Support Unseen Podcast

Stories of abortion seekers navigating and accessing care have been prevalent in conversations within communities and across the media, but what about the voices and stories of those who support them through their process? Support Unseen is a podcast about receiving and giving abortion support that explores the perspectives of non-medical abortion support providers who give emotional, informational, and logistical support to those seeking abortions. Non-medical support providers include abortion doulas, hotline volunteers, drivers, hand holders, community health workers, and others. In this limited series, we hear from people who embody these roles to understand what it’s like to provide abortion support and learn how they navigate the highs and lows of the abortion landscape in the United States. We delve into topics such as person-centered care, intersectionality, reproductive justice, and the future of abortion care. Whether you’re deep in abortion work, have had an abortion yourself, supported someone who did, or don’t know where to start, we welcome people from all walks of life to listen to this podcast! 

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You can stream all the episodes of this podcast below, directly on Podbean, or anywhere else you stream podcasts--including Apple Podcasts and Spotify

An Introduction: Where to begin?



Bria (Bri) Goode, host of Support Unseen and Senior Research Manager at Ibis Reproductive Health, introduces Support Unseen as a podcast about navigating feelings and experiences around abortion processes - the people who receive it, and those who provide it - and the systems and landscapes these folks work with, against, and alongside. She speaks with Paulina Guerrero, former National Programs Director at All-Options, about the study that informs this podcast and what folks hoped to achieve through the study of non-medical support for abortion.

Episode resources and social media handles can be found in this episode's show notes.

Episode 1: What is person-centered care anyway?



In Episode 1 of Support Unseen, Bri Goode is joined by Elena Colón (she/her) of Luz de Atabey Midwifery Project (LAMP), a free community reproductive health clinic in Austin, Texas. She is a queer boricua (puertorriqueña) single mami, student midwife, community health worker, full spectrum birth companion (doula) and herbalist. She has a background in birth and reproductive justice work, community organizing, and medical case management. Together, they explore what unbiased, radical, and holistic person-centered care looks like and explain the various ways that people are giving and receiving that care.

Episode resources and social media handles can be found in this episode's show notes.

Episode 2: How doe non-medical support and the medical industrial complex work together?



In Episode 2 of Support Unseen, Bri speaks with Safiya (she/they), an artist, an activist, and a full-spectrum community doula, about how non-medical abortion support compares, contrasts, and fills gaps to care provided within the medical industrial complex. Safiya is a Black, Americanized, Caribbean Goddess, trying to thrive in the diaspora and decolonize. She considers herself a crucial part of the village(s) it takes to create families, raise families, and keep our communities thriving in resilience. She spends much of her time dreaming up ways an oppressive, individualistic, capitalist society can be nurturing for children and non-traditional family structures. Safiya also previously worked at Richmond Reproductive Freedom Project (RRFP) as a Caller Support Coordinator.

Episode resources and social media handles can be found in this episode's show notes.

Episode 3, Part 1: What do reproductive justice and intersectionality really mean?



In Episode 3, Part 1 of Support Unseen, Bri is joined by Ash Williams (he/him) to discuss what intersectionality is and how that shows up within the reproductive justice (RJ) movement and within other movements outside of the repro world. In addition, they talk about how people within the RJ movement show up and support one another through their work. Ash Williams is a Black trans abortion doula, public intellectual, and abolitionist community organizer from Fayetteville, NC. For the last 5 years, Ash has been vigorously fighting to expand abortion access by funding abortions and training other people to become abortion doulas. Ash is an abortion doula with the Mountain Area Abortion Doula Collective (MAADCo).

Episode resources and social media handles can be found in this episode's show notes.

Episode 3, Part 2: What do reproductive justice and intersectionality really mean?



In Episode 3, Part 2 of Support Unseen, Bri continues the conversation about reproductive justice (RJ), intersectionality within and across movements, and what support looks like among RJ advocates with Che Justus (they/them). Che Justus is a native of Birmingham, AL, a Black/queer/trans advocate, and a writer. They combine their passion and administrative savvy to support movements working towards collective liberation. They also facilitate healing space for individuals and families experiencing reproductive experiences and crises as a volunteer with All-Options.

Episode resources and social media handles can be found in this episode's show notes.

Episode 4: What’s in store for the future of abortion care?



In Episode 4 of Support Unseen, Bri shares space with Chanel Porchia-Albert (she/her), founder and Chief Executive Director of Ancient Song Doula Services, to envision what the future of abortion support looks like given our current social and political context and how we can move forward toward this new and imaginative world. Ancient Song Doula Services is a reproductive health organization focused on providing resources and full-spectrum doula services to women of color and marginalized communities throughout New York City and northern New Jersey. Chanel’s work in birth and reproductive justice spans across research and methods of care for marginalized people and people of color. Her efforts within infant and maternal health has led her across the globe to Uganda where she has served as a maternal health strategist in rural war torn areas. She also brings a human rights framework into birthing rooms by highlighting institutional reform and accountability measures within healthcare to address implicit bias and racism.

Episode resources and social media handles can be found in this episode's show notes.

About the mSEAS project

Support Unseen was developed from the Mobile, Social, and Emotional Support (mSEAS) project at Ibis Reproductive Health. The goals of this project were to develop evidence about experiences of abortion seekers with non-medical support, and understand its effect on abortion quality and attitudes. mSEAS was a two part project that included in-depth interviews with abortion seekers who called the All-Options Talkline, and focus group discussions with abortion support providers. The All-Options Talkline provides unbiased pregnancy options counseling and emotional support for decisions and experiences with pregnancy, parenting, abortion, and adoption.This podcast builds on the findings from the study’s focus group discussions. 

To learn more about the experiences of those who called the All-Options Talkline, check out these resources : ​