Ensuring the Reproductive Rights of Women with Intellectual Disability

Journal of Intellectual & Developmental Disability, 2020, DOI: 10.3109/13668250.2020.1762383

Saint Louis U. Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2020-33

Posted: 19 Oct 2020 Last revised: 24 Oct 2020

See all articles by Nicole Agaronnik

Nicole Agaronnik

Harvard University - Mongan Institute Health Policy Center

Elizabeth Pendo

Saint Louis University - School of Law

Tara Lagu

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Christene DeJong

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Aixa Perez-Caraballo

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Lisa Iezzoni

Harvard University - Harvard Medical School

Date Written: August 21, 2020

Abstract

Background: Women with intellectual disability experience disparities in sexual and reproductive health care services.

Methods: To explore perceptions of caring for persons with disability, including individuals with intellectual disability, we conducted open-ended individual interviews with 20 practising physicians and three video-based focus group interviews with an additional 22 practising physicians, which reached data saturation. Interviews were transcribed verbatim. We used conventional content analysis methods to analyse transcripts.

Result: Physicians indicated that intellectual disability can pose challenges to providing sexual and reproductive health care. Observations coalesced around four themes: (1) communication; (2) routine preventive care; (3) contraception and sterilisation; and (4) conception and parenthood. Observations raised concerns about equity of access to reproductive care for women with intellectual disability.

Conclusions: In our sample of physicians, we found attitudes that might compromise reproductive care for women with intellectual disability, suggesting that gaps remain in ensuring reproductive rights of women with intellectual disability.

Keywords: intellectual disability, disability, reproductive health, reproductive justice, health disparities

JEL Classification: I1, I14,I00, I10, I14, K32

Suggested Citation

Agaronnik, Nicole and Pendo, Elizabeth and Lagu, Tara and DeJong, Christene and Perez-Caraballo, Aixa and Iezzoni, Lisa, Ensuring the Reproductive Rights of Women with Intellectual Disability (August 21, 2020). Journal of Intellectual & Developmental Disability, 2020, DOI: 10.3109/13668250.2020.1762383, Saint Louis U. Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2020-33, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3678925

Nicole Agaronnik

Harvard University - Mongan Institute Health Policy Center

MA
United States

Elizabeth Pendo (Contact Author)

Saint Louis University - School of Law ( email )

100 N. Tucker Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63101
United States
(314) 977-2767 (Phone)

Tara Lagu

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Christene DeJong

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Aixa Perez-Caraballo

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Lisa Iezzoni

Harvard University - Harvard Medical School ( email )

330 Brookline Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
United States

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