Much to the chagrin of his Republican colleagues, Colorado Rep. Don Coram (R) is rejecting the junk science and co-sponsoring a bill that would expand access to affordable IUDs for low-income women. The bill would provide $5 million in state funding for a program called Colorado Family Planning Initiative. Before the bipartisan initiative was filed, Coram told the Associated Press that he understood his decision would not go over well with members of his own party. “Oh, they’re going to have a hemorrhage, to put it mildly.”
Without missing a beat, the GOP responded with ruffled feathers. The Durango Herald reports that supporting this bill has put Coram “at odds with members of his own party.”
In 2014, GOP gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez falsely asserted that IUDs cause abortions and are “ abortifacients.” Many elected officials who are anti-choice have clung to the junk science. Colorado Sen. Kevin Lundberg (R) believes IUDs are “devices that are used to prevent the birth of a live baby.”
Think Progress reported:
The Colorado Family Planning Initiative partners with women’s health clinics throughout the state to provide long-lasting forms of contraception to women who may otherwise not be able to afford them. Although IUDs are the most effective form of reversible birth control, they can cost more than $1,000 out of pocket, a significant barrier for impoverished Americans who lack insurance coverage.
Since 2009, the program has handed out an estimated 30,000 IUDs and implants, and it’s seen serious results. Making that type of birth control more affordable in Colorado has contributed to a staggering 40 percent drop in teen births over the past five years, eliciting praise from Gov. John Hickenlooper (D).”
The private grant money for the Colorado Family Planning Initiative will run out in 2015 and that is why Coram is supporting the bill. He does not support abortion and told The Durango Herald that is precisely why he supports this legislation. “If we can do this, make lives better for these young people, save the state of Colorado millions of dollars and prevent abortions, tell me what’s wrong with that? If you are against abortions and you are a fiscal conservative, you better take a long hard look at this bill because that accomplishes both of those.”
Coram is also working on policies that could help prevent unwanted teen pregnancies. He filed a separate measure in favor of a statewide program that would offer education, counseling and support for teens, as well as funding a program “that provides long-term, reversible birth control to girls between 15 and 17 and women between 18 and 19.”