An advanced practice nurse has an upper hand when it comes to policy designs and implementation in health care. Thus, as part of
the actions to mitigate social impacts to marginalized, women, the first step is to be actively involved in designing health care
policies that will positively and directly impact the standard of care provided to these marginalized women and the ease of access
to this care.
Marginalized women are among the vulnerable populations and unfortunately due to the marginalization, most of them shy away
from seeking medical care due to various issues such as discrimination and inequality i
n the provision of health services. The
research by Prodan‐Bhalla & Browne, (2019), showed that women who had previously experienced stigma and discrimination
while seeking care preferred to establish a trusting relationship with the health care teams from which they sought medical care. As
an advanced practice nurse, establishing working relationships based on trust and confidentiality among the marginalized women
would be paramount in promoting emotional safety among the patients and getting them to feel safer when seeking medical help.
The fact that these women are marginalized also indicates that they may not be aware of their rights and how the law protects them
from such discrimination. They may also not be aware of their right to access medical health either due to social-cultural barriers
or otherwise. Therefore, as an advanced practice nurse, sensitizing these patients on the existing policies that protect them, and
their right to access quality medical health through one on one or focus group discussions would also reduce stigma and promote
health-seeking practices among marginalized women.
Implementation of policies that improve the access to quality health care among marginalized women is just one step to improved
health care. However, studies have shown that policy implementation is not all, there needs to be more action and traction by
governments to ensure that the policies work as intended. The Abortion Law Reform Act of 2019, is a state policy that
decriminalizes abortion in Australia. (“Australia: Abortion and Human Rights”, 2021). Research shows that despite there being
legal and pharmaceutical reforms in Australia on the issues of abortion as a women’s health rights issue, women of childbearing
age living in the rural areas of South Wales Australia have been reported to have experienced barriers to accessing abortion
services. (Doran & Hornibrook, 2016). These issues vary from social stigma associated with abortion due to cultural beliefs, lack
of access to medical facilities providing the services in the rural areas, and financial instability. As such, governments should not
only implement policies but also make the services affordable, accessible and sensitize the masses on the benefits of policies
Policies are always aimed at improving health care provision among the targeted population. As for marginalized groups, a policy
is aimed at having a positive impact. This is however not always the result as some policies may trigger controversies among the
marginalized groups especially based on social-cultural beliefs and practices. When this happens, the implantation of policy for the
benefit of the marginalized group is watered down due to subsequent repercussions. However, this should not deter policymakers
from making policies that will help marginalized groups access quality health care. Instead, the focus should be on sensitizing the
policy beneficiaries on how the policies, protect and benefit them concerning access to quality health care.
Australia: Abortion and Human Rights. (2021). Retrieved 21 April 2021, from
Doran, F., & Hornibrook, J. (2016). Barriers around access to abortion experienced by rural
women in New South Wales, Australia. Rural And Remote Health.
Prodan‐Bhalla, N., & Browne, A. (2019). Exploring women’s health care experiences through an
equity lens: Findings from a community clinic serving marginalized women. Journal Of Clinical Nursing, 28(19-20), 3459-3469.