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This study operationalized the five dimensions of health care access in the context of contraceptive service provision and used this framework to examine access to contraceptive care at health department (HD) (Title X funded) and federally qualified health center (FQHC) (primarily non-Title X funded) clinics in South Carolina and Alabama. A cross-sectional survey was conducted in 2017/18 that assessed clinic-level characteristics, policies, and practices related to contraceptive provision. Provision of different contraceptive methods was examined between clinic types. Survey items were mapped to the dimensions of access and internal consistency for each scale was tested with Cronbach's alpha. Scores of access were developed and differences by clinic type were evaluated with an independent t-test. The overall response rate was 68.3% and the sample included 235 clinics. HDs (96.9%) were significantly more likely to provide IUDs and/or Impants on-site than FQHCs (37.4%) (P < 0.0001). Scales with the highest consistency were Availability: Clinical Policy (24 items) (alpha = 0.892) and Acceptability (43 items) (alpha = 0.834). HDs had higher access scores than FQHCs for the Availability: Clinical Policy scale (0.58, 95% CL 0.55, 0.61) vs (0.29, 95% CL 0.25, 0.33) and Affordability: Administrative Policy scale (0.86, 95% CL 0.83, 0.90) vs (0.47, 95% CL 0.41, 0.53). FQHCs had higher access scores than HDs for Affordability: Insurance Policy (0.78, 95% CL 0.72, 0.84) vs (0.56, 95% CL 0.53, 0.59). These findings highlight strengths and gaps in contraceptive care access. Future studies must examine the impact of each dimension of access on clinic-level contraceptive utilization.

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© 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license