Racial Disparities In Reproductive Healthcare Among Parous and Nulliparous Women In Mississippi

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Health Professions


Background: Long-standing racial disparities exist in reproductive healthcare and have been associated with negative health outcomes among minority women. This study aimed to analyze the racial disparities in reproductive healthcare among Mississippi women, particularly as it related to contraception access, usage, setting, provider type, and payer.

Methods: A two-stage stratified probability design was employed – 95 of the 1500 licensed childcare facilities across the state were randomly selected, and then two to three classrooms were randomly selected within each facility. The children were the means to obtaining a weighted sample of parous women of childbearing age (15–44). Once a parous woman completed the study, she could invite a nulliparous friend of similar age, race, and socioeconomic background to also participate in the study.

Results: Racial disparities were found in the reproductive healthcare of both the parous and nulliparous groups. Overall, black women were less likely to receive services from an obstetrics and gynecology. Parous and nulliparous black women were more likely to receive their reproductive healthcare at the health department and less likely to use the most effective methods of contraception.

Conclusion: Low use of the most effective methods of contraception, despite high levels of general contraceptive use and high insurance coverage, hints at additional barriers to full access for black women in Mississippi. More equitable access to effective family planning counseling and contraception can have meaningful impact on the lives of black women in our state.

Publication Title

Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities

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