The barriers that prevent women from obtaining prenatal care were studied in a multiethnic, primarily indigent urban population. Two thousand nine hundred eighty-seven women were delivered at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Medical Center from January 15 to April 10, 1988. Of these women, 227 (7.6%) did not access any prenatal care. These women formed the study group. The results indicated that the main barriers were systematic (35.5%), patient-related (35.5%), and financial (29%). Ethnic group, marital status, and education influenced access to prenatal care, whereas age did not appear to do so. Although low birth weight rates were higher in the study group, it was apparent that cultural behavior influenced birth weight, whether or not prenatal care was obtained.