Contraception Utilization in Black Women via a Reproductive Justice Lens

Breastfeed Med. 2021 Dec;16(12):935-937. doi: 10.1089/bfm.2020.0391. Epub 2021 Aug 25.


Background: Over 100 million women make decisions about beginning or resuming contraception after childbirth annually. The burden of an unplanned pregnancy is not equally distributed among racial and ethnic groups in the United States based on the rates of unplanned pregnancies. Objective: This article discusses the disparity in the utilization of contraception among Black women through a reproductive justice lens. Results: The reasons for these differences include a lack of access to care, and differences in contraceptive failure rates among racial and ethnic groups, as well as less of an inclination to have an abortion. Barriers to contraception for breastfeeding persons include patient medical conditions and concerns, and resistance by other health care providers due to language and cultural differences, and knowledge asymmetry. Institutionalized racism, transphobia, and homophobia may compromise patient access to the full spectrum of contraceptive options available. Conclusions: Given the individual and public health benefits of breastfeeding and the impact those benefits can have in helping Black birthing persons and children achieve health equity, it is important for obstetric and pediatric health care providers to play their part in encouraging and supporting breastfeeding.

Keywords: Black women; breastfeeding; contraception; pregnant and birthing persons; reproductive justice.

MeSH terms

  • Breast Feeding*
  • Child
  • Contraception
  • Contraception Behavior
  • Ethnicity
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Racial Groups
  • Social Justice*
  • United States