In 2009, the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation (named for the late wife of billionaire Warren Buffett) approached the State of Colorado. Their question: Would providing the MOST EFFECTIVE AND SAFE forms of birth control for free to needy teens and young women affect the rate of unintended pregnancies and/or abortions?
Medical experts, including those from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, recommend IUDs and implantable birth control drugs as the most safe and effective methods. Unfortunately, only 7% of teenagers use these methods, instead resorting to less effective birth control pills and condoms.
The Colorado program, The Colorado Family Planning Initiative, provided more than 30,000 IUDS or implants at LOW OR NO COST to women at 68 family planning clinics. The results?
Teen birth rates and the numbers of abortions dropped significantly (40% and 42%, respectively). In fact, teen birth rates declined more rapidly than in ANY OTHER STATE.
The birth rate for Medicaid-eligible women ages 15 to 24 dropped sharply from 2010 to 2012, resulting in an estimated $49 million to $111 million avoided expenses in Medicaid birth-related costs alone.
The Foundation extended funding for several years, but expected State and/or Federal funding to step in once the program proved a success. The State of Colorado asked its legislature to fund the program, but ran into a neocon brick wall.
- Conservative lawmakers believe that IUDs can cause abortions.
- Protecting life at its most vulnerable is more important.
- The Affordable Care Act is ‘supposed to’ provide birth control for free.
According to Grace-Marie Turner of the conservative Galen Institute, taxpayer funding “should be used for APPROPRIATE and balanced sex education.” Makes you want to gag a little, doesn’t it?
The ‘Party of No’ strikes again. Successful program? Not our agenda. Teen Pregnancy and abortion? Just don’t have sex. Problem solved.
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