Self-Advocacy and Contraceptive Care
Sexual and reproductive healthcare is fraught with both historic and current examples of oppression, systemic abuse, and injustice across gender, race, class, and ability. Still, high quality and responsive contraceptive care may provide numerous health benefits, the ability to prevent and plan pregnancies, and opportunities for exercising autonomy and greater educational and economic attainment. Many initiatives focus on quality improvement at the institutional or provider level, but these do not get to every institution or every provider. This project proposes an approach that reduces harm and maximizes benefit on an individual level while larger systemic changes occur. In a workshop utilizing an empowerment framework, this intervention situates an individual’s care into its sociocultural and historical context. By providing space, tools, and techniques for identifying contraceptive care needs and building self-advocacy skills, all but one participant reported an increase in their comfort level advocating for themselves in healthcare settings after the workshop. This project provides evidence that people accessing contraceptive care may benefit greatly from self-advocacy skills-building practices that have been part of the disability community for decades. Tailored workshops for specific demographics may increase these benefits and expand the current field of research.
(Holt et al., 2020)