Our mission is to cultivate a thriving community in which people are met with kindness, generosity, empathy, and skillful care wherever they are in their reproductive health journeys and whatever choices they make for themselves.
Our vision is a world where compassion, skillful care, and a reverence for human sovereignty are the norm in reproductive care.
Our geographic focus is Madison County, Alabama, with attention to our state, regional and national context. Within this community, we are focused on:
The Alabama Cohosh Collaborative was founded as an initiative to provide abortion doulas to clients at the Alabama Women’s Center. We are a proud member of the National Network of Abortion Funds. We are guided by a doula ethic, meaning that in all of our work we want to:
Recognize the wholeness of each person, knowing that a reproductive journey is more than just a medical experience. We believe that reproductive care work is sacred work.
Give attention to the mechanisms of social oppression and marginalization that govern our institutions and impact us as individuals.
Dismantle dismissiveness in care. We do our best to meet people where they are, to call people in, and to believe what people are telling us about their needs and their experiences.
Advocate for skillful care while also recognizing professionalization as a potential tool for dehumanization. The art and skill of being a doula is ancient, resilient, and embedded in community. Doula work is humanizing for both the giver and the receiver of care.
We are also guided by the principles of the reproductive justice movement, believing that all human beings have:
We center women of color in our work because women of color are the most vulnerable to disenfranchisement and most affected by the maternal health crisis. Inspired by RJ organizations like Sistersong, we believe that “Our society will not be free until the most vulnerable people are able to access the resources and full human rights to live self-determined lives without fear, discrimination, or retaliation.”
We believe that each person’s reproductive journey is sacred and personal. We will not compromise on our belief in the human right to reproductive freedom, even when that right is suppressed by our government.We bring the same ethics to our care work and our movement work, valuing opportunities to connect with the humanity of others. We will not pursue advocacy at the cost of denigrating this humanity, even when we are in deep disagreement.
We are concerned not only with reproductive access, but reproductive justice, meaning that we believe that our community cannot thrive without dismantling the harmful ideologies that undergird most reproductive care in this country. Our reproductive health institutions were built on white-supremacist, ableist, patriarchal values. Work for reproductive justice must include work to identify and dismantle these ideologies.
We believe that responsible care work must be sustainable and humanizing for careworkers. Showing up to vulnerable moments requires that we’re well-resourced, knowledgeable, able to practice self-care and find the support we need. Accountability means recognizing/acknowledging what is happening and connecting people to resources that we can’t provide ourselves. Responsive care work requires humility, flexibility and emergence.
We believe that our vision for a thriving community is only possible with collaboration, trust, and communication among care workers, organizers, and community members. Because each individual reproductive care journey is different, each person will need unique support and skill sets. Because reproductive care work is demanding and challenging, a sustainable system must have many care workers who are in collaboration with one another. We value collaborative work because it is essential to our mission and vision.
Black, blue, red, and white cohosh are all native Alabama plants that have been used as healing aids for all facets of reproductive care.