• Support each person’s decision-making process by eliciting and being responsive to their unique needs and preferences.
  • Be aware of assumptions you make about a person’s personal situation, communities, and feelings.
  • Explore how bias may show up in our work, and review strategies for self-reflection.
  • Be mindful of tone, terminology, and body language (for example, sit at a patient’s eye level to communicate an equal power dynamic when culturally appropriate).
  • Ask a person for their name, pronouns, and their preferred anatomical terminology; ensure staff are aware of preferences and that they are reflected in patient records.
  • Use open-ended questions and nonjudgmental listening. Allow time for a patient to think, talk further, and ask additional questions.
  • Know when and how to provide more time to allow patient time to think or consult with people they trust.


  • Address each patient’s individual preferences for pain management, avoiding assumptions about pain tolerance.
  • Screen for coercion, intimate partner violence, and human trafficking, providing local resources as appropriate.
  • When submitting mandated reporting, consider risk of criminalization to patients, providers, and anyone involved in abortion care in your state. To date, there is no mandated reporting state law to report an abortion and doing so could be a HIPAA violation.


  • Support people in choosing pregnancy options consistent with their needs, values, and preferences.  Know when and how to refer for services beyond what you can provide.
  • Confirm that the desired outcome of the pregnancy is determined freely and without coercion.
  • Provide the opportunity for each patient to be seen alone, and the option to involve a support person when feasible and requested.
  • Direct your attention to the patient and include them in any conversations while in the procedure room.


TEACH Abortion Training Curriculum Copyright © 2022 by UCSF Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health. All Rights Reserved.