Letter to the Editor and Op-Ed Samples

If you’re interested in writing an op-ed or a letter to the editor in support of House Bill 1194, here are a few facts you can use.

Remember: Letters to the editor are generally 250 words or less.  Op-eds are between 500-600 words.  Click here to learn how to submit to your local paper.

 

A few helpful hints:

  •  A paper is more likely to run your letter if they have already covered the subject so keep an eye out for articles or op-eds.
  •  As much as possible, try to make the piece have local appeal.  One way to do this is to share the impact this program has had on your community. 

 

Introduction

Colorado is committed to reducing the number of unintended pregnancies that occur each year.  Women facing an unplanned pregnancy are at greater risk for a number of social, economic and health problems.   By investing a small amount of money in a long standing program, we are able to reduce birth rates in high-risk populations, decrease the number of unplanned pregnancies, lower rates of abortion, improve health outcomes for women and children and make better use of Colorado’s resources.

House Bill 1194 supports continued funding for long acting reversible contraceptives such as IUDs and hormonal implants.  These methods can last from three to 10 years, are 99 percent effective, and a woman’s fertility returns to normal upon removal.  Between 2009 and 2014, funding from the Colorado Initiative to Reduce Unintended Pregnancies enabled more than 30,000 women in the state to choose long acting reversible contraception by removing cost barriers and increasing provider training (CDPHE). 

 

Pick a few reasons this issue is important to you:

Reduction in unplanned pregnancies

In 2008, more than 45 percent of pregnancies in Colorado were unplanned (Guttmacher Institute).  The birth rate among low-income women who lived in the counties with these clinics dropped 39 percent for women ages 15 to 19 and 22 percent for women ages 20 to 24 between 2009 and 2012 (CDPHE).

Reduction in abortion

Unintended pregnancies result in approximately 10,000 abortions in Colorado each year (CDPHE Vital Statistics).  When long-acting contraception became more readily available in Colorado between 2009 and 2013, the abortion rate fell 42 percent among all women ages 15 to 19 and 18 percent among women ages 20 to 24 (CDPHE). 

Poverty

The birth rate for Medicaid-eligible women ages 15 to 24 dropped sharply each year between 2010 and 2012, and an expected 4,300 to 9,700 births did not occur. CDPHE estimates that Medicaid saved between $49 million and $111 million in birth-related costs. (CDPHE).  For every dollar invested in the LARC program, an estimated average of $5.85 was avoided within a three-year period by the Colorado Medicaid program (CDPHE).  Between March 2010 and January 2014, infant enrollment in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) fell by 26 percent (CDPHE).

Economic Self-Sufficiency

Nationally, 61 percent of women who have children after enrolling in community college fail to finish their planned degree (National Campaign). Colorado women with a bachelor’s degree or higher earn 77 percent more than Colorado women with a high school diploma or equivalent. (The Women’s Foundation of Colorado).  Because of Colorado’s skilled workforce and its modern economy, higher education pays off. Women in their 20s with college degrees earn as much as $20,000 more per year than women with high school degrees (Higher-ed Colorado).

Reduction in Teen Pregnancy

Colorado is a national leader in the use of long-acting reversible contraception and reducing teen pregnancy and repeat pregnancies. Teen birth rates in our state have declined more rapidly than in any other state or the nation as a whole (CDPHE).  When long-acting contraception became more readily available in Colorado between 2009 and 2013, the abortion rate fell 42 percent among all women ages 15 to 19 (CDPHE).  Nine of 10 teen moms who received a LARC implant before leaving the hospital after delivery did not get pregnant within two years (University of Colorado School of Medicine Study).  Between 2009 and 2013, the number of teens with repeat births decreased by 53 percent (CDPHE).

 

Conclusion

Why does this issue matter to you?  Take a few lines to describe if you’ve been personally impacted by this program, see the benefit for your community, or believe that all women should have equal access to opportunities regardless of background or i

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Upcoming Events

Hearing on HB 1194

House Public Health Care and Human Services Committee 
February 24, 2015 at 1:30 p.m.