Date of Award


Author's School

College of Arts & Sciences

Author's Program


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (A.B.)




This thesis establishes that migrants in St. Louis face a unique combination individual, interpersonal, and institutional barriers when accessing contraceptive care. These dynamics were examined using the social ecological model (SEM), which provided a valuable framework for understanding the multi-layer challenges at play. The research methodology involves a combination of ethnographic research, based on in-depth interviews and online surveys, as well as critical literature reviews. The data collected was then analyzed thematically to identify patterns and trends.

Chapter 1 offers insight into the factors influencing decision-making for the St. Louis migrant population. Chapter 2 of the thesis explores individual-level barriers to accessing contraceptive care, such as personal and cultural beliefs and limited knowledge about available resources. Chapter 3 delves into interpersonal-level barriers, highlighting the critical role of social support and examining the impact of the public charge clause and its associated rumors. Chapter 4 focuses on institutional-level barriers, including financial constraints and insurance complexities, language barriers, and medical misinformation. Chapter 5 outlines the expressed needs of migrants and potential measures that could be adopted to improve access to care, including enhanced resource access and information, reduced fear, and minimized financial strain.

The study's findings contribute to a more comprehensive analysis of the challenges shaped by multiple overlapping factors, as analyzed through the lens of the social ecological model. This insight can work to better inform interventions, such as the potential development of a mentorship program, geared towards improved contraceptive care access for the migrant population of St. Louis.


Rebecca Lester

Additional Advisors

Bret Gustafson, K. Eliza Williams, Geoff Childs