Women's Experiences Seeking Publicly Funded FamilyPlanning Services in Texas

Academic Article


  • CONTEXT: Little is known about low-income women's and teenagers' experiences accessing publicly funded family planning services, particularly after policy changes are made that affect the cost of and access to such services. METHODS: Eleven focus groups were conducted with 92 adult women and 15 teenagers in nine Texas metropolitan areas in July-October 2012, a year after legislation that reduced access to subsidized family planning was enacted. Participants were recruited through organizations that serve low-income populations. At least two researchers independently coded the transcripts of the discussions and identified main themes. RESULTS: Although most women were not aware of the legislative changes, they reported that in the past year, they had had to pay more for previously free or low-cost services, use less effective contraceptive methods or forgo care. They also indicated that accessing affordable family planning services had long been difficult, that applying and qualifying for programs was a challenge and that obtaining family planning care was harder than obtaining pregnancy-related care. As a result of an inadequate reproductive health safety net, women experienced unplanned pregnancies and were unable to access screening services and follow-up care. Teenagers experienced an additional barrier, the need to obtain parental consent. Some women preferred to receive family planning services from specialized providers, while others preferred more comprehensive care. CONCLUSION: Women in Texas have long faced challenges in obtaining subsidized family planning services. Legislation that reduced access to family planning services for low-income women and teenagers appears to have added to those challenges.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 7955249
  • Author List

  • Hopkins K; White K; Linkin F; Hubert C; Grossman D; Potter JE
  • Start Page

  • 63
  • End Page

  • 70
  • Volume

  • 47
  • Issue

  • 2