Simply put, an abortion doula is someone who works with pregnant people who are considering or who have chosen to have an abortion. In my work as an abortion doula I offer non-medical support and advice and advocacy to patients and their loved ones through their surgical and medical abortion experiences and procedures. I help them understand what to expect through the abortion process, I help explain different options available to them, I offer advice on things to do before/during/after their procedure (breathing and meditation exercises, what to expect on the day of their procedure, the beauty of heating pads and water bottles, hotline phone numbers, etc.), and I am able to offer physical and emotional support during the abortion procedure itself where friends or family members are not typically allowed.
Doulas on the whole have been gaining traction and visibility over the last number of years mainly on the birth side of the pregnancy spectrum. Many people are aware that birth doulas exist and have an idea of their place in the pregnancy process. Full-spectrum doulas believe that every pregnancy deserves a doula and often work on the fringes of birth support. There are doulas who also specialize in miscarriage and adoption and postpartum, and there is a growing interest and demand in death doula work as well (people trained to hold space and assist dying people and their families through the transition of death). Full-spectrum doulas believe that a well rounded care plan surrounding the termination of a pregnancy is just as important as birth plans for full-term pregnancies.