Guess What? Dirt-Cheap Birth Control Means Fewer Teen Births

Illustration for article titled Guess What? Dirt-Cheap Birth Control Means Fewer Teen Births

Between 2009 and 2013, the teen pregnancy rate in Colorado has dropped 40 percent. And—golly gee willikers!—the state is crediting the Colorado Family Planning Initiative, which provides cheap-to-free IUDs and implants to low-income women.


Vox points to a statement from Governor John Hickenlooper, announcing the stats. The program (funded for five years by an anonymous donor, according to the Denver Post) has doled out 30,000 implants and IUDs across the state, and officials attribute three-quarters of the drop to teens "served by these agencies." Couple more stats: Colorado WIC cases dropped 23 percent between 2008 and 2013; teen abortions fell 35 percent between 2009 and 2012 in the counties where the program operates.

Blah blah blah correlation does not equal causation blah blah blah, and America's teen birth rate has been dropping overall. But as Vox points out, Colorado zipped from 29th to 19th in the lowest-teen-births stakes between 2009 and 2013.

"This initiative has saved Colorado millions of dollars," said the governor. "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." Let's pause to appreciate the amazing banner sitting above these remarks:

Illustration for article titled Guess What? Dirt-Cheap Birth Control Means Fewer Teen Births

So imagine all this coming from your mountaineering high-school vice principal.

Photo via Nils Z/Shutterstock.


Mother Of Unicorns

This will probably be the most "no shit" headline of the day. But it still makes me so happy.

I am lucky that as a teen my mom recognized that I needed birth control & my family had the means to be able to pay the $60 a month since blue cross wouldn't cover it. Most people are not so lucky.

If anti-choice activists are so adamant about decreasing abortions then they should be for providing extremely cheap/free contraception to everyone. It will drastically reduce unwanted pregnancy and therefore reduce abortions.

I hope Colorado will find a way to continue to find this program even when the donor money runs out after this year. It seems to be working extraordinarily well and it would be a shame to see it vanish.