If I haven't gushed to any/all of you already, this note is to inform you of the new Abortion Doula Network that's to be set up in the early fall at Bellevue Hospital! My partner-in-choice Mary and I have been working for the past year (off an on) to make this idea become a reality. Needless to say, we're excited! While Bellevue will definitely be implementing the doula program, we have also gotten very positive responses from Mt. Sinai Hospital and Planned Parenthood of NYC, and we're hoping that by the end of the fall we might also be able to have abortion doulas in those clinics as well.
To clarify, an Abortion Doula is there to supply non-judgemental, compassionate support (much like a birth doula) before, during, and after abortion. At present, it will be a volunteer position. The emphasis will be on post-abortion care, though doulas will also be expected to attend the actual abortion procedure, whether it is surgical or medical, as well as provide pre-abortion counseling and assistance. This position will emphasis the tenets of doula care, by providing an open ear, pain management techniques, relaxation methods, and patient advocacy.
So, now, with the project under way, we need you! There are several ways you can help:
***Donate, and/or attend our Fundraiser for Compassionate Choices! (Note: I
I'll send out an event invitation once dates/times/locations are finalized). If you're broke and talented, perform at the fundraiser! Or donate a creation or two for our silent auction! Likewise, if you just have too much crap, we'll happily take it off of your hands for said auction.
***Knowledgeable about abortion, counseling, the doula model of care, holistic healthcare, or any other topic you deem relevant? Do a workshop for our doula training in the early Fall! E-mail LaurenM@protectchoice.org for a workshop application.
***APPLY NOW TO BE AN ABORTION DOULA***
Hells yeah. Please fill out the following application by August 15th. You can email it to LaurenM@protectchoice.org, or MaryM@protectchoice.org.
New York City Abortion Doula Application
1. Please list any experience you may have working in reproductive health, rights, or justice, counseling, social work, doula work, or health services, or any relevant personal experiences.
2. Why do you want to be an abortion doula?
3. You will be working with several other doulas and clinic staff closely and will be expected to communicate with them frequently and share your experiences working in the clinic. What is your experience in working with a team and what role do you usually take?
4. What do you think you will bring to the position? How will your presence make the group stronger?
5. What is your experience in working with communities or cultures that are not your own?
6. Do you speak Spanish or any other languages?
7. What is your opinion about:
Government funding for abortion In favor Not in favor Don’t know
Parental consent for abortions for women under 18 In favor Not in favor Don’t know
A mandatory 24-hour waiting period In favor Not in favor Don’t know
Spousal consent In favor Not in favor Don’t know
Sex education in public schools In favor Not in favor Don’t know
Contraceptive availability in public schools In favor Not in favor Don’t know
Please elaborate on any answers if you wish:
8. Being a doula is demanding. There will be traveling to the clinic, minimal out of pocket expenses, and you will be on-call several times a month. At this time, we are unable to provide a stipend for your work. In addition, the majority of doula work will take place during weekdays. List any concerns you have about this.
9. Describe your current employment/school and schedule.
10. Describe your ability to take care of yourself in stressful, high pressure situations or environments.
11. List any concerns you have about participating in the 4-day intensive doula training program, which will be held in the early fall on Saturday and Sunday.
12. Do you have any hesitations or concerns about becoming an abortion doula that you have not already mentioned? Please note that this will not eliminate you from consideration.
13. How did you find out about this opportunity?
14. What goals do you have in participating with this program?
15. Please list any further comments below.