Colorado's investment in IUDs and other fire-and-forget birthcontrol produced a "miracle"

The Colorado Family Planning Initiative spent comparatively small sums making IUDs and other long-term birth control methods (such as implants and injections) available to women, through a "no wrong door" approach that let women start their journey through a variety of agencies, and included after-school and other counseling services, and also provided birth control to women on maternity wards before they went home with their babies.

The results were amazing: teen births and abortions dropped by nearly 50%, and the birth-rate among teens who were already mothers fell by 58%; there were also dramatic reductions in high-risk births.

For ever dollar spent on the initiative, the state saved $5.85 over the next three years in reduced family benefits and assistance payments.

The program is so successful that many states are copying it, including Oregon, Washington and Delaware.

Global health experts call unintended pregnancy an epidemic because it’s so common, and the toll on physical health, mental health, and child development so large. A cascade of benefits follows from reducing unsought pregnancies: better health and education for women, more financial security for families, healthier babies, and less strain on social services dedicated to helping families with lower incomes or wealth.

After implementation of the Colorado Family Planning Initiative, teen births and abortions dropped by nearly half.

Public health experts have known this for decades, and evidence showing the protective benefits of intentional parenthood keeps pouring in. The challenge has been how to move the dial. That’s why Colorado’s success caught experts’ attention worldwide.

After implementation of the Colorado Family Planning Initiative, teen births and abortions dropped by nearly half. They fell by nearly 20 percent among women aged 20-24. (Note: Under normal circumstances, over 80 percent of teen pregnancies and 70 percent of pregnancies among single women aged 20-29 are unsought, so this change means women’s realities are better matching their family desires.) Second-order births to teens—teens who gave birth a second or third time—dropped by 58 percent. High-risk births, including preterm births, also diminished.

A Family Planning Miracle in Colorado: Program Has Teen Births and Abortions Drop by Half, and It's Heading to Other States [Valerie Tarico/Alternet]

(via Naked Capitalism)

(Image: Mirena IUD with hand, Sarahmirk, CC-BY-SA)

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