DENVER – A state family planning program has significantly reduced the state’s teen birth rate and abortion rate among teens and young women, according to analysis from the University of Colorado.
The study found Colorado’s Title X Family Planning Program helped provide IUDs or birth control implants to nearly 44,000 people between 2009 and 2016.
It also found that for women aged 15 to 19, the state’s birth rate fell by 54 percent over the same time period. The birth rate fell by 30 percent for women aged 20 to 24, the study found. Over that time period, the average age of a woman’s first birth in Colorado increased by more than a year among all women.
It also found that abortion rates among women aged 15 to 19 fell by 64 percent from 2009 to 2016, and that the rate declined by 41 percent for women aged 20 to 24 in Colorado.
The percentage of teens giving birth for the second or third time fell by 63 percent.
As a result of the drop in unintended births, the study says, between $66.1 million and $69.6 million in state and federal money was saved that would have otherwise been spent on health care and other help for low-income women and their children.
“This is a good example of a smart and compassionate government program,” said Dr. Larry Wolk, executive director and chief medical officer of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. “Not only did this initiative improve the health and well-being of thousands of Colorado women, it helped Colorado avoid the social and economic costs of unintended pregnancy.”