Colorado has conducted one of the largest experiments with long-acting birth control, and it completely contradicts the argument conservatives use when they say that free birth control will ruin the economy (and/or cause natural disasters like hurricanes and tornadoes).
When teens and poor women were offered free intrauterine devices and implants (IUDs), which prevent unwanted pregnancy for years, Colorado state officials wondered if these women would choose them.
Not only was free birth control welcomed, the results were startling. Teen birthrates plunged by 40 percent from 2009 to 2013. As Bernie Sanders would say, “That’s YOOGE!” What’s more, according to the Colorado Department of Health and Environment, the abortion rate fell by 42 percent! Even better, another group often vulnerable to unplanned and unwanted pregnancies – single women under twenty-five who haven’t finished high school – saw a decline in births!
This is FABULOUS news!
Not surprisingly, these lower birth and abortion rates were especially pronounced in poverty stricken areas where employment is scarce and unplanned pregnancies happen often.
From the New York Times:
In 2009, half of all first births to women in the poorest areas of the state happened before they turned 21. By 2014, half of first births did not occur until they had turned 24, a difference that advocates say gives young women time to finish their educations and to gain a foothold in an increasingly competitive job market.
‘If we want to reduce poverty, one of the simplest, fastest and cheapest things we could do would be to make sure that as few people as possible become parents before they actually want to,’ said Isabel Sawhill, an economist at the Brookings Institution. She argues in her 2014 book, ‘Generation Unbound: Drifting Into Sex and Parenthood Without Marriage,’ that single parenthood is a principal driver of inequality and long-acting birth control a powerful tool to prevent it.
Teen birthrates have been on the decline nationally, but experts are saying the timing and the significantly reduced birthrates are a strong indication that the state’s experiment in providing free long-acting birth control was the major driver. In fact, approximately one-fifth of Colorado women between 18 to 44 are using the long-acting methods.
No hurricanes occurred during this experiment either!
Looks like Mike Huckabee, Ted Cruz, Chicks On The Right, Rick Santorum, Scott Walker, FOX “News”, the Duggars, good ol’ Rush Limbaugh and pretty much the entire GOP/religious right are COMPLETELY WRONG about what happens when women are offered free birth control. Long-acting birth control prevents more unwanted pregnancies than abstinence-only education and aspirin between the knees.