Let’s be honest, no parent wants their teenager to have sex before a certain age. The plain truth though is that many teens will give in to their impulses sooner rather than later — so why not arm them with the tools they need to make responsible choices? Abstinence only education is naive.
The state of Colorado made the bold (and correct) decision to provide teens with “long-lasting, reversible contraceptives” and the results can’t be denied. The state’s teen birth rate has dropped by 40 percent and the teen abortion rate has dropped 35 percent.
The Colorado Family Planning Initiative has been in place since 2009, working through almost 70 clinics across the state. To date, more than 30,000 contraceptive devices have been distributed, noted Governor John Hickenlooper.
“When families are planned and women have children when they’re ready and want them . . . it’s really a better situation for everyone.”
In addition to helping “thousands of young women avoid unwanted pregnancies,” noted Dr. Larry Wolk, director, Colorado Department of Health, the program has helped reduce social and economic costs across the state by reducing elective abortions, incidences of maternal depression, the risk of child abuse and lower educational opportunities for young mothers.
Colorado’s program saves the state approximately $5.68 in Medicaid costs for every $1 spent on contraceptives. In 2010 alone, health expenditures were reduced by more than $42 million.
Of course, not everyone sees the benefits of the program or believes the numbers being reported. Carrie Gordon Earll of Focus on the Family, a conservative Christian organization doubts the program’s success.
“What we have seen over many years is that access to contraception does not equal fewer unintended pregnancies and fewer abortions. Availability of contraception leads to increased sexual activity, which leads to unintended pregnancies and abortions.”
Numbers don’t lie. But in order to see them one has to have their eyes open.
By the way, Colorado’s program includes the same contraceptives that Hobby Lobby finds so offensive and wrongly believes to cause abortions. One would think that with so much money in their coffers, the Green Family (owners of Hobby Lobby) could afford to hire a tutor to explain how contraception (and the female body) really works.
Again, for the record, Plan B, IUDs and similar products do not terminate existing pregnancies; they prevent pregnancies from occurring by blocking the biological processes that make pregnancy possible in the first place.
Just something to think about.
h/t: The Denver Post.com