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Entries in abortion (20)


Non-Attached to Outcome Motivational Interviewing in Full Spectrum Work 

by: Lauren MacDonald 


Maggie Downey and Svea Vikander joined us for our March Salon Series and brought along their toolbox for motivational interviewing and how it can be applied to full spectrum work. Both coming from professional backgrounds, Maggie MSW and PHD student and Svea, Clinical Mental Health Counselor, presented in a very compassionate and relaxed way the history, basics and applications of motivational interviewing.They have adapted the traditonal MI pillars and added in the concept of "Non-Attached to Outcome Motivational Interviewing" to make the practice more inclusive. 

What is NAOMI you might ask and why should you consider diving in to learn more. I like this quote from the presnetation, NAOMI is "...a soft way of helping people take a hard look at themselves." In all our interactions we with other people, friends, family, clients, cowokers, strangers, we can hear people talk about change. Talk about how they should, could, will do better, make the move, stop. When we hear change talk we are typically compelled to do something. I appreciate NAOMI because it reminds me that my role is not to make the change, it is to listen, reflect, and illicit more coverstion. NAOMI can be a super useful framework to support us as we hold up the mirror for folks to hear and see the change talk too and make the move within themselves to change. 

Maggie and Svea were so well prepared with a beautiful powerpoint and handouts I have little to write up as a summary because the information is now at your fingertips! BADP Motivational Interviewing Presenation and Handouts. Also, for the first time ever we recorded the event presentation so you can listen in and pretend you hauled through the rain that night to be in the living room with us! Motivational Interviewing Presentation Recording

Thank you Maggie and Svea for coming to share and giving us all more tools to work with! 

If their is any difficulty with the links please do not hesistate to reach out to the team 



September Salon Series Summary: An Evening with Abortion Care Provider Dr. Shelley Sella

By: Lauren MacDonald

The snapshot of our last Salon Series: a living room full of learners looking up to and engaged with Dr. Shelley Sella’s humble and thorough accounts of her journey working with people in need of reproductive health services, specifically abortion.

Dr. Sella is an honored, awaited guest speaker to the Salon Series. She is one of the four late term abortion care providers working today in the United States.  She works at Southwestern Women’s Options Clinic in Albuquerque, New Mexico, offering first, second and third trimester abortions.

Dr. Sella reports she has been interested in abortion work since even before her medical school journey began. After school and several years of practice as an OBGYN she went to work alongside Dr. Tiller in 2009. She was featured in, After Tiller, a documentary that follows the four remaining late term abortion providers in the United States.

The first question that she offered to explore with us was “Why does someone wait so long to have an abortion?” When answering that question, she differentiated between patients with fetal indications, those who are ending the pregnancy because there is something very wrong with their baby, and patients with maternal indications, those ending the pregnancy to preserve their own life and health.

Dr. Sella painted a realistic view of a clinic day in which three third trimester abortion patients were laboring.  One was an 18 year old victim of date rape, another, a 23 year old mother of three in an abusive relationship who left after being hit in the abdomen, and finally, a 12 year old victim of incest.

The outpatient center where Dr. Sella works serves an international cohort of people seeking reproductive health services including first, second and third trimester abortions. The stand out description of the services provided was the incorporation of counseling and supportive services with medical services.

Dr. Sella briefly described what an abortion looks like clinically, for each trimester. She emphasized the well roundedness of their program. She explained that counseling happens with a person during their first intake. The first visit with the doctor is always with the patient clothed. There is low lighting, calm music, continuity of care with counselor from intake to post procedure, a small staff and quiet interactions between staff, pain management support, and peer support groups.

With the hard and complex work that she does we inquired how Dr. Sella takes care of herself. She reports that the clinic staff is so supportive and they incorporate processing of cases into their weekly meetings. She also gave gratitude to her international abortion care community and providers as well as her home and personal friends and family including her wife, Julie who joined us at the salon.

Thank you Dr. Sella for the information you shared with us and the wisdom you imparted about your journey and the work you are doing.


Men Choose Abortion Too

Today we have a post from one of BADP's amazing doulas, Renee Bracey Sherman, which was originally posted yesterday at RH Reality Check. Check out Renee's biography here; her other posts include "Searching for the Perfect Card," "Keep Politics 25 Feet Away From My Health Care," and "Similar Experiences but Never the Same."

Men Choose Abortion Too

By Renee Bracey Sherman

Originally posted at RH Reality Check

This week, the anti-choice group Live Action posted an article about how men can stop the women in their lives from obtaining an abortion. The article tells men not to “give your permission for abortion or help her get one,” suggests getting a restraining order against their partner, and advises them to buy their partner prenatal vitamins and baby supplies. But the most wrongheaded thing about the piece is that not all men are against abortion—many think it is a complicated issue and support their partners in their decision-making.

When I became pregnant at 19, I was scared. I was at my then-boyfriend’s best friend’s house when I decided to take the test. They were in the other room playing video games, and I told my boyfriend that I was going in to the bathroom to get the results. Positive. I sat on the toilet and cried. I cried for 45 minutes alone. When I finally had the strength to leave the bathroom, I signaled for him to meet me in the living room. We sat on the couch and he hugged me. He knew the result of the test.

“What do you want to do?” he asked me.

“Well, I’m not ready to be a parent. I don’t want to be pregnant,” I replied.

We sat in silence for a minute, and then I asked him what he thought. He said that he had always pictured us staying together and raising a family, but also knew how hard it would be. We had friends with children and saw the challenges they faced and how hard they worked to be great parents. I was proud of them, but knew it was something I wasn’t ready for. We weren’t ready.

As I was still deciding on how to continue our pregnancy, I consulted two other people—both single fathers, co-parenting an infant and a toddler with their children’s mothers, and both friends of my boyfriend. I asked them what they thought I should do.

“I love my son. I really do,” one friend told me. “He means the world to me. But if I had to do it over again, I wouldn’t.” He explained that parenting is harder than he thought it would ever be, and once you leave the hospital you also leave all its resources, safety nets, and support. He also wanted the option to decide when he could become a parent—a time when he and his child would be set up for success.

The other friend’s advice was simple: “Abortion is tough, but if that’s what you feel, then that’s your answer.” He also explained that being a parent is hard, and admitting you’re not ready for it is a mature, parent-like thing to do.

As I continue to share my abortion experience publicly, I meet people who want to share theirs with me. Some of those people are men. I’ve heard stories about how the choice was tough, but they appreciated that their partner included them in the decision. They too felt abortion was the best option at that time. Some have gone on to have other children, while others haven’t. Once a man told me that when he and his partner became pregnant after having an abortion, they had such a different feeling about it: “We knew that this time, we were ready to be parents. I felt like a father.”

Being a parent is about more than buying prenatal vitamins and diapers. It is about having the ability to support a person for the rest of your life. And when I decide to become a parent, I want to make sure that I am in a place where I am ready to do that. And I want to do it with a partner who is ready to respect our children, our family, and me. What Live Action doesn’t understand is that supporting someone through an abortion is a form of love as well. It’s a deep respect for all of life’s complexities. And I believe that most men, and fathers, understand that too.


Notes From The Salon: Full Spectrum Advocacy

Last Tuesday, May 28 the Bay Area Doula Project held our monthly Salon Series event, "Full Spectrum Advocacy: A review of current bills in the California Legislature that affect your body & your community." This event featured four panelists discussing some of the reproductive health and justice related bills currently in the California legislature, and how we can make an impact on the passage of these bills. 

Lupe Rodríguez, Director of Public Affairs at Planned Parenthood Mar Monte started off the evening with the following definition of reproductive justice from EMERJ (Expanding the Movement for Empowerment and Reproductive Justice): "Reproductive justice exists when all people have the social, political, and economic power and resources to make healthy decisions about our gender, bodies, and sexuality for ourselves, our families, and our communities."

Three reproductive justice focused bills were discussed by our panelists: AB 1308, AB 271, and AB 154. 

Treesa McLean, a Licensed Midwife (LM) who has been serving Bay Area families for 30 years, spoke on AB 1308, a bill that will clarify midwifery educational paths in California, make Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs) able to precept student midwives in the LM track, and allow LMs to order medications and devices they use within their scope of practice. Treesa spoke on how reproductive justice is allowing people to give birth the way they want, for example, vaginal births after a Caesarean section.

For more information on AB 1308 and to take action, visit the website of California Families for Access to Midwives, a "statewide, nonprofit coalition committed to ensuring that all California families have access to safe, affordable midwifery care."

Sierra Harris, Assistant Director of ACCESS Women's Health Justice spoke about AB 271, which will repeal the Maximum Family Grant rule. As explained on the ACCESS website, "Under current California law, infants born into families receiving CalWORKS assistance are denied cash aid- this is known as the Maximum Family Grant (MFG) rule. This law endangers the health and wellbeing of infants born into poverty, while purposely limiting the reproductive choices and violating the privacy of low-income women. AB 271 would repeal the MFG rule to provide for the basic needs of newborn children while allowing women to make family planning decisions."

Click here to learn more about AB 271 and sign up for a listserv of updates. 

Also check out this article by Elena R. Gutierrez, PH.D, "Bringing Families Out of 'Cap'tivity: the Need to Repeal the CalWORKS Maximum Family Grant Rule.

The third bill discussed at Tuesday's event was AB 154, which will reduce barriers to reproductive health care by allowing trained nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives, and physician assistants to perform early aspiration abortions. Ashley Morris of the ACLU of Northern California told us more about this bill. Currently, over 50% of California counties lack an abortion provider (check out this map showing where providers are located in CA). By increasing the number of available abortion providers and allowing mid-level practitioners already working in these communities to perform abortions, AB 154 will help increase abortion access in these areas and others around the state.

In exciting news, on Tuesday this bill was passed in the Assembly, 48-24, and is now headed to the Senate! Read more about the bill and its passage in the Assembly in this article.

For more information and to take action, sign up here on the ACLU's website.

This informative and inspiring event came to a close with this interesting graphic from Lupe Rodríguez about how a bill becomes a law. 

Thank you so much to all our panelists for sharing your knowledge about these important bills and explaining how to get involved in shaping reproductive health and justice policy. Be sure to visit the links above for more information on all of these bills and to learn more about taking action!


Assembly Bill 154 addresses the current shortage of health care professionals able to provide early abortion care in Californi

by Ruby Warnock

Last week AB 154, sponsored by Assemblymember Toni Atkins, was approved by the Assembly Business and Professions Committee. The bill addresses the current shortage of health care professionals able to provide early abortion care in California. Under the bill, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and nurse-midwives would be able to perform aspiration abortions after receiving training.

A recent six-year study led by UCSF's ANSIRH and published in the American Journal of Public Health showed that trained nurse practitioners, midwives and physicians assistants can provide early abortions as safely as physicians and that women greatly appreciate receiving care in their own communities.

The bill states, “According to the Guttmacher Institute, 52% of California counties lack an abortion provider (removing hospitals, which typically provide a small number of procedures for medical and fetal indications).” The approval of the bill would improve access to quality care for countless women in the state.

Currently in the United States, state regulations determine who can provide abortions, with several states specifically prohibiting non-physician clinicians from performing the procedure. Currently only four states allow non-physician to perform medication and aspiration abortions, and this landmark bill would make California the fifth!


Regulations around abortion providers in the U.S. (American Journal of Public Health)

Make sure to tell your Legislator you support the bill!