More birth control = Fewer unintended pregnancies. Simple math until the leg gets involved.

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IUDs mean fewer unintended pregnancies. - KEVIN POH
  • Kevin Poh
  • IUDs mean fewer unintended pregnancies.

Back in 2008, the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment received a private, multi-year $23 million grant that allowed it to provide long-acting reversible contraception, including implants and intrauterine devices (IUDs), to low-income women across the state. The devices were offered at little or no cost.

The results were phenomenal. Three years into the grant, the use of long-term contraception among women ages 15 to 24 increased from 5 percent to 19 percent. By 2011, in counties with funding, birthrates for low-income women aged 15 to 19 were 29 percent lower than expected and 14 percent lower than expected among low-income women aged 20 to 24. Abortion rates also plummeted.

But the grant funding ends June 30. Enter House Bill 15-1194. The bill would provide $5 million in state funds to continue the program. The bill, sponsored by by Rep. KC Becker, D-Boulder,  passed the Public Health Care & Human Services Committee yesterday on a bipartisan 8-5 vote. It will now be heard by the Appropriations Committee.

The program that the bill seeks to continue has earned praise over the years from both Republicans and Democrats. One reason is that providing longterm contraception to young women who may not otherwise be able to afford it cuts back on unintended pregnancies and abortions.

But some Republicans are speaking against the bill, saying that IUDs are an "abortifacient." (You can read about that theory here.)

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