Gina Rushton is a journalist covering reproductive rights and gendered violence.
Late on a Wednesday night in April before Queensland’s coronavirus restrictions had eased, Brisbane grandmother Jo Bolger answered her phone and inadvertently became Australia’s first practising abortion doula. The next morning, she packed her hand sanitiser and drove to a hospital to meet the client about whom she knew just snippets – international student, completely alone, second-trimester termination.
“As soon as I saw her, I knew it was her,” the 54-year-old says. Bolger took the woman’s bags and signed her in.
“There were crosses on the seats to make us sit far apart because of COVID but I just said ‘bugger that’ and held her hand,” she says. “She thanked me for being there and I said, ‘Not a problem, I’m here for you throughout the whole thing for as long as you need. You just lean on me.’”
A doula, derived from the Greek for “...
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