Document Type

White Paper

Funding Organization and Award Number

University at Albany

Publication Date

2021

Abstract

This report presents the findings from a qualitative study of the impact of COVID-19 on the provision of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) care to minority groups in New York State from March to October 2020. Drawing on interview material with frontline SRH providers and advocates, we illustrate the deepening inequalities in access to, and quality of, SRH care during the first surge of the pandemic, as well as their implications for future policy and practice. Key findings include: 1) Negative birthing conditions experienced disproportionately by women most vulnerable to poor maternal and birth outcomes; 2) delays and avoidance of care due both to fear of hospitals and increased anti-immigrant political sentiment; 3) lack of coordination and communication between and within different levels of health provision and policy; 4) inequities in access to personal protective equipment (PPE), COVID testing, and telehealth platforms, and; 5) gaps in services that disproportionately affected low-income, young, and minority populations. Notable positive outcomes include: telehealth's role in streamlining medical appointments for those able to use it, and numerous and creative initiatives by individuals and institutions to produce evidence-based guidance, ensure continuity of care, and deliver timely and compassionate care under extremely challenging circumstances.

Contact Author

Elise Andaya

University at Albany, State University of New York

eandaya@albany.edu

Previous Versions

Apr 27 2021

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