Learning Objectives

  • Develop self-awareness, empathy and compassion for patients making pregnancy decisions
  • Provide objective and compassionate pregnancy options counseling
  • Practice patient-centered communication skills

Resources For Learners

Patient-Centered Options Counseling Videos
Developed by RHEDI. These video-based learning tools aim to model effective patient-centered, non-directive counseling to patients about pregnancy decision-making. Each video has an accompanying set of discussion questions designed to deepen learners’ knowledge and skills about patient-centered pregnancy option counseling. They can be used for one-on-one or group didactic sessions, or as a small group discussion exercise.

Discussion Guide for Case 1


Discussion Guide for Case 2

Decision Counseling for Positive Pregnancy Test Results
Developed by Innovating Education in Reproductive Health. This video lecture (25 min) addresses the importance of and strategies for creating a space where patients feel safe, respected and supported when receiving pregnancy test results.
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Informed Consent, Decision Assessment, and Counseling in Abortion Care
Developed by Innovating Education in Reproductive Health. This video lecture (15 min) focuses on the importance of and strategies for creating a space where patients feel safe, respected and supported through the decision-making process.
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Pregnancy Options Counseling Model
Developed by RHAP. This document provides a model for providing pregnancy options counseling to ambivalent patients.

Physicians’ Professional Responsibilities in Abortion Care
Developed by Innovating Education. This video lecture (18 min) is intended to reach clinicians who might feel their personal beliefs may pose a conflict for them in caring for patients who are choosing abortion.
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Resources For Educators

This is How I Teach: Non-directive Counseling
Developed by Innovating Education in Reproductive Health. This brief video conversation (9 min) is targeted to educators about teaching non-directive counseling in abortion and contraceptive care to medical students and residents.

Role-play Script for Training in Administration of Medication Abortion
Developed by RHAP. This document provides an informal role-play script for use with two or three people that teaches the basic elements of medication abortion counseling.

Suggested Readings

Breitbart V. Counseling for medical abortion. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Aug 2000; 183 (2):S26-S33.

Kumar V, Herbitter C, Karasz A, Gold M. Being in the room: Reflections on pregnancy options counseling during abortion training. Family Medicine. Jan 2010;42(1):41-6.

Simmonds KE, Likis FE. Providing options counseling for women with unintended pregnancies. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing. May-Jun 2005;34(3):373-379.

Singer J. Options counseling: techniques for caring for women with unintended pregnancies. Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health. May-Jun 2004;49(3):235-242.

Upadhyay U, Cockrill K, Freedman L. Informing abortion counseling: An examination of evidence-based practices used in emotional care for other stigmatized and sensitive health issues. Patient Education and Counseling. 2010 Dec;81(3):415-21