To be healthy, support their families, and be productive members of their communities, women must have access to comprehensive reproductive health services including treatment of miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy and access to abortion, sterilization, and other contraceptive methods. However, in the United States, hospitals and legislative bodies are erecting barriers and limiting access to these basic health care services. These barriers are caused by factors such as hospital mergers (specifically those that are religiously affiliated); federal, state, and local legislation; hospital policies; and business-related decisions are threatening reproductive health care. Such barriers, of which women are often not even aware, put women at real risk of harm. This commentary provides clinical examples of these harms and recommends ways that obstetrician-gynecologists can get involved to publicize the consequences of these barriers and, hopefully, prevent them from occurring or break them down to promote women's health.
- comprehensive reproductive health services
- contraceptive methods
- women's health