Safeguard and Expand the Rights of Immigrants to Reproductive Health Care

For centuries, new immigrants have shaped and developed the urban communities of the United States. Immigrant families are vital players in local economies and contribute to the diverse fabric of society. Unfortunately, too often immigrants, especially undocumented immigrants, are marginalized and lack access to basic health care services.

This lack of access can often be bolstered by fear of utilizing public services, fear that is often shaped by the attitudes and policies of local law enforcement. The challenges to accessing reproductive health information and services, combined with disproportionately high rates of poverty, lead to poorer reproductive health outcomes for many immigrant women.

Although federal law governs immigration policy at a macro level, localities have an important responsibility to reduce the barriers to accessing care and the reproductive health disparities experienced by many immigrant women living in urban communities.

Local Recommendations:

Immigrant populations are more likely to live in metropolitan areas, which contributes to these areas’ economy and cultural diversity. However, immigrant women are falling through the cracks of the health care system. There are great opportunities for local leaders to offer critical support to their local immigrant communities by protecting their rights to health care and expanding their access to services.
Download full focus area brief to read more recommendations.

© 2012 National Institute for Reproductive Health