Back to Virtual Library Research Hub

Foulkes, Risha, Raquel Donoso, Beth Fredrick, Jennifer J. Frost, and Susheela Singh. “Opportunities for Action: Addressing Latina Sexual and Reproductive Health,” March 2005.


This article presents an action plan to improve Latina sexual and reproductive health in the United States. The authors describe Latinas’ specific context affecting their health care, reporting that Latinas are more likely than white and black low-income women to be uninsured, because they may not know about public services or they may fear jeopardizing their immigration status. Issues regarding access to health care are the following: higher likelihood of delaying healthcare appointments; lack of culturally competent, Spanish-speaking providers; and lack of community programs to educate Latinas. The authors then address teenage Latinas more specifically, stating that high poverty levels don’t entirely account for higher birthrates among Latina teens. Possible causes to be explored are less negative views about teenage pregnancy, as well as the role of partners, family, and peers in contributing to teenage pregnancy. The authors emphasize the role of the community in spreading health information about reproductive health, contraceptives, and abortion. They conclude by highlighting the urgent need to communicate this information to policymakers and program leaders so that they can effectively address the most concerning issues for Latina reproductive health.  This is a useful article for understanding gaps in current research about Latinas’ sexual health that can serve as a guide to orient future research projects.  It also describes the various types of research needed: interdisciplinary, longitudinal, diverse and multi-generational, qualitative, representative, and participatory. The article provides data that corrects common misunderstandings Latinas’ reproductive health, like the assumption that teenage pregnancy is viewed negatively (suggesting the possibility that the Latino community may view teenage pregnancy less negatively than other groups), or that Latinas don’t exercise their right to abortion because of religiosity.


Download file

About the Author

Related Topics

Race/ethnicity: Latina/Hispanic

Notice – Latest updates on COVID-19 policies and resources for the UC Berkeley campus community. — View Details