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Patients with disabilities experience more barriers to reproductive care

Ableism, the practice of giving privilege to able-bodied people, is increasingly prevalent in reproductive care. Although people with disabilities are more likely to have poor health and require more healthcare needs, reproductive health settings are often inaccessible and provide an overall substandard quality of care. Using surveys conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers are studying the prevalence of ableism in reproductive health care and the barriers experienced by people with disabilities. 

Key Findings

The research shows that participants across disability indicators experienced more logistical and access barriers to reproductive care than participants without disabilities.
These reproductive health barriers include difficulty finding a place where they feel comfortable, transportation barriers, and privacy concerns.
People with disabilities are more likely to consider self-managing an abortion, report medical mistreatment, and receive poor-quality medical care than people without disabilities.


This study calls attention to the ableism in reproductive care spaces and the inaccessibility of current reproductive health structures. As post-Roe abortion bans increase, it is all the more important to identify the disproportionate effect that these bans may have on people with disabilities and alleviate logistical and access barriers to reproductive care. 

The authors write:

“Findings indicated a need to alleviate barriers to RH care, including improving the transportation infrastructure and reinforcing patient-centered approaches that engender inclusivity in health care settings.”

The article, Access to Reproductive Health Services Among People With Disabilities, is available in JAMA Network.

Additional Resources