Everyone Has a Role: Abortion Doulas


In the realm of reproductive healthcare, the role of abortion doulas has emerged as a beacon of support, advocacy, and empowerment for people navigating the complexities of the abortion access landscape. Abortion doulas are trained support professionals who provide emotional, physical, and educational support before, during and after abortion care. Unlike medical professionals, abortion doulas do not perform medical procedures; instead, they focus on offering compassionate care, advocacy, and assistance tailored to the specific needs and preferences of each person.


Abortion doulas are important for several key reasons, each of which contributes significantly to the overall wellbeing and autonomy of people seeking abortion care:

  • Emotional and Psychological Support: Abortion can be a complex and emotionally charged experience. Abortion doulas provide crucial emotional support, helping clients process their feelings, reduce anxiety, and cope with the emotional aspects of the procedure. This support can be particularly important for those who may feel isolated or stigmatized.
  • Informational Support: Navigating the medical system and understanding the details of an abortion procedure can be overwhelming. Abortion doulas offer clear, accurate information about what to expect before, during, and after the procedure. This helps clients make informed decisions and feel more in control of their reproductive health.
  • Advocacy: Abortion doulas act as advocates for their clients, ensuring that their needs and preferences are respected by medical professionals. They help clients communicate effectively with healthcare providers and ensure that their rights are upheld, contributing to a more positive healthcare experience.
  • Physical Comfort: During the abortion process, abortion doulas offer relaxation techniques, breathing exercises, and soothing touch that can significantly ease discomfort and pain. This holistic approach to care addresses both the client’s physical and emotional needs.
  • Reducing Stigma: The presence of an abortion doula can help mitigate the stigma associated with abortion. By offering non-judgmental support and affirming the client’s choice, doulas play a crucial role in normalizing abortion as a part of reproductive health care.
  • Addressing Health Disparities: Abortion doulas often work with marginalized communities, including BIPOC, LGBTQ+ people, people with low income, and those with limited access to healthcare. They help bridge the gap in care by providing culturally competent, accessible support to address health disparities and promote equity in reproductive healthcare.
  • Trauma-Informed Care: Many people seeking abortion care have experienced previous trauma, including reproductive coercion or violence. Abortion doulas are trained in trauma-informed care, ensuring that the support they provide is sensitive to the client’s past experiences and current emotional state. This approach helps to create a safe and supportive environment.
  • Continuity of Care: Abortion doulas provide continuous support throughout the abortion process, from pre-procedure consultations to post-procedure recovery. This continuity of care can improve overall satisfaction and outcomes, as clients have a consistent source of support and information throughout their experience.
  • Empowerment: By offering support, information, and advocacy, abortion doulas empower individuals to make autonomous decisions about their reproductive health. This empowerment is fundamental to reproductive justice, ensuring that all people can choose what is best for their bodies and lives.
  • Community Support and Resources: Abortion doulas often connect clients with additional resources and support networks, including mental health services, financial assistance, and community organizations. This comprehensive approach ensures that clients have access to the full spectrum of care and support they need.


Abortion doulas typically organize and operate through a combination of formal training programs, volunteer networks, and community-based organizations. Many abortion doulas receive training through specialized programs that cover topics such as abortion procedures, patient rights, emotional support techniques, trauma-informed care, and cultural competency. Organizations like Birthing Advocacy, Birthworkers of Color Collective, Colorado Doula Project, and local reproductive health groups offer these training programs. Abortion doulas often work within volunteer networks that connect doulas with clients seeking support and facilitate coordination among doulas. Many are also affiliated with community-based organizations that advocate for reproductive rights and provide direct services. These organizations may operate local hotlines, offer in-person support at clinics, and provide resources and referrals to clients in need.


Abortion doulas can be found through several avenues:

  • Many local reproductive health clinics, including Planned Parenthood and independent abortion providers, will provide referrals for abortion doulas. These clinics often have partnerships with doula organizations or maintain lists of recommended doulas.
  • Organizations such as the National Network of Abortion Funds and INeedAnA provide directories or referral services to connect clients with abortion doulas in their area.
  • Local health departments, community health centers, and grassroots organizations focused on reproductive justice may also offer referrals to abortion doulas. These organizations often have strong community ties and provide recommendations based on specific client needs.
  • Social media and online communities host numerous groups and pages dedicated to reproductive health and justice. Joining these communities can provide access to recommendations and personal testimonials about local abortion doulas.
  • Word of mouth recommendations from friends, family, or trusted healthcare providers can also be an effective way to find an abortion doula. Personal referrals often come with insights into the doula’s approach and effectiveness.


In a society that continuously threatens people’s bodily autonomy, abortion doulas have the power to be agents of change in the fight for reproductive justice. Their work is integral to promoting equity, dignity, and autonomy in reproductive decision-making. Provide is here to empower abortion doulas with trainings and resources they need to offer safe, effective, and compassionate care. Together, we can work toward a future where reproductive justice is a reality for all.


Back to Blog Home