Samsara Hotline is a project that aims to increase safe abortion access, especially for rural underserved women. Through this project, Samsara tries a more proactive approach to work with local communities or organizations to set up local hotlines using local language and work with midwives to set up referral system for medical abortion.
Safe Abortion Hotline
Safe Abortion Hotline Samsara concerns on reproductive health issue and unplanned pregnancy to empower women by giving information and provide unplanned pregnancy counseling through Hotline. Safe abortion hotline is a service which provides an empathetic counseling and support for women who experience unplanned pregnancy. The main focus of the counseling is to tell women about informed choice that she has in unplanned pregnancy situation. The comprehensive information given will be based on the women choice, those are (1) Continue pregnancy (2) Adopt the children (3) Safe Samsara reaches women in all regions of Indonesia by email, hotline and WIRE (chat and phone). The service is open for all women with various backgrounds, either married or unmarried. The information covers medical and surgical abortion, access for Misoprostol, and shelter for adoption and continuing pregnancy.
Safe Abortion Hotline is one of Samsara’s programs that aims to give information and counseling services related to unplanned pregnancy and safe abortion. It is available in several regions. During the 10 years since the program was implemented, data shows that the highest number of people accessing hotline services is still dominated by women in big cities, especially Jakarta, Yogyakarta, West Java, and Bali.
As part of the expansion of the hotline program, Samsara took the initiative to build a hotline with local languages in 5 regions in Indonesia, outside Java and Bali. This area was chosen based on the results of the analysis; (a) Data of national health related to maternal mortality, contraceptive use and child marriage (b) Data of hotline from 2014 to 2017 (c) local network mapping. Based on these data, five regions were established, namely Papua, West Sulawesi, North Sulawesi, Central Kalimantan, and NTT.
The establishment of hotline with local/regional languages is expected to increase women in rural area to reach and have the access to the information and counseling for safe abortion services, especially for medical abortion. Samsara trains local counselor who is coming from those five regions to solve language barrier. This effort was also taken as a strategy for maintaining the networking with local networks.
Distribution and proportion of health workers are the obstacles which limit the access to safe abortion service. In 2035, it is estimated that there will be a shortage of 12.9 million skilled health care experts globally. The data from the Minister of Health shows that the number of midwives is 4 times more than the number of doctors and 26.5 times more than the number of obstetricians in Indonesia.
Even if in many contexts abortion services are provided by specialist doctors, data has shown that Medical Abortion is a safe and an effective option which allows consideration for expanding the roles of various types of health workers in the provision of safe abortion services.
The lack of trained service providers, barriers to policies and regulations, stigma or conscientious objections are things that will limit the availability of postabortion care services in many contexts. Therefore, midwives have an important role as they are scattered in various places even in rural areas and work directly with the women. By increasing the ability of midwives through training of Unplanned Pregnancy Counselling and Medical Abortion and Post-Abortion Care, we will contribute in saving the lives of women, especially women in poverty, unmarried women and women in rural areas.