After free contraception program, Colorado teen birth rate plummets

After free contraception program, Colorado teen birth rate plummets

“Outstanding news in Colorado:

A state health initiative to reduce teen birth rates by providing more than 30,000 contraceptive devices at low or no cost has led to a 40 percent drop in five years, Gov. John Hickenlooper said Thursday.

The Colorado Family Planning Initiative, funded by a private anonymous donor for five years, has provided intrauterine devices and other implants to low-income women at 68 family-planning clinics across Colorado since 2009.

The clinics are in local health departments, hospitals and private nonprofit facilities. The program also provided training and technical assistance to family planning clinics statewide.

“When families are planned and women have children when they’re ready and want them … it’s really a better situation for everyone,” Hickenlooper said during his state Capitol news conference.

What a novel idea! It’s cost-saving for the state of Colorado as well:

Costs to Colorado’s Economy: Unintended pregnancy burdens Colorado’s health and economy, costing Colorado more than $160 million annually in Medicaid expenditures. Nationally, for every public dollar spent on family planning services, $3.74 is saved in Medicaid costs for pregnancy-related services and newborn care…”

 

 

So if providing contraception produces such great benefits for both the people and the state, then…

Why Are Conservatives Fighting Contraception?

“…If a state makes contraception available to more women—particularly young and poor women—that state’s teen birth rate, abortion rate, and welfare caseload all plummet…

‘[In Colorado,] The teen abortion rate dropped by 35 percent from 2009 to 2012 in counties served by the program, according to the state’s estimates. Young women served by the family planning clinics also accounted for about three-fourths of the overall decline in Colorado’s teen birth rate during the same time period. And the infant caseload for Colorado WIC, a nutrition program for low-income women and their babies, fell by 23 percent from 2008 to 2013.’…

The lesson in Colorado for conservatives ought to be this: You can be against abortion or you can be against contraception but you can’t be against abortion and against contraception. Making contraception harder for women to get—looking at you, Hobby Lobbyists—means more unplanned pregnancies and more unplanned pregnancies mean more abortions…”

 

 

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