Training frontline providers to effectively:

  • Increase familiarity and comfort with local abortion [optional: and other specialized service] providers (and/or their staff).
  • Understand and be able to explain what a woman can expect when accessing local abortion [optional: and other specialized] care.
  • Place abortion [optional: and other specialized care] in the context of normal reproductive health care.
  • Refer patients/clients to local abortion [optional: and other specialized service] providers with knowledge, skill and comfort.


60 – 100 minutes, including:

  • 10 minutes: Introduction to the Module
  • 40-80 minutes: Activity: Meet Local Provider(s)/Abortion Provider Video
  • 10 minutes: Wrap-up

Materials Needed

  • Notecards (optional)
  • Laptop and Projector
  • Presentation
    • Module 6 – DVD

Introduction to the Module

(10 Minutes)

  1. Mention that the previous sessions have brought a few issues to light. Remind them that:
  1. Various participants have diverse beliefs and attitudes about some issues that clients may make (such as terminating a pregnancy, having unprotected sex, or returning to an abusive partner, etc.) and that their values are their own, that’s fine.
  2. They’ve identified the importance of remaining nonjudgmental in their interactions with clients and making STAR referrals. Well-earned pride that can come from honoring client autonomy as a matter of professional responsibility—even when they feel personal discomfort with the client’s choices.
  3. They’ve reflected on what the consequences are when their values interfere with the needs of clients.
  4. They understand the importance of a workplace environment with mutual respect, especially when helping patients or clients access certain kinds of services, including abortion.
  1. Explain to them the purpose of this module is to make them more comfortable interacting with and referring to specialized service providers.
  1. Ask if any of them have met the staff or clinicians at their local abortion provider’s [optional: and other specialized services] office.
  2. Acknowledge that it can be difficult to meet people who work for abortion [optional: and other specialized service] providers and that this session is geared toward breaking down those barriers.
  3. Explain the importance of having strong working relationships with the referral sites— including abortion [optional: and other specialized service] providers—they work with every day.
  4. By increasing their comfort with referral sites, they will increase their comfort with and ability to make a STAR referral for their patients or clients to a local abortion [optional: and other specialized service] provider.
  1. Ask: If part of their job is making referrals, then whom else might they interact with? [Probe for: the providers at the sites they refer to, or get referrals from.] Remind them that knowing the sites to which they refer is part of having a good referral and good referral system.
  1. Ask how many people have met someone where you refer. Get examples.
  2. Ask how many have met your local abortion [optional: and other specialized service] provider, or any abortion provider.
  3. Explain that another aim of the session is to promote continuity of care and quality referral-making—and help people address any questions or discomfort—by having a chance to get to know a local abortion [optional: and other specialized service] provider. (Note: this can be a panel of several different kinds of providers, or an abortion provider, or a couple of staff from a local program that offers abortion and other services.)

Meet Local Provider(s) – Option 1

(40-80 minutes, depending on number of providers)

In this activity, participants get to know, or hear, from local specialized service providers (including for abortion providers). This activity requires spending time speaking with people in advance.

To Prepare:

  1. Decide how to structure this session – as an exchange with 1) a single abortion provider; 2) a panel of staff from an abortion clinic; or 3) a panel including one abortion provider along with staff members from two other kinds of programs (e.g., programs serving violence victims, a certain language-group, high-risk pregnant women, teen mothers, HIV+, or others).
  2. Identify the provider(s) who are willing to join a training and speak with referral-making staff and confer with those individuals.
  3. Confer with the liaison for the training to ensure that the guests(s) will be received respectfully, and any steps that will help guarantee a respectful reception.
  4. Arrange for the local providers to join a training session. Carefully prepare them for the session, and ask them to take about 20 minutes, in an interview format led by the trainer, to address:
  1. Walking the trainees through a typical client visit.
  2. Why he or she is providing this care, despite judgmental attitudes (or threats of violence).
  3. Tell a story about a client.
  4. How professional referrals help women and their families.
  5. Asking the group what might be helpful to them as referral-makers (e.g., information sheets in different languages, map with transportation info, list of other services provided, referral pad, etc.).

During the Session

  1. Optional if you have an audience you think may be reticent to engage: Hand out notecards and ask people to write questions on notecards and pass them to the front if they do not feel comfortable asking questions.
  2. Moderate time carefully; intervene to ask the next question as needed.
  3. To help ensure that no hostile or derogatory statements are made, participants should ask questions by paper only; screen questions to be sure they are respectful and appropriate.

Abortion Provider Video – Option 2

(60 minutes)

In this activity, participants watch a video about abortion providers in Provide project states discussing their work. Following the video, trainers lead a discussion of the video.

  1. Decide how to structure the section. Trainers can play sections of the video and prompt discussion of each section or they can show the video in its entirety and facilitate discussion at the close of the video.


If you are showing the abortion provider video during an all-day training, it may make sense to show it between Modules 3 and 4 or during lunch time. Participants may not be as engaged as we would like if their last experience of the training is a lengthy video.

  1. Introduce the video. Explain to the group that, ideally, an abortion provider would be present to speak with them about how professional referrals help women and families as well as about their experience providing abortion care. Explain that because a local provider was unable to join the training today,Provide created a video of abortion providers in Provide project states answering frequently asked questions.
  2. After showing sections of the video or the entire video, facilitate a discussion with training participants about the video. . Example discussion questions for training participants include:
  1. What surprised you the most about the video?
  2. What obstacles do you think abortion providers face when providing care to women?
  3. Did the providers discuss any barriers to access for patients that surprised you?
  4. Did it surprise you that many providers are religious?


After training participants watch the video, it is important to take the time to facilitate a discussion about what they learned (especially if the video is the final exercise of the day). Participants may have questions about what they have seen in the video and it is important to give them space to discuss those questions.


(10 minutes)

Option 1: Meet Local Provider(s)

  1. Honor and thank panelists for their contribution.
  2. Pass out panelist/clinic contact information. Suggest that session participants get to know the provider and his/her staff to help make strong referrals.
  3. Thank the trainees for their own willingness to listen and engage respectfully, and for their efforts to ensure a mutually respectful community of health and social service providers and smooth continuity of care for all clients.

Option 2: Abortion Provider Video

  1. Encourage training participants to reach out to abortion providers in their community. Getting to know the provider and his/her staff will help participants make strong referrals.