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Colorado Dramatically Reducing Unwanted Births

June 18, 2016
Plain English Version
Birth control implant.

Birth control implant.

About half of the 6.6 million pregnancies, a year in America are unintended.

Colorado’s birth control programs are reducing the number of unwanted births. They are using intra-uterine devices (IUDs) and implants. The IUD has been around for years. They sometimes caused infections. Now they are much safer for women. Implants are small rods. They go under the skin of the upper arm. They prevent pregnancy for three years.

Once inserted, the new methods do not require a woman to take action to make them work.

Health advocates say that long-acting birth control gives women more say over having children. They are being offered free to lower-income young women. They are working.

The birthrate for teenagers across the Colorado plunged by 40 percent from 2009 to 2013. The rate of abortions fell by 42 percent. Results were about the same for young unmarried women who were high school dropouts.

Colorado is way ahead of the nation. About 7 percent of American women ages 15 to 44 used a long-acting birth control from 2011 to 2013.  About 20 percent of women in Colorado about the same age used such devices in the same period.

Experts say these devices are the cheapest and simplest ways to stop unwanted pregnancies. They are also the best way to reduce poverty.

The programs in Colorado are funded by private grants. Funding is running out.

Does the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) guarantee free contraception for all? The answer is no. It depends on the plan. “There is no lifeboat with the ACA,” said a nurse practitioner.

Teenage births are down across the nation.

Experts say women are ready to use the devices. Demand for them is skyrocketing. They are safe.

Source: The New York Times July 5, 2015

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