What do papayas have to do with fighting abortion stigma? Great question! One of the ways that RHAP teaches both clinicians and non-clinicians about abortion is through the interactive Papaya Workshop. The Papaya Workshop is a hands-on opportunity to teach clinicians about manual vacuum aspiration (MVA) abortion – believe it or not, papayas are a great anatomical model of a uterus! This workshop also gives us the opportunity to model and role play patient-centered options counseling, discuss medication abortion as another early abortion option, and offer our clinical audiences hands-on practice with instruments used in an MVA abortion. Participants walk through every step of the procedure with a clinical facilitator who demonstrates the procedure and helps participants focus on their words and actions when providing patient-centered options counseling, and to increase competency with the instruments.
RHAP also offers this workshop to non-clinical audiences, including students and reproductive rights and justice organizations, to help debunk common myths and misconceptions about abortion, the people who provide abortions, and the people who have abortions. By gaining a comprehensive understanding of the actual clinical procedure, audiences will be better informed and equipped as advocates, allowing them to further demystify abortion in their organizations and communities.