Empowerment

Advocacy group for disabled women releases guide to reproductive health

A Chicago advocacy and support group for young women with disabilities called the “Empowered Fe Fes” has produced a comprehensive guidebook to reproductive health for women with disabilities. Disabled women are far less likely to make appointments for their reproductive health than able-bodied women, as they face obstacles such as inaccessible exam tables and toilets, as well as doctors who have not been properly trained to deal with disabled patients. A 2005 study by the Guttmacher Institute found women with disabilities are 50 to 70 percent less likely to receive a pap smear than those without a disability, and a 2009 report by the National Council on Disability found that “few health care training programs address disability issues in their curriculums.” Even the official government website on disability fails to give any information relating to reproductive or sexual health. The Empowered Fe Fes’ guide is intended to fill that gap by connecting disabled women with reproductive health resources, providing them with information about their reproductive health, and empowering them to ensure they receive proper reproductive health care when in clinic. The guide is downloadable here.

Read the full story at ThinkProgress.

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