Immigrant Women in the U.S. Face Challenges Accessing Care


Women need access to reproductive and sexual health care services to lead healthy lives and meet their life goals, whether educational, financial, or professional. But millions of women in the United States face barriers to obtaining contraception, pregnancy care, cancer screening, and other critical services, based solely on their immigration status.

A new Commonwealth Fund report by Kinsey Hasstedt, Sheila Desai, and Zohra Ansari-Thomas of the Guttmacher Institute finds that immigrant women — including those lawfully present and those undocumented — are less likely to have health insurance coverage and less likely to use sexual and reproductive health services than U.S.-born women are.

The authors say that by expanding eligibility for coverage and shoring up the nation’s health care safety net — which seven of 10 immigrant women rely on for their usual source of care — policymakers can ensure that all women, regardless of immigration status, have access to the range of health services they need.

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