A lengthy article in The Washington Post highlighted "abortion doulas," those who comfort women during abortions. Pro-life advocates say the story severely undercuts the pro-choice message that an abortion is no different than any other procedure.
The article, "The long five minutes: Abortion doulas bring comfort during a complicated time," explains how doulas — women normally trained to assist and support a pregnant woman through her delivery — are needed for a much shorter, yet still emotionally agonizing procedure.
Traditional doulas are not medical professionals but are solely focused on the emotional well-being of the mother in a room full of doctors and nurses facilitating the birthing process.
Abortion doulas conduct themselves in a similar fashion, and are taught to be nonjudgmental in every way regarding the range of emotional responses and experiences of the women undergoing the abortion as "normal." The article tells of the training process that a volunteer-based collective called D.C. Doulas for Choice does so that the trainees can one day hold the hands of women during an abortion.
Mentioned in the article is a grisly description of what it is like inside an abortion clinic, recounting one particular occasion where the "sound of the doctor's medical vacuum was about as loud as a Dustbuster" and blood was seen in a nearby tube. It notes how quickly the doctor worked. Some women's anguish is expressed palpably.
"Much like the pro-abortion episode of the TV program Scandal — which the abortion lobby loved even though it portrayed abortion as a lonely, desperate lack of choice — this article actually lets many of the horrific elements of abortion slip through," said Mallory Quigley, communications director for the Susan B. Anthony List, a political action committee that works to elect pro-life women to Congress.
"Advocates of abortion sometimes describe the procedure as having no more significance than a tonsillectomy or tooth extraction. If that were true, it wouldn't make any sense to be so distraught," she told CP. "Why would 'abortion doulas' be needed in the first place?"
Obianuju Ekeocha, president of Culture of Life Africa and author of Target Africa, an upcoming book explaining how Western humanitarian aid dollars are linked to push abortion on African nations that oppose the practice, was horrified at the very idea of an abortion doula.
"A doula is supposed to support & comfort a woman???? when she is giving birth," Ekeocha tweeted Tuesday.
"Now we a get a doula when an unborn baby is being killed? Yes, civilization is free-falling into a bottomless pit. There seems to be a new depravity everyday," she said.
Likewise, Jeryl Bier, writer at the Weekly Standard, tweeted the article's description of the emotional toil an abortion takes on a woman and how the doulas are trained: "So, maybe it's more than just a clump of cells? More than just like having an appendix removed? This is so tragic and heartbreaking."
Quigley further noted that DONA International, one of the of world's largest and oldest professional associations for doulas, has a code of ethics that doulas "should promote the general health of women and their babies."
"What could be more opposed to that ethic than abortion? The article's grim, depressing tone reflects the reality of what's happening during abortion: the killing of a child. It presents a stark contrast to the joyful celebration of the birth of a child. 'Abortion doulas' are taught to discuss almost anything except the abortion itself," she said.
"With thousands of pregnancy resource centers around the country, there is no question that the pro-life movement offers much more in terms of material and emotional support than the abortion industry ever will."