Since the passage of the Pro-Life Omnibus Bill (HB 2) in 2013, anti-Life advocates have sought to make abortion more accessible in Texas. Cicada Collective is one such group, describing itself as “a queer and trans* people of color centered organization” with the mission of “providing practical abortion support.”
This “support” encompasses acting as an “abortion doula.” Doulas transport pregnant mothers and their unborn children to abortion appointments, give the mothers lodging during the ordeal, and remain with them before, during, and after the abortion.
The initiative began shortly before the historic passage of HB 2, and hosted a full first year of activities following the event. Momentum has fizzled since then (a trend across the spectrum of abortion advocates), but the abortion doula movement has gained momentum elsewhere in the United States. Last year, a few of their stories were released in widely-distributed publications. They are unflinching accounts of trauma, loss, and a harrowing misconception of how to really help women in unplanned pregnancy situations. (You can read abortion doula testimonies here and here, for example.)
One testimony, published in New York Magazine, recounts the author’s first experience assisting a mother through the killing of her child:
The resident begins to perform the procedure as the attending barks commands. “Pull,” she says, “harder.” The body does not want to let go. The resident will not stop. It strikes me as strangely similar to birth, only the opposite word and a different outcome. Pull. Pull. Pull. What’s called the products of conception bucket is mostly filled with bloody gunk. I make out a doll-size arm, fist curled. It feels like I shouldn’t look, but I can’t turn away… Eventually, they have to remove the uterus; there isn’t any other way.
Any formerly-held notions of so-called “reproductive justice” being a flowery, warm concept quickly shatter as abortion doulas “get used to” the bloody, murderous reality that is abortion.
Abortion is not something women – or doulas – should “get used to” or accept as part of pro-woman healthcare. At Texas Right to Life, we reject the notion that killing a mother’s child contributes to her health or wellbeing in any circumstance. Pro-woman healthcare is cultivated by a Culture of Life, in which motherhood is supported by local communities, and physicians uphold their commitment to protect all Life. We will not stop until all Texas women and children are afforded the respect they inherently deserve.