Colorado Offered Free Birth Control — and Teen Births Fell by 40 Percent
A program that provides contraceptives to low-income women contributed to a 40-percent drop in Colorado’s teen birth rate over five years, according to state officials.
The program, known as the Colorado Family Planning Initiative, provides intrauterine devices (IUDs) or implants at little to no cost for low-income women at 68 family planning clinics 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.
“This initiative has saved Colorado millions of dollars,” Governor John Hickenlooper said in a statement. “But more importantly, it has helped thousands of young Colorado women continue their education, pursue their professional goals and postpone pregnancy until they are ready to start a family.”