Partner blog: Aborcyjna Doula

Jesteśmy aborcyjnymi doulami. Słuchamy kobiet. Tekst opublikowany prez Kobiety w Sieci, organizację partnerską Women Help Women.

Jesteśmy aborcyjne Doule, kobiety które są z innymi kobietami i pomagają mi przejśc ciężki czas jakim jest własna aborcja. Doula, daje nie tylko informacje, daje pomoc psychologiczną,  współczucie i dobre słowo. To soba, która z racji znajomości tematu może uspokoic kobietę w trakcie tego nerwowego czasu.

Doula, to przyjaciółka. Chce nią być dla innych kobiet. Dzielenie tak intymnego doświadczenia jakim jest aborcja zbliża kobiety. Często z tego powstają przyjaźnie na długie lata.  Nikt nie zrozumie nas lepiej (oprócz nas samych) jak ta co przeszła już tą drogę.

Zaufajcie Doulom, zaufajcie nam przyjaciółkom od aborcji. Nie tylko powiemy Wam jak ją wykonać środkami dostępnymi w Polsce. Wirtualnie będziemy Wam towarzyszyć, podpowiadać co trzeba zrobić, jak sie zachować by nie zrobić sobie krzywdy.

Telefony do nas funkcjonują od poniedziałku do piątku.

oto one:

725 892 134 (Plus) od poniedziałku do piątku do godziny 22.

503 937 745 (Orange) od poniedziałku do piątku w godzinach 8:00-9:00, 16:00-22:00, 9:00-16:00 tylko sms.

730 861 724 (Play) od poniedziałku do piątku do godziny 22.

Nasze telefony są  uruchomione za własne pieniądze, jeśli czujesz, ze ci pomogłyśmy i chcesz nas wspomóc to miło nam będzie jeśli w doładujesz nam konto telefoniczne symboliczną kwotą 5,00 zł.

Z góry bardzo dziękujemy.

Zachęcamy również do „polubienia” fb’owego potralu Kobiet w Sieci, na którym będą pojawiały się aktualne informacje dotycznące działalności Grupy.
https://www.facebook.com/?ref=logo#!/pag…40?fref=ts

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Partner Voices: GIWYN Nigeria

Sybil Nmezi, the dynamic Director of GIWYN Nigeria talks to Susan from Women Help Women about the work in Nigeria.

Women Help Women: What are your main projects focused on sexual and reproductive health and rights right now (or what is one that you are working on now that you are particularly excited about)? 

Sybil Nmezi: GIWYN’s work is focused on increasing access for women to information on safe abortion services including the availability of misoprostol locally and to reduce abortion stigma.

We have started a hotline to provide free, safe and reliable information, in a confidential and non-judgmental way, about contraception, the prevention of unwanted pregnancy, abortion and post abortion care, and prevention of postpartum hemorrhage.  Callers can choose to talk one-on-one to a trained operator or can listen to pre-recorded information on the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system. The IVR makes information available to women 24-hours a day. GIWYN and allies named the hotline Ms Rosy Hotline.  Ms Rosy Hotline (08097737600 or 08097738001) empowers women with knowledge about women’s health and safe choices. It is an information service, not a medical service itself, and all the information provided is based on resources from World Health Organization.

hotline nigeria pic 1

To prepare for the hotline, GIWYN organized a workshop that was facilitated by non-medical trainers (consultants in international reproductive health) from Women Help Women, TICAH (Kenya),  and sponsored by Safe Abortion Action Fund (SAAF)/

During the training, a misoprostol song was written. It was very exciting to sing it.

miso badge nigeria

GIWYN and Allies were excited to launch Ms Rosy Hotline publicly with marches, music, and promotional materials like banners, stickers, buttons, aprons and T-Shirts in Lagos  on the 27th September 2014,  using  the momentum of 28thSeptember, the Global Day of Action for Safe and Legal Abortion. The launch involved the National Coalition for Safe Abortion member organizations and individuals. link: https://www.facebook.com/msrosyhotline

hotline march nigeria

What drew you to do this work?

In Nigeria, effective programs and services to address the need for safe abortion are missing on the ground, with serious consequences for women´s health and lives. Under the Nigerian law, abortion is prohibited unless it is to save the life of a woman whose health is at risk because of complications of pregnancy. Although abortion is restricted by law, there is overwhelming evidence that it is widely practiced in the country. Studies show that illegal abortion is one of the major causes of the maternal mortality worldwide. As a result,  there is need to create a space where  women can  have access to reproductive health information, including safe abortion and post abortion care information  in this country to save their lives, and this is why we established the hotline.

What are some of the biggest challenges to working on sexual and reproductive health/safe abortion in the context that you work in?

The biggest challenges to working in the area of Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights are the religious and cultural beliefs of the Church that women do not have the right to deal with their bodies as they want and that abortion is a sin. Others are the clamor of some politicians and community leaders that abortion is a taboo, which have resulted to misconceptions, abortion stigma and high risks   faced by women rights’ defenders. A typical example of this is the death treats faced by the GIWYN coordinator in 2011. I thank Women Global Network For Reproductive Rights (WGNRR) who  immediately came to my rescue by supporting me with security measures. Another challenge we face is a diverse group of stakeholders with different levels of ability to understand information on medical abortion. It is challenging to produce informational resources that are suitable for everyone, and that is why the hotline is in two Nigerian languages and other resources are translated as well.  Another challenge is finding the funding needed to keep our work going.

Is sexual and reproductive health and rights the primary focus of your organization? Was it always?

Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights is always the primary focus of GIWYN though linked to Gender Equality and Empowerment, HIV/Aids, Maternal Mortality and Sustainable development.

Talking About Abortion – We’re Doing it Wrong

I’ve been thinking about how we talk about abortion.

When I worked as a counselor doing abortion care, I would talk about it all day every day. Then at night, I’d always find some way to talk about it some more. I love this topic and it’s one that I am at times irritatingly passionate about.  And yet, lately some of my talk has me concerned.

Often, when we speak about providing abortion care, we come up against resistance. A common way that we respond to this opposition is to proffer what we consider to be situations where only the most extreme fanatic could fail to recognize a woman’s need for this procedure. I’m no different. I will talk about a woman I met with a desperately wanted pregnancy, but whose doctor ejected her from her pre-natal program without so much as a referral when the heartbeat stopped at 28 weeks. I will talk about a woman caring for eight children in a homeless shelter with so many health problems that carrying a pregnancy to term would be a death sentence. Or sometimes I talk about a barely pubescent child, pregnant from repeated rapes by a trusted family member.  Then there was the strongly pro-life woman whose baby would never take a breath of air due to anomalies so severe that most of the head would never form. I have hundreds of these stories, each as striking as the last. Women whose hands I’ve held as they’ve managed overwhelming tragedy and hardship.

These stories pack an emotional punch. They help unite us in the face of terrifying challenges to our reproductive rights and help illustrate the hypocrisy of those who choose to take those rights away in the name of ‘safety and morality.’ These are the stories I reach for when making a point about why access is so desperately needed.

But what kind of narrative am I supporting by doing this? When these types of stories are the only ones we tell, do we add to the sentiment that abortion is a thing that must be earned through suffering? That abortion must be the only perceived way out of an otherwise devastating situation? That it needs any justification besides ‘a woman is pregnant and needs not to be’?

Because there are other stories. Rarely do I talk about my patient whose abortion allowed her to be the first in her family to go to college. Or of a successful woman who had strong ideas about what kind of parent she wanted to be when the time felt right and knew this wasn’t it.  Are these women somehow less deserving because they don’t fit a narrative that we’ve been pressured to use? These women deserve the same voice and access as any, and yet when we bend to the discomfort of society, and speak of abortion as a necessary evil, how are these cases impacted?

As I’ve said to many of the women I’ve counseled who were embarrassed by their tears, their laughter and frequently their nausea, there is no incorrect way to experience your abortion. We can feel loss and also relief. We can feel grief and also triumph. This should apply similarly to our dialogue. This is a procedure we can and should feel able to speak of proudly. Abortion can be tragic, and difficult and heart-wrenching. But it can also be freeing, a huge relief and even downright mundane. If we do not continuously include these stories in our advocacy than we bow to the same pressures of stigma that have limited abortion in the first place.

-Carrie Watters