Following the Supreme Court ruling of 24 June in dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Healthwho overturned the 1973 Supreme Court milestone roe v. wading abortion access, many Americans have been thinking about turning their anger into action.
Some have contributed to local abortion funds. Others have taken to the streets in protest. And a number of people in South Florida and beyond have chosen to help through training to become “abortion doulas,” non-medical professionals who provide emotional and physical support to people before, during, and after their abortion.
The Southern Birth Justice Network (SBJN), a black and queer-led organization that trains birth and abortion doulas who independently offer their services in the community, has seen an increase in inquiries about training and services for abortion doulas. Executive Director Jamarah Amani says the group will ramp up its doula training sessions in the coming weeks and months.
“Our doula training has always been full spectrum, and it’s in demand now,” said Amani, a Miami obstetrician who trains abortion doulas. New times. “But it’s definitely something we’ve done: elevate and maintain this model of care, because that’s what people need.”
Florida is not one of 13 US states with so-called trigger laws that immediately banned abortions when roe v. wading fell on June 24, but many expect the state to ban the proceedings if the 2022 midterm elections strengthen Republican control in the legislature and the governor’s mansion. Healthcare providers are already fighting in court to prevent Florida’s 15-week abortion ban from going into effect on July 1, arguing that the law, signed by Governor Ron DeSantis earlier this year, violates individual privacy rights enshrined in the constitution of the state.
For the past ten years, Amani has worked with SBJN to train doulas, provide obstetric care, and advocate for better health services for women and families. The organization, which supports about 100 families each year, has a mutual aid program to provide free and low-cost doula services to those who cannot afford their services, and its doulas often operate on a sliding scale.
While SBJN provides obstetric care to the community at large, its doulas target black, brown, youth, immigrants, natives, LGBTQ+, and low-income clients and work to reduce racial inequalities in maternal and infant mortality rates. (Experts have emphasized that people of color and other marginalized communities will bear the brunt of roe‘s downfall.) The work of abortion doulas—which in particular does not include giving abortions—can be as basic as offering a hand to hold during the procedure and/or a ride to and from the clinic.
SBJN’s next doula training cohort will launch in Spring 2023. Amani says there is already a waiting list.
“I mean, we had medical students, nurses, everyday young mamas,” she says of the increased interest. “Just ordinary people, you know.
“We will continue to offer workshops throughout the year and appear in a variety of spaces to try to educate the community on the full spectrum of care and birthright model that we believe is so vital to the survival of our communities,” she adds. ready.