We’re pretty tempted to move to Colorado right now. After all, Denver is officially the best place to live in the country and Aspen is Kate Hudson and Dakota Johnson’s favorite place to vacation. But now, Colorado has given us an even more important reason to love it: They are prioritizing women’s health in a way that has a real impact. According to Jezebel, the state’s program that provides affordable, longterm, and reversible intrauterine devices (IUDs) and hormonal implants to women is getting funding again — probably because it’s a major success.
“The Colorado Department of Health and Environment requested an additional $2.5 million for its existing family planning budget in the 2016 – 2017 fiscal year,” explained LARC4CO, a coalition that aims to reduce unplanned pregnancies in the state, in a press release on Tuesday. “After narrowly rejecting attempts to increase funding in 2015, state lawmakers agreed to allocate additional state funding in this year’s budget.”
As a result of the program, the birth rate for teens aged 15-19 plummeted dramatically from 2009 to 2014 — by 48% (!!!), according to the press release. During these years, the birth rate also dropped considerably (20%) for women aged 20-24. Abortion rates for each age group fell at almost the same rates — 48% and 18%, respectively. In other words, it seems that having access to IUDs and hormonal implants made a big impact on unplanned pregnancies.
Studies have found that IUDs are one of the most effective ways to prevent pregnancy — and they’re especially safe for teenagers, according to Planned Parenthood. They also don’t require nearly as much maintenance as other birth controls (such as the pill, which can be difficult for teens to remember to take at the same time every day, or depending on a male partner to use a condom).
“This modest investment marks the next phase in a tremendously successful program that has impacted the entire state of Colorado,” Lisa VanRaemdonck, executive director of the Colorado Association of Local Public Health Officials and a co-chair of the coalition supporting funding for the program, said in the press release. “The data is clear. When women have access to the family planning method that works best for themselves and their families, our financial investment is returned through better short and long-term outcomes for women and their families.”
We applaud Colorado for this amazing investment in women’s health and we can only hope other states follow suit.