Posted: October 1, 2015 Contributor: PRJKT RUBY
Colorado: A Birth Control Success Story, Now at Risk
Starting in 2009, Colorado introduced a groundbreaking birth control campaign that not only lowered abortion rates substantially, but also teen pregnancy rates as well.
What was their secret for success?
The changes began with an anonymous private grant that allowed the Colorado Family Planning Initiative (an agency run by the state) to provide free or reduced price IUDs (implantable long term birth control) to more than 30,000 women. That private grant is set to run out of funding this year.
Now with the recent decision of GOP lawmakers to discontinue state funding for this highly successful program, it’s future is unknown.
So just how successful was it?
Between 2009 and 2013, teen mothers dropped by 40% and abortions were reduced 35%. In addition to this, the fiscal benefits for the state were fantastic.
Colorado officials reported that taxpayers saved nearly $80 million in Medicaid costs that would have been spent on healthcare for these women and children had birth control not been provided. IUDs have a a failure rate of less than 1% and are fully reversible, according to the CDC.
So why is such a highly successful campaign now at risk of losing funding? According to a USA Today article on the topic, the Colorado Family Action group has been one of the leading advocates for shutting the doors on the program. They reportedly believe that by allowing the government to help give teens access to long-term birth control without a parent’s consent, they are putting themselves between teens and their parents. Furthermore, they believe that teens will not fully understand the consequences associated with engaging in sexual activity. Some also believe that IUDs are a form of abortion, which they report is against their religion. Ironically, from a medical standpoint, IUDs prevent the need for countless abortions each year.
This situation is sounding reminiscent of the continued battles that Planned Parenthood has been facing. Cutting off funding for family planning organizations has proven to deeply impact low income women who rely on these programs for their family planning.