby?! All “choice” did, was give women the option to choose death. The option to life has always been there. Why do I have to adopt? Why does that make me a hypocrite? I thought you espoused “choice?” If I adopt, I’m adopting someone else’s “choice,” and not my own. Are you telling me that choice should only really be extended to those who have to make it under duress because they find themselves in an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy? It sounds like you’re telling me that my choice to plan to have my own children instead of adopting is less valuable than someone else’s? What happened to choice? So you’re pro-choice, but not pro-choice for everyone? Yet *I’m* the hypocrite? Wow.

Anonymous February 19, 2010, 12:00 PM

Clearly you don’t understand Rachel - the minute YOU start telling elininating a woman’s choice to have an abortion because *someone* (clearly not you since you choose - and your choice is the ONLY right one - to have your own)will adopt then yes, you are a hypocrite.

You really have a poor understanding of what it means to be pro-choice. You have no say over what another woman does w/her body and you seem outraged by that.

Additionally, an abortion is not “choosing death”. The mother is not killing herself or another living human being.

Suzanne February 19, 2010, 12:02 PM

Seriously, if someone is against abortion why do they care if someone who wants an abortion has a doula? If you don’t want an abotion, don’t have one, end of story, but don’t get in someone else’s business if they want one.

And kudos to all those connecting the hypocrisy of the anti-choice folks saying “oh there’s always adoption”. Funny since none of those people are doing the adopting.

Rachel February 19, 2010, 12:35 PM

Done. Geez, it’s like trying to have an intelligent conversation with 2 year olds. You’re totally missing the point, but whatever, I can’t make you suddenly have intelligence enough to understand what I’m saying.

ttt February 19, 2010, 3:48 PM

women will always regret or go crazy for killing their babies

K February 19, 2010, 4:43 PM

Fun fact: for hundreds of years, the church wasn’t against abortions! It was considered perfectly okay to have an abortion in early pregnancy, because the soul did not enter the fetus until “quickening” (first movement of the fetus) occurred. No soul=no murder, thus abortion prior to that point was okay. The doctrine on this matter did not change until the 1860’s.

k February 19, 2010, 5:10 PM

If “women will always regret or go crazy for killing their babies” wouldn’t you say that is their problem? And if God would have them burn in hell (or some such non-sense) is that not also their problem and between them and God? Perhaps, instead of judging and horribly and cruelly scolding these women, you should pray for them that they will be forgiven their so-called sins. While you are at it, maybe pray for yourselves that you can continue upon your perfect path in life. Because shouldn’t only he who is whithout sin be the first to cast stones? Oh, that’s right - your sins don’t count. Only the ones that aren’t yours do.

Anon February 20, 2010, 1:59 PM

Right rachel, No one can make YOU “suddenly have intelligence enough to understand” what they are saying. I’m glad you figure out your mental limitations.

Chrissy February 20, 2010, 2:04 PM

For God’s sake Momlogic - will you STOP hyping, spinning and down right lying in your postings?
The 43% isn’t of ALL women. This quote is taken right from the article you linked.
But if you’re intention is to get women angry at each - well done.

At 1994 rates, women can expect to have 1.42 unintended pregnancies by the time they are 45, and at 1992 rates, 43% of women will have had an abortion. Between 1987 and 1994, the unintended pregnancy rate declined by 16%, from 54 to 45 per 1,000 women of reproductive age.

Anonymous February 21, 2010, 4:43 AM

Why should someone have the “choice” to choose if another persons life is worth living or not? A fetus or whatever u want to call it is a person, a tiny one but still a person. Even Dr.Seuss and preschoolers understand that concept, ever hear of Horton hears a Who.

mercaties February 22, 2010, 1:35 AM

I have a really hard time believing 43% of women will have an abortion.I was in a class of eighty five and they did an annonymous poll and only 12 said they were pro-choice. I understand that there are cases of rape/incest but that is why “the morning after pill” exists it prevents pregnancy and it is now availiable over the counter if you are at least sixteen. So why abortion is still legal in this country disgusts me. Have you ever heard a pro-choice person say they are okay with ending a life? Of course not they just keep hiding behind the “women have rights speech.” I think every single person who thinks abortion is okay should have to sit down and watch a video of how an abortion is actually performed. How any person in there right mind could think that is okay is absolutly disgusting. Nobody is forcing anyone to be a mother ther are options adoption, the morning after pill. So to answer the Doula question, I think they should be provided for women who have had involuntary miscarriges but not for abortions. Shame on these Doulas holding a womens hand while she commits murder. As far as the partial birth abortions they are actually illegal in most states.

Anonymous February 22, 2010, 5:23 AM

“I think every single person who thinks abortion is okay should have to sit down and watch a video of how an abortion is actually performed” Well, I’ve seen it and it not a big deal.

And I think every person like you who wants to get involve in someone else’s choice should not be allowed to have her own children but must adopt all the children she says other women should have.

Ladies, seriously, if you don’t believe in abortion that is Terrific!! But it’s also NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS if someone else wants to. None of you are adopting them, you’re simply being busy bodies about a procedure that IN NO WAY affects your personally. SO why don’t y’all just hop off your high horse and adopt some babies. Oh wait, that’s not YOUR choice and apparently only your choice is valid.

mercaties February 22, 2010, 3:42 PM

Oh shut up you still have the legal right to murder all the babies you want!

Anonymous February 23, 2010, 6:38 AM

Oh shut up you still have the legal right to murder all the babies you want!

- mercaties


Um, you’re incorrect. Murdering babies is infanticide and is illegal. However, terminating a pregnacy which is NOT a cognizant being but a matter of cells dividing is not.

Me February 24, 2010, 7:56 AM

Notice how when a woman aborts it’s just a fetus or bunch of cells but if it’s a miscarriage then it was a baby? Apparently only it’s a life that died if that child was wanted. Very sad. And for those who say it’s nobody elses business? It is, because that child that is being killed has nobody else to stand up for it if the mom wants to kill it. If somebody wants to kill themselves… fine, your decision… but if you are killing a life inside of you then it is not only that moms business because they are killing a child who had no say in this!

th February 25, 2010, 12:40 PM

“According to a survey of media reports between 2005 and 2007, 1,247 girls were reported in newspapers to have been raped or to been the victims of incest in Nicaragua. Of these crimes, 198 were reported to have resulted in pregnancy. The overwhelming majority of the girls made pregnant as a result (172 of them) were between 10 and 14 years old.”

ANy of u who think this is not happening in our country, in your state, in your city are naive or just dont want to face this disgusting truth. I am a child rape victim, i was raped for YEARS by my stepfather thankfully i never got pregnant (he was not able to have kids I am VERY GRATEFUL for that) I know other girls i went to school with who were raped and got pregnant by the man. One of these girls 13 yrs old - her stepfather fathered her daughter, her mom did not believe her until a dna test was done.

Instead of you women throwing stones at everyone who opts for an abortion, stop ur judgmental ways and think what if that was your daughter if that is possibly someone who is carrying a child from abuse. it is easy to cast judgment but it is even easier to pray for those who choose abortion as a way to not live with the stigma of what has happened to them.

In no way am i saying women who choose abortion as a way to keep their hip partyin lifestyle the right thing to do i think is despicable, but what i am saying is that maybe if we as women, mothers, aunts, grandmas spent more time recognizing the signs of abuse maybe we will protect our kids and our fellow women from being judged and spit on even after they have been through sexual abuse. IT HURTS MY HEART TO SEE U FIGHT AND SAY THAT RAPE INCEST IS NOT A COMMON THING IN OUR COMMUNITY. I promise you it is and unfortunately it is happening to someone you know or know of. I learned this when I was 17 and realized I was not alone.

Anonymous March 18, 2010, 12:57 AM

I’m a doula, and I wish that they would use another name. I think that doulas have enough to do without entering into a debate about abortion. Women are dying due to fear around the birth process and overuse of technology and surgery.

Doulas do what we can to make women’s births better, and hopefully less deadly. And it is more than enough. You will find that birth and postpartum doulas are pro-life and pro-choice.

We come from many different faiths.

Angie May 18, 2010, 12:13 PM

I don’t think anyone should judge someone until their put in their shoes. Most women don’t talk about abortion. 43% of women is almost half. You probably work with someone at work that’s had one or maybe a neighbor. I have never had one and it would take extenuating circumstances for me to consider but not everyone has abortions because they’re “whores”. Some people have abortions because the baby will have significant health problems that will not allow a baby to sustain life out of the womb. But rude people don’t consider that. Some people have abortions because they’re body is giving out and may die do to full-term pregnancy.

Closed minded people that don’t review all the facts before judging people is one of the major reason’s people find it hard to live in this world. And not just about abortions but race, religion, and many other issues. Think before you make a thoughtless and cruel statement

Karen27PUGH November 6, 2010, 8:08 AM

Cars and houses are not cheap and not everybody can buy it. Nevertheless, loans are created to aid different people in such kind of cases.


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