A Most Urgent Need: The Indian Health Service's Policies Toward Native Women's Reproductive Health Care -- Availability of Emergency Contraception
35 Pages Posted: 8 Mar 2014 Last revised: 20 Mar 2014
Date Written: January 15, 2014
IHS currently has no written policy to ensure consistent availability of emergency contraception at IHS facilities. Native women who rely on IHS to provide a full package of reproductive health care options are left without access to this essential FDA-approved drug. This behavior is alarming, although not surprising given the historical approach IHS has taken to Native health care needs, especially Native women's reproductive health care needs.
The paper begins by describing the historical treatment of IHS and Native women's reproductive health care needs. Part III contains a discussion of the larger context of the controversy surrounding the availability of emergency contraception. Part IV discusses the outcomes of leaving reproductive health care squarely in the hands of IHS and the resulting negative implications. The paper ends with suggestions and recommendations to address this problem.
Keywords: emergency contraception, IHS, health care, Indian Health Service, reproductive health care
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