Reproductive Choices of Rural and Urban Poor Communities
Keywords:policy analysis, development communication, reproductive health, rural communities, urban poor communities
Socioeconomic status determines, among other factors, Filipino womenâ€™s access to contraception, with Filipino women in the lowest income quintile having the least access to it. This paper explored the impact of reproductive health law as a policy agenda on womenâ€™s reproductive health, with a focus on those living in four purposively selected rural and urban poor communities. The Reproductive Justice Framework was employed in the context of reproductive health care, as was Martin Fishbeinâ€™s and Icek Ajzenâ€™s (1980) Theory of Reasoned Action and Behavior. Issues on inequality, inadequate financing, successful opposition to contraception, and a lack of clear national standards were revealed. No significant differences exist among the four locales studied in terms of overall scores in physical risk, psychological risk, and financial burden. However, the urban sample showed higher levels of mental distress than the rural one. Within the urban poor sample, the respondents from one area were seen as less willing to have more than two children, even as their husbands are less willing to support their attempts at birth spacing and are perceived to be less understanding of the psychological risks that the women face. Knowledge and acceptance of the reproductive health law can be increased by locally targeted information campaigns directed to both wives and husbands.