Abortion Doula Initiative
People having abortions deserve support. We aim to have a trained, professional abortion doula for in-person support during every surgical abortion procedure at Alabama Women's Center, the only abortion clinic in north Alabama.
There are a myriad of barriers to accessing safe reproductive care in the state of Alabama. Abortion access is extremely limited, with only three clinics in the state. The social climate is hostile towards people seeking abortions, with patients often facing verbal harassment and threats as they enter and exit clinics. Patients face an overall social stigma towards abortion and may have no support for their decision.
Nationally most (if not all) in-clinic abortion doula support is volunteer which, presents many challenges such as quality of care, reliability of work force, and scalability. It also causes a discordance between the people who are able to provide doula services and the people who are receiving doula care since it prevents those who are not financially able to donate unpaid time from participation. This disproportionately affects people of color, parents, and low-income persons when of the persons obtaining abortions 70% have an income that is under 200% of the federal poverty line (Guttmacher), 59% are parenting (Guttmacher) and 64% of people who obtain abortions are people of color (Guttmacher). Additionally, it perpetuates the trend of devaluing "female" labor.
ACC will be creating best practices, implementing countermeasures and collecting quality metric data so that the impact of sustainable paid doula support during abortion procedures can be fully understood and implemented at other locations