“The Counselling Team can provide information on where to access up-to-date information on accessing public pathway abortion care. Additionally, providing information and warm referrals to a variety of other health and well-being services is an important part of our work in providing holistic care.
“Doing advocacy work within a larger structure is something that all Children by Choice staff are involved in. However, the counselling team can assist with advocacy with individuals. We make an assessment on what other support people or services are involved and can advocate alongside clients to access the care they want or need.
“Providing non-directive decision-making and pregnancy options counselling is a core part of our work. Our appointment-based counselling service facilitates a strengths-based space for women and pregnant people to consider the options available to them, and make a safe and informed decision.
“After a decision about a pregnancy, the counsellors can continue to support someone as they navigate their next steps. Post-decision counselling recognises that extra counselling might be required to support someone’s transition towards an abortion, a birth, or an alternative care arrangement.
“We provide post-abortion counselling to anyone who needs support after accessing a termination of pregnancy. Experiencing grief and loss should not be done alone, and all feelings after an abortion are valid and unique to the individual. Our counsellors acknowledge that while abortions are not inherently traumatic, complex life circumstances and experiences around the time of accessing care can affect how emotions and feelings are managed. We aim to create a trauma-informed and healing-centered space where all experiences are valid.
“The Education and Community Engagement Team recently delivered a full day online training, which focused on the fundamentals of reproductive rights and abortion access in Australia. This training was well attended and received lots of positive feedback. The team are preparing to deliver all three core trainings in September and October this year. If you have wanted to attend our training, please check them out here
“They have also been preparing to launch a chatbot on their website to further support people in accessing the necessary information! This is an exciting development for our website, and we welcome feedback from all users as to the usability of the bot.
“Research: They are collaborating with a range of universities to advance the evidence base on Reproductive Coercion and Abuse and Conscientious Objection.
“They have also been busy evaluating their Online abortion and contraceptive services map. Many providers report experiencing positive community responses to their abortion and contraception provision, and there have been almost no negative consequences from being on the map. This is great news for other health professionals who may have been hesitant to offer abortion or contraception services, or to publicly list the services they already provide on the online map.
“They will be attending the Australasian Sexual and Reproductive Health Conference in Sydney, and the Australian Public Health Conference in Tasmania, both in September 2023.”
SOURCES Children by Choice Newsletter, 30 August 2023 ; Online abortion and contraceptive services map