Disabled Women’s Access to Healthcare

Cervical screening saves lives poster

An NHS public health campaign emphasising the importance of women’s access to regular smear tests.

Living Life to the Fullest Co-Researcher Emma Vogelmann, who works for MDUK, is collaborating with others to campaign for better access to healthcare for disabled women. The new campaign focuses on disabled women’s rights to access to good quality sexual and reproductive healthcare. Many disabled women miss important reproductive and sexual health screenings because of simple factors such as their GP surgery doesn’t have a hoist to support accessible examinations. This is compounded by problematic ableist assumptions about disabled women’s sexual and reproductive lives – that such care is secondary in the lives of disabled women because they are presumed not to have sexual and intimate relationships with others or become mothers – neither of which is the case, of course.

The campaign began through MDUK Trailblazer Fiona Anderson calling for accessible cervical screenings. Fiona says on her petition, “I have NEVER had a smear test because my GP practice does not have a hoist and couldn’t come up with another safe solution to examine me. Home visits for Cervical Screenings aren’t covered by the medical centre’s insurance and there is no database of clinics/medical centres with hoists to refer me somewhere else.” The petition now has over 85,000 signatures. You can sign the petition here.

Emma said, “I’m really excited about this campaign. Disabled women face so many barriers, but basic healthcare and screenings should be as available to us as easily as able-bodied women”.

To find out more about this important campaign, please see here.







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