Hold my Hand: How Abortion Doulas Improve Abortion Care

Lee, Shannon

Patients seeking abortion services in the United States face several problems, including factual inaccuracies about the procedure, the stigma surrounding the procedure, and barriers to quality care across the country. The problems surrounding abortion pose a threat to patient autonomy and beneficence—ethical principles that are usually upheld in medicine. Abortion doulas can enhance patient autonomy, improve the quality of medical care, help women talk through their emotions or the associated stigma, and provide other benefits that can address the problems surrounding abortion. Their role ranges from discussing emotional decisions and answering patient questions before the procedure, to simply holding their hand in the recovery room. In this paper, I propose that the use of abortion doulas may help address some of the problems surrounding abortion by mitigating factual inaccuracies, stigma, and barriers to quality care.


Also Published In

Voices in Bioethics

More About This Work

Published Here
August 29, 2022


abortion, doulas, volunteer, training, prevention, quality, medical care