A Feminist Volunteer Training

All volunteers will be trained, but as feminists and reproductive justice advocates, it is important to us that repetitive, mainstream discourses about abortion are not perpetuated during EFC Rides Volunteer Training. Training will include:

Reproductive Justice

  • —There is no universal “women’s issue”
  • Mainstream discussions of abortion and birth control focus on middle-class white women and assume that their issues are the issues of all women
  • Women of color, poor women, disabled women, trans* people face different oppressors and have different experiences
  • What is liberatory to one women may be problematic to another
  • —Legality and access to abortion is not the only or most important reproductive health issue
  • Access to birth control
  • Comprehensive sexual education
  • Non-coercive medical consultations/procedures
  • Access to healthcare including:
  • Prenatal care
  • Breast examinations
  • Access to abortion

Differences in Experiences

  • —“Not all women experience abortion in the same way… it can be liberatory and painful, devastating and empowering, all at the same time”
  • Carly Thomsen, “From Refusing Stigmatization Toward Celebration: New Directions for   Reproductive Justice Activism”
  • —Also important to remember that not all who experience abortion/pregnancy identify as women
  • Trans* and/or gender queer students

Some Guidelines…

  • —Allow the patient to lead conversation
  • —Remain neutral in your responses
  • Avoid passing judgments
  • Avoid imposing your own values
  • —The patient’s viewpoints may differ from your own
  • This is not a time or an opportunity to educate or argue
  • You are a resource, not a mentor
  • —Avoid topics or phrases that suggests the patient should “feel something” (guilt, sadness, etc.)
  • This is made possible only within a moral framework of abortion
  • Not all women “feel something”
  • Abortion is not always a hard decision

De-stigmatizing Abortion

  • —These guidelines are useful for contributing to discourses and practices that de-stigmatize abortion as a selfish, immoral practice
  • —They can allow for a re-framing of abortion
  • Often a simple medical procedure
  • Not always negative

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