Graphic: The Disability Rights and Independent Living Movement

Corbett O'Toole

Audio transcript: On health care services for disabled lesbians
Date: September 3, 1998
Interviewer: Denise Sherer Jacobson

Note: Transcripts have been lightly edited; therefore there may be slight discrepancies with audio clips.

Often disabled lesbians, like other women, are not getting good health care. I mean, there were some studies in one of the articles I wrote, that said when people don't feel safe with their health care providers, they don't get good health care. They go less often, they don't tell their health care provider their concerns, the health care provider doesn't ask—I've never once, ever, in all my health care ever had anyone say, "Okay, and do you need information on this or that or that or that?" And with one of those being lesbian sexuality information or lesbian health care information or whatever. That just doesn't happen.

So what it means is that disabled women, in general, are at higher risk for health care stuff because we're not going for pap smears, we're not getting mammograms, and we're not doing breast self-exams. Disabled lesbians are even more likely on that level to have problems because usually we're women that often don't have birth children, haven't been pregnant, and we're in other high-risk categories. Some studies are saying that lesbians are in a higher risk category for breast cancer, for example. The fact is it puts lesbians in higher categories and tends to put all disabled women in high risk categories, so if you're disabled and a lesbian, I'd say health care is a pretty significant problem—services in general.

End of transcript

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