The barriers LGBTQIA folk face when accessing reproductive health care
Stigma and healthcare providers’ lack of awareness of the unique needs of LGBTQIA are the main barriers hindering this group from accessing quality reproductive healthcare. Some healthcare workers change their attitudes and become uncomfortable once they realize that their patient is a member of LGBTQIA. Such prejudices make it difficult for these patients to effectively express their health problems, preventing them from accessing quality reproductive care. In addition, many healthcare workers lack adequate training in LGBTQIA health. As a result, they do not know what questions to ask or how to respond to this group’s unique needs, which leads to poor service delivery. Therefore, stigmatization and lack of proper training on LGBTQIA obstruct access to quality care.
Biological health outcomes which could result from barriers
Healthcare providers’ biases and lack of adequate training on LGBTQIA health may result in reproductive complications and mental disorders. Due to these barriers, many healthcare providers may not question their LGBTQIA patients about their sexual orientation. Consequently, they may overlook some crucial reproductive examinations such as Pap smear or screening for STIs and cancer, leading to severe reproductive infections such as gonorrhea, HIV, hepatitis, or cervical cancer. Additionally, the inability to freely express and explain their reproductive health to healthcare providers may stress the LGBTQIA patients. This may lead to psychological problems such as anxiety and depression, further affecting the patients’ general well-being. Lack of access to quality reproductive healthcare may result in acute reproductive and emotional complications.
Marginalized communities which face barriers to reproductive health care
Other marginalized communities experiencing barriers to reproductive healthcare are women of color. The high rate of poverty and low insurance coverage associated with women of color significantly hinder them from accessing quality reproductive care. Racism also contributes to poor reproductive care, particularly if the healthcare provider is not a person of color. Similarly, sex workers face significant problems when accessing reproductive care. Some healthcare providers discriminate against sex workers as they consider them immoral. Such presumptions deter the care providers from offering quality services, resulting in acute sexual and reproductive diseases like HIV. Thus, apart from the LGBTQIA community, women of color and sex workers also face barriers to reproductive care.