This is a series highlighting folks who identify as Radical Doulas. Are you interested in being part of the series? Go here to provide your responses to the profile questions and I’ll include you!
About Sara Jane: I am board president of CHOICES, Memphis Center for Reproductive Health in Memphis TN. I became a radical doula 3 years ago when I became an abortion doula.
What inspired you to become a doula?
When I became board president of the clinic, I knew I would be going out in the community and people would ask me questions. I wanted to know exactly what happened in the clinic. I began volunteering as an abortion doula.
Why do you identify with the term radical doula?
I identify with this term because it is what I do.
What is your doula philosophy and how does it fit into your broader political beliefs?
Being an abortion doula is the most important volunteer gig I have ever had. I allows me to stand strong with women from every piece of society. It has opened my eyes to the issues that women face because of their gender. I am not a medical provider at all. I am a love sharer. For a few minutes, I hold her hand. I remind her to breathe, I wipe her tears, I fan her sweat, I encourage her and tell her she is brave. I often hold a puke bag. I do my best to meet every woman where she is and offer what she needs. Then I clean the room and prepare it for our next client.
What is your favorite thing about being a doula?
Sharing empathy and love. Some of our clients don’t get loving touches.
If you could change one thing about the experience of pregnancy and birth, what would it be?
I would give women more education and power over the circumstances that they find themselves in. We need more education earlier. I believe that doula’s improve the experience for women. I am proud to stand as a radical doula.