top of page

Unique Women Unique Needs: Tailoring Phone Conversations

In our work at the center, the ability to discern the specific needs of a woman reaching out for assistance is crucial if you are going to be able to provide the support she truly needs. In this 2-part article we will talk through the three distinct categories of women who seek help from our centers and how understanding these categories can guide conversations and services we offer her both over the phone and in the consultation room.

Today, we will begin by breaking down some of the characteristics of each category that may help to identify where your clients’ intentions lie even over the phone. Next, we will seek to provide goals for the conversation and where it may be pertinent to exercise caution.


Abortion Vulnerable

Often referred to as "likely to carry," this woman is a 1 on the Pregnancy Intentions Scale. The abortion vulnerable woman faces external circumstances that may push her towards considering abortion, despite her preference to carry the pregnancy. During phone conversations, she may exhibit a mix of worry and hopefulness. This category tends to be more open to dialogue and may provide detailed information about their situation, including past pregnancy tests and intimate details about the pregnancy without even being asked. Using more positive language such as "baby" instead of "pregnancy" is also common for this client.

  • The primary goals in phone conversations with these women are: making an appointment, letting her know you’ll provide parenting resources, medical referrals and her first ultrasound.

  • You’ll want to exercise caution when offering to educate her about abortion at her appointment. If you feel it’s necessary, it’s better to say advocates are equipped walk her though information about other options if she feels it’s needed.


Abortion Minded

The abortion minded woman, also known as "undecided," is typically a 2-4 on the Pregnancy Intention Scale. She is characterized by confusion, panic, fear of the unknown and is largely indecisive. Unlike the abortion vulnerable client, she is considering both parenting and abortion as viable options. Adoption will likely not be anywhere in her sights. Emotions are deeply felt by this client, and you may notice rapid fluctuations in their emotional state during your interactions.

  • The primary goals in phone conversations with abortion minded women are: scheduling an appointment, letting her know you will provide education on all options including abortion, a safe place to get questions answered by a nurse, needed resources and referrals and an ultrasound to confirm gestation and viability.

  • You’ll want to exercise caution when offering to educate her on options so as not to be viewed as biased. Instead of saying parenting & adoption, simply say “all of the options available to you”


Abortion Determined

The abortion determined woman feels she has already made up her mind to terminate the pregnancy. She will be a 5 on the Pregnancy Intentions Scale.  This client may exhibit a colder, less expressive demeanor than the other categories of clients. Conversations with an abortion determined woman are challenging, as she may be confrontational and a bit more resistant to dialogue both on the phone and in the consultation room. Therefore, its best to remain professional and straight forward with her.

  • The primary goals in phone conversations are: to make an appointment and let her know that you will be providing her with education on what she can expect from an abortion procedure, what side effects to watch for, and what type of self-care might be warranted.

  • You’ll also want to explain that an ultrasound is an extremely important step to ensure viability and the correct gestation for the procedure she has chosen.You’ll want to exercise caution and possibly even refrain from offering adoption or parenting resources during phone conversations to avoid alienating the client. Instead you may choose to mention that the nurse can give her information on other options if she chooses.


It's important to recognize that women in all three of the categories may be hesitant to fully express their intentions or emotions. Asking direct yet respectful questions about their pregnancy intentions can be helpful for the receptionist. By understanding and respecting each woman's unique circumstance and emotional state, you’ll be able to effectively provide tailored support and offer what she needs most in her unique situation.


In the upcoming article, we'll dive into the specifics of what information should be shared in the consultation room and in what order for each category of client, further enhancing our ability to educate them effectively.


bottom of page