What would happen to pregnancy rates if long term birth control was free?

It’s an interesting question, isn’t it? If we gave women the option of free long term birth control, that is birth control which didn’t involve them “doing anything” like taking a pill every day or putting in some type of contraption every time they have sex, what would happen to unwanted pregnancies? How about abortions? Well we now we have the answer.

In Colorado they conducted exactly that experiment over the span of 6 years.

“The birthrate among teenagers across the state plunged by 40 percent from 2009 to 2013, while their rate of abortions fell by 42 percent, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.”

Just in case that number didn’t jump out at you, let me repeat it: 40%!!!! So if you help women who don’t want to have babies yet, NOT have babies, the results will be astounding. And more important, this may be just the help women need to break the poverty cycle:

“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 the women 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.”

The advantages of a program like this are numerous: Allow women to complete their education, allow women to assess the long term strength of relationships, allow women to choose when they want to have a child, makes sure those children who are born are wanted, reduce the stress on our medical programs and the list goes on. Of course a program like this needs funding. And, as in many cases, this becomes political. The Colorado funding looks as though it might be coming to an end.

Let’s hope not.

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