A Sunday feature from the BBC highlighted a woman with a macabre career: abortion doula.
The BBC interviewed Vicki Bloom, a doula who has reassured women through abortions—more than 2,000 of them.
Typically, doulas aid women as they undergo the childbirth process, but in Bloom’s case, she helps women as they abort their children.
“I will stand up by their head and be looking into that person’s eyes, ready for whatever they need, while the doctor is doing the procedure,” Bloom said.
Some of the things that abortion doulas do involve talking with the women about their lives, holding their hands, comforting them and wiping away sweat or tears. She said many talk about their children.
“Making sure they can take the best care of the kids they have factors into a lot of people’s choice to have an abortion, so their kids may be on their mind,” Bloom said. “I also feel like some people may want to talk about how they take care of their kids to get reassurance that they are a good parent and a good person.”
Bloom is a volunteer with The Doula Project, a New York City non-profit that launched in 2007 with a goal to provide doulas to women in low-income or marginalized communities. The organization provides doulas that help with more typical roles, such as childbirth, but all doulas who work with the project must be willing to do abortion work as well as birth work, according to the report.
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“We think women deserve good care and support however their pregnancy proceeds – whether it results in birth, miscarriage, stillbirth, fetal anomaly or abortion,” Bloom said.
In the interview, Bloom explained how she came to support abortion: “I was a science geek, so I came away knowing a lot more about the biology of pregnancy, but also came out feeling very strongly that women should be able to safely do what they need to take care of themselves, without other people or the government interfering.” She joined The Doula Project in 2010.
Women who choose to undergo abortions are definitely in a difficult place, and usually have dealt with a lot of struggles before coming to their decision. Bloom admitted as much, saying many tell her they want the baby but cannot afford it or they already feel overwhelmed taking care of their born children.
While it is absolutely critical to reach out to women who have undergone abortions, it is astonishing to see abortion doulas encouraging women to deliberately terminate their unborn child’s life. These doulas only provide a temporary comfort to women who are already facing so much, but there is no consolation for the child whose life is being ended.