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Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

Rural Institute Seeks Assistance Promoting Participation in Study on Pregnancy and Disability

Source: Rural Institute, University of Montana

Dear CIL Director:

With funding from the National Institutes of Health, researchers from the University of Montana, the University of Virginia, and the University of Missouri are conducting a qualitative interview study on the risks and facilitators of unintended pregnancy in women with disabilities.

University of Montana LogoWe request your urgent support in disseminating information about this study to your consumers and other organizations and allies in your network.

Can you please make these flyers available to potential participants by doing a direct mass mailing to your consumer list, posting it in your center, and disseminating the information through your newsletters, social media, and email distribution lists? And of course, many more creative ways you may use in your CIL. Please see below for additional information about the study or contact Rosemary B. Hughes at

General Information

Approximately half of all U.S. pregnancies are unintended. Unintended pregnancy has been linked to late initiation and inadequate use of antenatal care services, maternal stress, depression, and perinatal substance use, as well as low birth weight, preterm birth, infant mortality, and child abuse.

Unintended pregnancy may be particularly salient for the approximately 11% of U.S. women of childbearing age with disabilities, who are more likely to be of low socioeconomic status, to lack health insurance, and to experience intimate partner violence – all factors associated with unintended pregnancy. Although many women with disabilities become pregnant and have children, little is known about their pregnancies. We are interested in learning if mothers with disabilities planned to become pregnant when they did. We are working closely with a nine-member, passionate Community Advisory Board on this important study.

We will conduct approximately 50 interviews to explore the experiences and barriers to care of women with disabilities who have experienced unintended pregnancy, including personal factors (e.g., income, cognitive difficulties, stress, depression); interpersonal factors (e.g., exposures to violence, attitudinal barriers, discrimination), and physical factors (e.g., transportation, availability of providers or accessible facilities, rural isolation).

We plan to use the information from these interviews as a foundation to develop and nationally test a group intervention designed to prevent unintended pregnancy in women with disability.

Eligibility Criteria

This study will include community-living women of childbearing age who:

  1. self-identify as having a disability;
  2. have experienced an unintended pregnancy;
  3. are between 18-44 years of age;
  4. demonstrate the ability to give consent;
  5. understand and express themselves in English or ASL;
  6. communicate at a level needed to participate in an interview with accommodations provided.

Participants will receive $30 for their time. If interested, women may call 434-924-0074, or email at

Thank you for your support.

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