At MSI Reproductive Choices UK, we love hearing from our colleagues about their passion for providing essential healthcare services, and ensuring that people across England can exercise their sexual and reproductive rights.
We interviewed Sarah Salkeld, Associate Clinical Director at MSI Reproductive Choices UK, on what working for an abortion provider means to her, and the importance of having the choice to access contraception.
“One in three women will have at least one abortion at some point during their reproductive life, so this is really common – and we’re here to help you.”
When and why did you start working for MSI Reproductive Choices UK?
I started working for MSI about nine years ago. I’m a GP as well, so it really complemented my work in general practice. I’ve always had a special interest in sexual and reproductive healthcare and contraception, and previously worked in the NHS in a sexual and reproductive health (SRH) clinic and pregnancy advisory service. When someone contacted me asking if I wanted to work for MSI, it was such a nice opportunity – it was so great to be able to offer abortion care and support to so many people.
Can you tell me a bit more about your role?
Initially when I started working here, I was an early medical abortion physician. There’s around 16 of us in the team, and we are responsible for signing the legal forms that allow clients to access abortion care and looking at the suitability of treatment. We assess which treatment (medical or surgical abortion care) is most suitable for clients based on their preference, gestation (how many weeks pregnant they are) and medical history.
I’m now an Associate Clinical Director here at MSI Reproductive Choices UK – I still do parts of my previous role, but also look more into our contraceptive services.
Can you give us some more information about contraception services at MSI UK?
Following an abortion your fertility will return almost immediately. As part of your abortion treatment with MSI UK, we’ll help you to find a method of contraception that best suits your individual needs. At your abortion appointment, you will be offered a range of contraceptive methods and we’ll be there to advise and talk through your options.
We’d also love to have more standalone contraception clinics, so that people can access contraceptive services with us even if they haven’t accessed abortion care. We currently have five contraception-only clinics, where clients can access contraception counselling and have LARC (Long-Acting Reversible Contraception) methods – such as the IUD, the IUS and the implant – fitted and removed. We know that it’s so much harder for people to access contraceptive services in England at the moment. Being able to expand and open more contraception-only clinics across England is something we’re looking forward to.
There are so many contraceptive options, and it’s just about finding the right thing for you. It’s so empowering to be able to be in control of your own reproductive healthcare , and to be able to choose for yourself when and if you have children. At MSI UK, we just want to offer choice – choice over whether you have an abortion or not, or whether you want to access contraception or not.
What would you say is your favourite part of the job?
I really like everyone I work with – which makes a massive difference – everyone at MSI is so passionate about helping people. Abortion care is an area of healthcare that is so often stigmatised and misunderstood – even within the medical profession – so being able to be a part of it and help so many people access care feels amazing.
I also get to work with so many people in a range of different roles. In previous jobs, I was mostly working with nurses, doctors and administrative staff. Now, I get to work alongside different people, and am also able to see all of the work we do across the world as part of an international organisation.
I’m really proud of working for an abortion provider. I used to worry about people’s reactions when I told them where I work – but I think that we should be talking about abortion more. It’s so common, so many people have accessed abortion services themselves, and we need to normalise it.
What do you want others to know about what it means to be an abortion provider?
A lot of people think we run a private service – I think it’s important for people to know that we provide NHS-funded treatment, that people can access either by self-referring or going through their GP.
Sometimes, people seem to be worried that we might judge them, or tell them off for needing to access abortion care. I’ve spoken to a few clients who are actually surprised that we’re so nice to them – but we will never judge anyone. We are here to treat people with kindness and respect. People of all ages and backgrounds can get pregnant and want to access abortion services. One in three women will have at least one abortion at some point during their reproductive life, so this is really common – and we’re here to help you.
Thank you to our frontline colleagues for your bravery, your sacrifices and your unflagging compassion.
Don’t forget to thank an abortion provider today.
Sharing our stories
Sharing stories is at the heart of ending the stigma that too many women and pregnant people still feel when it comes to abortion.
If you want to read stories from our clients, follow this link: “Abortion stories from our clients”
If you have a story to share, there are a number of ways you can get in touch with us:
- You can use our dedicated online form at the link: “Share Your Story“
- You can email us at email@example.com
- You can DM us on our social media channels: MSI Reproductive Choices UK (Facebook) or MSI Choices (Instagram)
Read more from our colleagues
At MSI UK, we love interviewing our colleagues to find out more about their work and how their roles contribute to our mission to deliver quality reproductive healthcare. Below, you can read some of our latest interviews:
- “I have never felt more like a midwife than I do in this role.” – Interview with Grace Louisa Ash, MSI UK Practice Development and Advocacy Midwife, about what being a midwife and an advocate for nurses and midwives across England means to her.
- Why making a difference is a real privilege – Interview with Ailish McEntee, MSI UK Named Midwife for Safeguarding Adults and Children, about safeguarding at MSI UK, and how we care for and support our clients.
- “If it’s your body, it’s your choice.” – Interview with Stephanie Pérez, Regional General Manager in Sussex, about how she supports our clients within her role.
- “We are here to help empower people to make the decision that is right for them.” – Interview with Ben Tallis, Client Care Coordinator at our National Call Centre in Bristol, about supporting the clients who get in touch with our call centre from all over England.
- “I’ve never felt more like a midwife than I do here.” – Interview with Giselle Barnes, Clinical Services Matron at our Bristol clinic, about what being a midwife in abortion care means to her.
Careers at MSI Reproductive Choices UK
At MSI Reproductive Choices, we are looking for pro-choice and passionate professionals to join us in our mission.
MSI Reproductive Choices employs over 500 people in the United Kingdom alone, all of whom are dedicated to delivering the highest quality abortion and vasectomy care.
We know that our most valuable assets are the people that work for us. By joining MSI Reproductive Choices, you’ll become part of a committed team that work to make sure we provide the best possible care and support to our clients.
If you are interested in a career at MSI UK, find our current open positions here: Join Our Team