The Durango Herald

Colorado lawmakers have a chance to correct an error and help some of the most vulnerable among us by way of a program that has been proven both to work and to be cost effective. They should jump at it, that combination does not arise all that often.

At issue is a funding request from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment for more than $2.5 million for family planning services, including long-acting reversible contraceptives. The request is couched in those terms because in addition to long-acting reversible contraceptives – or LARC – the money would also go to preventive health counseling and education, health testing, screenings and referrals. Bundling those services is also thought to make it more difficult for uncooperative lawmakers to cut funding specifically for long-acting reversible contraceptives.

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Health officials seek new route for birth-control funds

The Durango Herald

Successful LARC program failed to receive support during 2015 legislative session
State health officials hope to ease political pressure surrounding a program that provides long-acting reversible contraceptives by including a funding request as part of an overall package of family planning services. A funding proposal failed during the last legislative session over fears that the devices induce abortion.

DENVER – State health officials have requested more than $2.5 million for family planning services, which would include funding for long-acting reversible contraceptives.

The budget request – which must be approved by the Legislature – comes after the last legislative session, in which so-called LARC funding became a political football. Some Republicans blocked funding for the program, concerned that the contraception induces abortion.

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Teen pregnancy in Colorado drops

9NEWS, By Mackenzie Concepcion

DENVER – Colorado's teen pregnancy rate is plummeting, according to new data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

CDPHE said the birth and abortion rate for women ages 15 to 19 has been cut nearly in half from 2009 through 2014. The data from 2009 through 2013 had shown a 40-percent drop in teen births and a 35-percent decline in teen abortions.

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Contraceptive Implants Are Better at Stopping Teen Pregnancies

Scientific American, By Marina Munn

Contraceptives such as IUDs work best, but insurers often block access

When teenage girls have babies, they are in danger. They more likely will suffer serious health problems than mothers in other age groups and more often will drop out of school and become stuck at low-income levels for life. Children of these teens also navigate a tough road. They are prone to health and behavior trouble, tend not to do well in school and frequently become teen parents themselves.

Unfortunately, the U.S. has a lot of teen parents—273,000 births in 2013, which works out to a greater rate for the nation's population than for other developed countries, such as the U.K. and Canada. Abortion rates are also high. Longer-lasting birth-control methods can change this situation, and research now points to cost-effective ways to do so.

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Colorado’s Long-Lasting Birth Control Program For Teens May Not Last Long


When President Obama spoke to the Democratic National Convention in Colorado seven years ago, he tried to call a truce in one of the nation's long-running social debates.

"We may not agree on abortion. But surely we can agree on reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies in this country," he said to applause.

Not long after that, Colorado launched an experiment aimed at doing just that. The results have been dramatic — but efforts to expand the program using taxpayer money have hit a political roadblock.

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Colorado’s birth control program kept afloat by $2M in temporary funds

By Jesse Paul, The Denver Post

The Colorado Family Planning Initiative has become a hot-button political issue. Roughly $2 million has been pledged in temporary funding to keep afloat a hot-button Colorado program that provides long-acting reversible contraceptives to low-income and uninsured teenagers and women.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment on Tuesday announced the funding for the Colorado Family Planning Initiative in a news release.

Officials say money for the initiative, which is aimed at reducing teen pregnancy and abortion rates, is coming from more than a dozen organizations.

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With less money, Colorado’s birth control program feels the pain: Program credited with lowering teen birth, abortion rates

By John Frank, The Denver Post

BOULDER — JoAnna Hibberd reaches for the inside of her left bicep and kneads the skin until she finds it. The birth control implant is impossible to see, and the insertion mark is less visible than a freckle. But she calls it a godsend.

Hibberd, 21, received the device through a state program that provides long-acting reversible contraceptives to low-income and uninsured teenagers and women at little to no cost. If she has a complaint, it's not knowing about the program sooner. She tried other birth control methods as a teenager but lapsed at times. She became pregnant at age 18 and gave birth the same year to her daughter, Zoe.

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Colorado program that reduces teen pregnancy in jeopardy

PBS News Hour

For six years, the Colorado Family Planning Initiative has been providing free long-term birth control to teens and low-income women. The program has reduced unplanned teen pregnancies by 39 percent, and the abortion rate by 42 percent. The group has been lobbying for state funding, but Republican lawmakers have said no. Special correspondent Mary McCarthy reports.

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How Colorado Became a Leader in Teen Pregnancy Prevention

By Mary Clare Fischer, 5280 Magazine

Colorado has proven it: Providing inexpensive, long-acting contraception works. In 1970, Congress amended the Public Health Service Act, initially passed in 1944, to include a program known as Title X: The National Family Planning Program. Through this initiative, the federal government helped fund free or heavily discounted family-planning services, which were available for low-income women at regional health clinics. The strategy has been incredibly effective: According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the birth rate to teenagers in the U.S. plunged 43 percent between its peak in 1970, when Title X was enacted, and 2010.

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Better Contraception For Young Women

The New York Times

Colorado has achieved remarkable reductions in the rate of teenage pregnancy in recent years by giving young women free, long-acting contraceptives that protect them for several years. The birthrate among teenagers in the state plummeted by 40 percent from 2009 to 2013 and teenage abortions dropped by 42 percent largely as a result of this initiative.

Credit the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment for an aggressive outreach program and wise use of private money to carry out a program that could not win approval from the state’s legislature, the General Assembly. The department used funds from a private foundation to provide women with long-acting contraceptives at little or no cost.

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Colorado’s Effort Against Teen Pregnancy is a Startling Success

The New York Times

WALSENBURG, Colo. — Over the past six years, Colorado has conducted one of the largest experiments with long-acting birth control. If teenagers and poor women were offered free intrauterine devices and implants that prevent pregnancy for years, state officials asked, would those women choose them?

They did in a big way, and the results were startling. The birthrate among teenagers across the state plunged by 40 percent from 2009 to 2013, while their rate of abortions fell by 42 percent, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. There was a similar decline in births for another group particularly vulnerable to unplanned pregnancies: unmarried women under 25 who have not finished high school.

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Colorado Voices: Man up for birth control

By Alex Miller, The Denver Post

Click-bait frenzy aside, the recent announcement that Bristol Palin is pregnant again sans hubby is a story played out in countless homes across the country on a daily basis. Here's why that
shouldn't be a surprise:People, starting in their teens, like to have sex.

Sex leads to babies.

This is normal human behavior, but not without its consequences.

Modern people have invented birth control methods, many of which are over 95 percent effective. But since access and cost can be problematic — especially for young and/or poor people — modern society in many places has made it easier. After all, there are a set of very clear, unambiguous facts related to the cost of a baby versus the cost of birth control.

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Colorado teen-pregnancy program shows results

By Dale Rodebaugh-Durango Herald

The use of intrauterine devices, IUDs, and other long-acting reversible contraceptives played a major role in reducing the number of teen births 35 percent in La Plata County and 47 percent in Archuleta County from 2009 to 2013, a San Juan Basin Health Department report said.

In La Plata County, the number of pregnancies among girls ages 15 to 19 dropped from 49 in 2009 to 32 in 2013, health department statistics show.

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A No-Brainer in Colorado: Funding for Birth Control

Mara Gandal-Power- National Women's Law Center

If I were to tell you that there was a program that helped women get the most effective forms of birth control and had reduced the teen birth rate by nearly 40% in four years, you’d probably say, “This is amazing, tell me more.”  If I told you that for every dollar invested in this program, the state had saved $5.85 in Medicaid costs, you might say, “You can’t argue with that math.”

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A Pregnancy Prevention Breakthrough

Christine Vestal, Stateline


President Barack Obama hailed a landmark achievement in his State of the Union address last month: Teen pregnancies in the U.S. have hit an all-time low. But the U.S. still has a teen birthrate of 31.2 per 1,000 teens, nearly one-and-a-half times the rate in the United Kingdom, which has one of the highest rates in Western Europe

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