Women seeking termination of pregnancy at Boulder Abortion Clinic have highly individual needs. These needs vary widely; the pregnancy may be highly desired by the woman and her partner, but it cannot be continued because of abnormal development. The pregnancy may be desired, but it comes at the wrong time in the woman’s life or in her relationship with her partner. She may not have a satisfactory, or any, relationship with the man by whom she became pregnant. Some women do not want ever to have children; many become pregnant when they are not prepared to become a mother or to have another child.
When we use the term “counseling” at Boulder Abortion Clinic, it does not mean that we expect to provide women and their families with psychotherapy or intervention. Our first concern is to provide support for the woman seeking our services. In addition to this, we wish to provide support for her family to the extent possible and appropriate.
The objective of an abortion counseling session is to give the woman an opportunity to express and understand her feelings about her pregnancy and her decision to have or not to have an abortion. We want to determine, first, that this is really her decision and that she is not being pressured in any way to end the pregnancy.
We wish to provide the woman with solid information about the procedure she is requesting. It is important that she knows and understands important facts and details in order to be able to give informed consent.
As a part of this, we wish to make sure that the woman understands her own reproductive anatomy and physiology. Most women do, but even highly educated women sometimes have misunderstandings or questions that we can answer.
We wish to help each woman understand the methods of fertility control that are available to her and her partner following the abortion. As a part of this, we want to make sure that each woman has a plan for follow-up care in order to assure that she does not experience complications and that she receives appropriate treatment if she does.
We encourage each patient to see her own physician or a qualified physician in her own community for follow-up care, but we are ready to provide that care if the woman desires us to do so.
For couples that come to us with a desired pregnancy, which must be terminated for reasons of fetal malformation or genetic disorder, we are prepared to give total support. However, we feel that their most satisfactory permanent support is likely to be found in their own physician or counselor in their own home community.
The women who provide abortion counseling and information sessions for patients at Boulder Abortion Clinic are experienced nurses and counselors who are thoroughly familiar with all aspects of abortion, who are fully supportive of women who wish to terminate pregnancies, and who are able to answer most questions that arise.
After the patient reviews informational material and meets with her counselor, she meets with the physician (Dr. Hern) to conclude this phase of her experience. If she has questions that have not been answered by her counselor, she may have them answered at this time. It is at this time that she signs the consent form indicating that she understands and requests the procedure that will terminate her pregnancy. She may bring her partner or other family members with her during this encounter.
Although the woman’s partner, friends, or family may accompany her during part of her counseling session and the meeting with Dr. Hern, and these persons may see her in the recovery room after the abortion, partners and family members are not permitted in the operating room.