Socioeconomic disparities in women's primary care experiences have been described previously. To better understand whether these disparities reflect personal preferences for primary care, rather than insurance or other access barriers, we conducted a telephone survey of a community-based sample of 1,205 women in Washington, DC. The study found that women of lower socioeconomic status had poorer primary care experiences compared with higher income counterparts, despite similarly high preferences for primary care. The poorer primary care experiences of lower socioeconomic status women were attenuated by better access to primary care. Differences in primary care attainment are not solely a matter of personal preferences; rather, they appear to be more strongly related to barriers to obtaining care.