Implicit bias in reproductive health care
The field of reproductive health care suffers with clear and documented health disparities. In fact, in a country with a history of supporting eugenics programs and forced sterilizations, reproductive health care is perhaps one of the areas in which bias has been most troubling. It was just two decades ago when recipients of state welfare benefits were given cash bonuses for getting Norplant, a 5-year contraceptive implant, and one decade ago when inmates in California were coerced into sterilization. - Dr. Baltrushes-Hughes
Physicians, physicians assistants, nurses, and anyone else who has direct contact with patients, plays a key role in shaping the state of women’s health. Therefore, it is crucial that they have a full understanding of past and present disparities that continue to impact reproductive health care.
The United States has long and tragic history of reproductive oppression among women. In response to the experience of many women of color and marginalized communities throughout the years, a Reproductive Justice Framework was created with an aim to eliminate inequalities and other factors that limit women’s ability to control these rights.
These disparities, although already harmful in nature, pose an even greater threat when reinforced by providers. Whether this reinforcement is explicit or implicit, obtaining an awareness about these disparities is the first step to achieving equality. Disparities in the practices of administering birth control, emergency contraception, and abortion are a just a few of the important topics analyzed in this guide.
This guide aims to address the latter by providing tools and examples that allow one to analyze his or her own role in health care as it applies to Reproductive Justice.
Each topic is presented with historical context, case studies, and self reflection tools in order to allow one to think critically about his or her own patients and become mindful of the ways in which he or she practices.
Assessing Unconscious Bias
Women's Reproductive Health Topics
Please feel free to share some of your own experiences, as well as any comments or suggestions.