Search BADP

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required

View previous campaigns.

Entries in abortion counseling (3)

Friday
Sep252015

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.

Thursday
Jul262012

Notes from the salon: Counseling, Compassion, and Support

By Sarah Whedon

I am still feeling echoes of the great compassion, wisdom, and eagerness to learn from each other that filled the room at this Wednesday's salon. These events are such a great way for us to all continue our education on reproductive health (there's always more to learn!) as well as to meet friends and allies.

The amazing abortion counseling panel, assembled by hard-working volunteers Stef, Barby, Liz, and Renee, addressed a packed room at Million Fishes art gallery.

 

Moderator Steph Herold, a reproductive justice activist who has worked in direct service abortion care and reproductive health advocacy, and who founded the websites IAmDrTiller.com and AbortionGang.org, gave the panelists ample opportunity to speak from their own experiences.

 
We heard from Alissa Perrucci, the Counseling & Administrative Manager at the Women's Options Center at San Francisco General Hospital and author of Decision Assessment and Counseling in Abortion Care: Philosophy and PracticeReagan Parker who volunteers on ACCESS's Healthline in order to ensure that women have the resources and support they need to obtain vital reproductive health services; and Sabrina Andrus, a board member at Backline, a counseling talk line providing unconditional support for decisions, feelings, and experiences with pregnancy, parenting, abortion, and adoption.  

 

Although each of the organizations the panelists work with has a different focus, they all returned repeatedly to the common themes of listening to individual women and making space for those women to be self-empowered. Some choice nuggets of truth:
  •  "I always remember that the patient has the answer for her situation or dilemma. Everyone has their own answer." -- Alissa Perrucci
  • No matter the situation "there's always a kernel of self-determination with the women I talk to. I try to encourage that." -- Reagan Parker
  • "For our callers [abortion] is not a political decision. It's their life and a necessity." -- Sabrina Andrus

 

I had to leave early because my baby (who had tons of cooing fans amongst the full-spectrum doulas who were meeting her for the first time since she was born in May) got too tired, but I expect to attend the next Salon. If you were there will you help fill in the details - what were the night's highlights for you?
 

PS. Check out previous Notes From the Salon on orgasms, hormones, placentas, and full-spectrum doulas.

Tuesday
Jul172012

Bay Area Doula Project Salon Series Presents: Counseling, Compassion, and Support

Join us for another amazing Bay Area Doula Project Salon Series event!

Bay Area Doula Project Salon Series Presents: A discussion at the Salon Series
Counseling, Compassion, and Support

 Experiences and Lessons from Abortion Counseling

 
Date: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 
Time: 7:00 - 8:30pm 
Location: Million Fishes Art Collective
2501 Bryant Street, San Francisco
Bryant Street at 23rd Street
Cost: Free, $5-$15 Suggested Donation for Bay Area Doula Project, no one will be turned away for lack of funds

Check out the Facebook Event!

Guest speakers include Alissa Perrucci, Reagan Parker, Sabrina Andrus, and Steph Herold.  

 

Sabrina Andrus is a board member at Backline, a counseling talk line providing unconditional support for decisions, feelings, and experiences with pregnancy, parenting, abortion, and adoption.  

 

Alissa Perrucci is the Counseling & Administrative Manager at the Women's Options Center at San Francisco General Hospital. She has worked in abortion counseling for many years and has also conducted research on access to abortion, abortion stigma, and the impact of parental involvement laws on access to family planning and abortion care. Her book Decision Assessment and Counseling in Abortion Care: Philosophy and Practice was published by Rowman & Littlefield in March. Previously, she worked at the California Family Health Council where she evaluated Title X family planning programs throughout California and the OPA HIV Integration Grant for Region IX. Alissa has a PhD in clinical psychology and a Master of Public Health with an emphasis on maternal and child health. 

 

Reagan Parker applied her degree in Anthropology from U.C. Berkeley to a career in the adventure travel industry.  After spending the last decade traveling the globe, the exposure to the lives of women worldwide made her more appreciative of American women's reproductive freedom. She volunteers on ACCESS's Healthline in order to ensure that women have the resources and support they need to obtain vital reproductive health services.   

 

Steph Herold is a reproductive justice activist who has worked in direct service abortion care and reproductive health advocacy. She is currently pursuing a Master's degree in Public Health at Columbia University, and is interning at ANSIRH this summer, researching abortion stigma.  Steph founded the website IAmDrTiller.com to honor the stories of abortion providers and to celebrate the legacy of Dr. George Tiller. She also founded the blog AbortionGang.org as a space for young people in the reproductive justice movement. She is a current board member of New York Abortion Access Fund and lives in Brooklyn, NY.

 

The evening will be filled with great conversation and great people! Light refreshments will be served. We hope to see you and your friends there!