Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


W.M. Keck Science Department

Reader 1

Elise Ferree

Reader 2

Alyssa Newman


The emergence of reproductive assistance like fertility treatments and assisted reproductive technologies (ART) in recent decades have provided new paths to pregnancy for many individuals. However, certain demographics in the US like low-income women and women of color are often excluded from utilizing these services on the basis of race, geography, and socioeconomic status. This in turn leads to significant disparities in access to and usage rates of such services. This research points out the perceived shortcomings in the current academic discussion surrounding fertility service disparities with the ultimate goal of expanding access to fertility assistance services for those who need it the most. This is accomplished by incorporating perspectives and findings from the fieldwork of social scientists studying fertility assistance services. The main conclusion made by this interdisciplinary research is that our nation's current fertility service disparities and biases effectively encourage the reproduction of those that fit ideological notions of motherhood and discourage the reproduction of those that do not. By addressing fertility treatment disparities from the integrated perspectives of both public health and social science, this research aims to both help lead to novel and effective solutions for eliminating such disparities and to encourage interdisciplinary endeavors across the fields of medicine, public health, and sociology in the future. Lastly, this paper calls for the inclusion of cancer-related infertility and the sub-discipline of oncofertility in future nationwide discussions about fertility treatment access and usage.