I've heard of pregnant women hiring doulas to help them get through labor and delivery, but today is the first I've heard of a doula supporting a woman through an abortion. But the Doula Project is doing just that: "Supporting people across the spectrum of pregnancy."
The Doula Project is just beginning - currently it's comprised of 20 volunteer doulas who work in a hospital in New York City. Abortion doulas help explain the procedure to patients, and provide them with emotional and physical support before and after the procedure. The project plans to expand within New York City, has an affiliate in Atlanta, Georgia, and will provide doula training kits to those who are interested.
"To me, it seemed like a very intuitive idea," Lauren Mitchell, who co-founded the Project, tells Bust magazine. "Why aren't there doulas for abortions? It's usually an uncomfortable procedure, it can be emotional, it encompasses a huge range-life, sex, death. It's intense."
For more information on abortion doulas, visit the Doula Project. You can also read about some of the volunteers' experiences at The Doula Movement: Making the Radical a Reality by Trusting Pregnant Women and Thoughts From an Abortion Doula.
Do you think it's a comfort for a woman to have a doula support her through an abortion?