Teen birth rate in Colorado down 40 percent; officials cite initiative aimed at low-income women

DENVER - The teen birth rate in Colorado dropped 40 percent from 2009 through 2013, and state officials say a health initiative aimed at low-income women is partially responsible.

Gov. John Hickenlooper and the state's chief medical officer talked up the Colorado Family Planning Initiative at the Capitol on Thursday.

"Unintended pregnancies, especially among teenagers, carry health risks for mother and baby," said Dr. Larry Wolk, department executive director and chief medical officer. "Our Colorado Family Planning Initiative has helped thousands of young women who weren't ready to have children avoid pregnancy with affordable, safe and effective contraceptives."

The initiative has provided more than 30,000 intrauterine devices or implants at to low-income women at 68 family planning clinics since 2009.

Hickenlooper says the family planning initiative has also helped thousands of young women avoid unintended pregnancy.

"This initiative has saved Colorado millions of dollars," said Gov. Hickenlooper. "But more importantly, it has helped thousands of young Colorado women continue their education, pursue their professional goals and postpone pregnancy until they are ready to start a family."

The teen abortion rate dropped 35 percent from 2009 to 2012 in those counties served by the initiative.

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