State of Mind with Debra Sloss
Reproductive Freedom: Essential for Mental Health

Episode #49: Since the Supreme Court overturned the reproductive rights protected by the Roe V. Wade decision, the news has been filled with talk about laws restricting access to reproductive health services. This upheaval is not just about state legislatures, federal laws, or religious beliefs…it’s about people and their tender experiences. This episode features a collection of nuanced and highly personal stories about reproductive decisions and how these choices impact mental health. How each person makes meaning of their experience varies greatly, but what’s common to all of the stories is that carrying a pregnancy to term and giving birth is not a minor incident. It is a major event in one’s life: physically, hormonally, financially and often emotionally. Some of what you’ll hear may be difficult; these stories may challenge your beliefs or values, but we urge you to listen and challenge yourself to hold the complexity, the diversity, and the common humanity in each tale. Our feature story is by writer, teacher and poet Patrice Vecchione. Joining me to listen, reflect on, and respond to these important reproductive health stories is Alissa Perrucci, PhD, the Counseling & Administrative Manager at the Women’s Options Center at San Francisco General Hospital who has worked in abortion counseling for nearly two decades.

Broadcast 12/4/22 & 12/12/22

Special thanks to Jeanne Baldzikowski for audio production, Lisa Herendeen for advance research and Leslie Nielsen and Patrice Vecchione for “In Your Voice” Coordination. And thanks to acoustic guitarist Adrian Legg for composing, performing, and donating the use of our theme music.

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* Indicates Santa Cruz local

Reproductive Health Care
*Planned Parenthood Mar Monte – Operates more than 30 health centers in mid-California and provides accessible health services include birth control, emergency contraception, pregnancy testing, prenatal care, abortion, adult general care, breast and cervical cancer screening, pediatrics and well-baby care, as well as testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, HIV testing, and sterilization.

*Westside Health Center of Santa Cruz 
Phone: 831-426-5550.

*Watsonville Health Center
Services offered include: Abortion, Birth Control, HIV Services, Men’s Health Care, Mental Health, Morning-After Pill (Emergency Contraception), Pregnancy Testing & Services, Primary Care, STD Testing, Treatment & Vaccines, Transgender Hormone Therapy, Women’s Health Care. Visits are covered by MediCal, Family PACT  and some insurances. “With or without insurance, you can come to us for health care services.”
Phone 831-724-7525

Planned Parenthood National — One of the nation’s leading providers of high-quality, affordable health care, and the nation’s largest provider of sex education. 

Hotlines / Direct Support
 ​ — A free phone peer counseling service using direct service and social change strategies to promote unconditional, judgment-free support for people in all of their decisions, feelings, and experiences with pregnancy, parenting, abortion, and adoption.

Faith Aloud —  A program of All-Options, provides nonjudgmental spiritual counseling to people across the country on their free, confidential clergy counseling line.

Ending a Wanted Pregnancy —Provides abortion grief support after pregnancy termination for medical reasons, whether your decision was based on a prenatal diagnosis or maternal health problems.

Exhale — Peer telephone service supporting the emotional health and wellbeing of people after their abortions and their loved ones. They provide nonjudgmental, supportive, peer Pro-Voice telephone counseling.

After Abortion Text Line: 617-749-2948 (U.S. Pacific Time)
Weekdays 3 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Saturdays 1 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Sundays 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.

More Support Organizations
ACCESS Reproductive Justice —Helps connect people to abortion and other reproductive health resources in California.

A Heartbreaking Choice —Provides support for those who have terminated a much-wanted pregnancy.

The Abortion Diary — Creates a space for people to share stories they haven’t been able to share and to listen to stories they haven’t been able to hear.

We Testify — Dedicated to the leadership and representation of those who have had abortions, particularly those of color.

2 + Abortions WorldwideA website hosting a library of about 800 abortion stories. You can listen or read other’s stories here, or contribute  your own. Together these stories underscore the need for access to safe, shame-free abortions everywhere around the world.

Books and Reading
Decision Assessment and Counseling in Abortion Care Philosophy and Practice — By Alissa C. Perrucci / Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. Teaches an approach and framework for decision assessment and counseling for abortion and family planning care.

Pregnant — A poem by Patrice Vicchione

Turnaway Study— Longitudinal study, led by University of California, San Francisco ANSIRH researcher Diana Greene Foster,. Examines the socioeconomic, emotional, and physical effects of not being able to access a desired abortion.

Choice: A Short Story — Thought-provoking short audio book (2022), by award-winning author Jodi Picoult, exploring a dystopian crisis through the pinhole lens of an ex-couple experiencing an unwanted pregnancy.

The Janes (2022) — Documentary about a group of women who built an underground network for women seeking illegal abortions in Chicago. They provided over 11,000 safe, affordable, illegal abortions. Currently streaming on HBO, Hulu and YouTube TV.

More Local Coverage
*KSQD Hosts Cover Many Angles of the Abortion Debate webpage with links to an array of program podcasts addressing this issue from many angles.

*Conversations with Jody: An OB-GYN talks life post-Roe and why Santa Cruz could soon see more late-term abortions   by Jody K. Biehl / Lookout Santa Cruz / Jul 3, 2022. 

*One Friday in the new, post-Roe America: How losing abortion access changes us all  — by Jessica Dieseldorff. Lookout Santa Cruz. Jun 26, 2022.

*A mother-daughter moment: Gail Pellerin and daughter Emily Lament the surreal post-Roe world they share  — by Gail Pellerin & Emily Chaffin. Lookout Santa Cruz / Jul 5, 2022.

*I’m 17 and had a pregnancy scare; here’s my take on Roe — by Autumn Gafforio. Lookout Santa Cruz / Aug 7, 2022.

*I’ve never talked about my abortion. It’s time — by Peggy Flynn. Lookout Santa Cruz /  May 17, 2022

*I was a married mother of two and had an abortion. Will you judge me?  —  by Victoria Tatum. Lookout Santa Cruz / Jun 14, 2022.

Community Counseling
*Family Service Agency (FSA) of the Central Coast is a dedicated underwriter of State of Mind. FSA provides resources, support, and counseling services to adults and children.  FSA believes in the power and potential of people of all ages and backgrounds to discover their own creative solutions and welcomes people of diverse cultures, genders, sexual orientations, ages, faiths, socio–economic backgrounds.  FSA Counseling Offices offer Medi–Cal, Medicare, and low–cost, sliding scale services in both downtown Santa Cruz 831–423–9444 x200 and in Soquel 831–346–6767 x200.