An Iowa-based volunteer organization calling itself the Iowa Jane Collective recently held "abortion doula" training and instructed participants on how to perform do-it-yourself abortions at home and support women seeking to terminate their pregnancies as states move to restrict the procedure.
In a special report for "The Steve Deace Show" on BlazeTV, host Steve Deace's daughter Anastasia Deace signed up for the training seminar, which was held virtually on July 9, and described how the group is seeking to provide underground abortion services to women after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned its Roe v. Wade decision and permitted states to pass laws limiting or banning abortion.
The training was offered for free and advertised how participants would "Learn how to offer physical, emotional, and spiritual support to someone during their abortion process."
The group also provided "logistical information about different types of abortion procedures, where to get abortion care in Iowa, and payment options."
The Iowa Jane Collective encouraged participants to donate between $5 and $50 and suggested that "white folks who register for this training to donate at the higher end of this scale."
The name "Jane Collective" was adopted by various pro-abortion groups in the pre-Roe era when abortion was illegal in several states. Activists in the 1960s would assist women in obtaining secret abortions, often in unsafe conditions for fear of being discovered by law enforcement.
Groups like the Iowa Jane Collective have reorganized in the wake of the Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization decision to provide women with free contraception, pregnancy tests, and to assist them in obtaining abortion services should they wish to end their pregnancies.
"They cannot and will not stop us from protecting one another and providing each other with access to safe abortion. This court is illegitimate, our human rights are innate and NO MATTER WHAT WE PROTECT US!" the group declared on June 24 after the Supreme Court issued its abortion opinion.
An "abortion doula" is "a person who provides compassionate and nonjudgmental support throughout an abortion experience," according to a slideshow presentation by the group that was recorded by Deace.
A CNN report published Wednesday explained that abortion doulas are not midwives or medical practitioners. Rather, they provide emotional support and information for women seeking abortion services. Examples may be holding a patient's hand during the procedure or providing advice and helping a woman schedule appointments with abortion centers.
In the Iowa Jane Collective training video, an instructor who uses "they/them" pronouns describes how using terms like "zygote, embryo, or fetus" is preferred when discussing abortions because the words "baby" or "child" carry connotations of personhood.
"It's not wrong for somebody to use the words 'baby' or 'child' when they're talking about a pregnancy, but, like, you don't necessarily want to using language that your client might be uncomfortable with," the instructor says.
The slideshow also covers "alternative methods of abortion" that women may pursue at home without the assistance of a licensed physician. It includes instruction on popular methods such as medication abortions — the two-drug regimen of mifepristone and misoprostol, which taken together cause miscarriage — as well as other techniques such as "herbal abortion" or "manual vacuum aspiration at home."
A manual vacuum aspiration is "a simple procedure done early in pregnancy, which uses the suction of a syringe to remove the pregnancy tissue from the uterus," according to Women's College Hospital. It is performed within the first seven to eight weeks after a woman's last period and involves using a thin tube "guided through the cervical opening into the uterus." A syringe is attached to the tube and used to remove the developing baby through suction.
Another slide describes how women may used "induced hyperthermia" to induce abortion — intentionally overheating their bodies with "hot baths, sauna, steam, a hot day, untreated fever, or vigorous exercise" to cause the baby to die. The slide mentions this technique "is most effective before 12 weeks, and often done in conjunction with other methods."
The role of an abortion doula is to talk through these options and assist women in obtaining abortions, which, depending on state laws, may be aiding and abetting illegal procedures. The instructor contrasted this work with pro-life pregnancy centers, which she accused of harboring an "agenda" to dissuade pregnant mothers from seeking an abortion.
Deace reported that 130 people joined the training session on July 9.
"That is 130 people who are not qualified, who do not have certificates, but who are bringing abortions and performing abortions to a neighbor near you," she said.
EVIL: Iowa Group Seeks to Train "Abortion Doulas" | Steve Deace Show youtu.be
The Iowa Jane Collective will host another training session sometime in August.
Abortion is currently legal in Iowa up to 20 weeks of pregnancy, after which it is only permitted in medical emergencies. However, Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds is seeking to have a court injunction against the state's fetal heartbeat law lifted, which would ban abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. The governor has also successfully fought for law that establishes a 24-hour waiting period before a woman may obtain an abortion.