Patients’ Assessments of Family Planning Health Care in the United States: What Are Key Factors That Facilitate or Hinder Equitable Care?

Lindsay Stevens , Princeton University

Previous research has documented the potential and pitfalls of providing equitable family planning care in the United States, especially as they relate to health care systems and providers. Studies have traditionally relied on large-scale surveys, however, few studies have collected in-depth, qualitative data exploring how women think about the provision of care in relation to their contraceptive use and reproductive health. This paper draws on 48 in-depth interviews with women of reproductive age in the northeastern United States to investigate how they assess their interactions with family planning health care institutions and providers. I pay special attention to their views on how provider interactions impact the quality of their reproductive health care. I find that women’s top concerns revolve around interpersonal interactions rather than medical skills. Many identify experiences when a lack of rapport negatively affected their family planning care and created a barrier to complete and equitable treatment.

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 Presented in Session 10. Fertility, Family Planning, Sexual Behavior & Reproductive Health 2