I was encouraged by thoughtful coverage of full-spectrum doula services in Wisconsin in the Aug. 9 State Journal article "Group offers ‘abortion doulas.’"
The new organization, POWERS, among others such as Maroon Calabash in Milwaukee, is a bold and hopeful step toward reproductive justice and community building in a society with huge inequalities in access to health care and an unjustifiable lack of bodily autonomy.
The article correctly stated that “abortion doulas can’t be with women during in-clinic abortions” at Planned Parenthood clinics. But abortion doulas are welcome to attend the entire procedure with their clients at Affiliated Medical Services in Milwaukee.
As a doula, I have seen firsthand the importance of this continuity of care in improving both physical and emotional safety, as well as perceived experience of an event. Continuous presence and person-centered support from full-spectrum doulas are especially important for those folks who seek abortion out of desperation or necessity in a world where lives, relationships and systemic inequalities are complex and interwoven.
Every person deserves open-hearted, non-judgmental support that meets them where they are at.
Alix Loniello, Madison