The Columbia Nursing Students for Choice host a Spring Speaker's series during this semester where they get speaker to come in every week. Today, I attended the Values Clarification Workshop. They had a facilitator from the National Abortion Federation come in to guide us with activities and discussion to delve into our potential biases, opinions, and professional responsibilities to ensure we provide optimal care in our futures.
The workshop began with a series of statements regarding abortion and each individual had to decide whether they strongly agreed, were neutral, or strongly disagreed to the statements. Statements ranged from "I believe every woman should have access to options counseling when pregnant, regardless if they wanted to conceive or not" to "I would be comfortable performing an abortion to a woman who has had three previous abortions."
There are tons of "what-ifs" and "need more information" during these activities, but it also helped us think more about where we are developing our own opinions - whether it's based on what we were taught from our parents, what others have shared with us, or what we've learned from personal experiences.
Another activity we participated in was a pretend scenario that we were on some type of committee (before Roe v Wade legalized first trimester abortions in US) and we had to rank these various patient cases and choose which patients ranked higher in needing to receive the abortion. It's crazy to imagine how some hospitals before Roe v Wade were limited in their number of legal abortions, so there were actual committees that determined which women were allowed to have abortions and which weren't. Having lived in California my whole life and now living in New York, I can't imagine things progressing backwards. Every woman's case is so unique and personal to them that access to safe, legal care is so important.
Next week's workshop is about how to discuss sex with patients which I reallllyyyy hope I can attend since this hits close to home from my college years.
Hope you all had a great President's weekend!