Free IUD program reduced teen abortions by 42% and teen pregnancies by 40%
A free IUD program resulted in a 40% drop in teen pregnancy in Colorado, and now a similar program is being introduced in Texas. Thanks to a $2 million donation to Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas women in the greater Dallas-Fort Worth area will have access to STD screenings and long-acting reversible birth control options like intrauterine devices or IUDs, The Dallas Morning News reported.
A similar program had huge successes in Colorado over the course of six years. The teen birth rate dropped by 40% when teens and poor women were offered free IUDs, the New York Times reported. The teen abortion rate also declined by 42%, and unplanned pregnancies for women under 25 also dropped. Birth control combined with education is obviously the most efficient way to reduce teen pregnancy.
Hoping to curb the rate of teen pregnancy in Texas in the wake of nation-wide cuts to Planned Parenthood the Boone Family Foundation and the Harold Simmons Foundation made the $2 million available so the program can launch in September. “For us, it’s really just about access to the best health care for all women in Dallas,” Betsy Healy, the Harold Simmons Foundation grants director, told reporters.”We felt this was an option women should have. It’s about removing the cost barrier.”
IUDs can be very expensive – up to $900 a device. Low-income women and teens especially often can’t shell out that much money. But when given the chance to prevent an unplanned pregnancy they take it, which is why these programs are so crucial. Seeing how successful Colorado was Delaware is creating a similar program using private and public funding.
If we want to curb teen pregnancy in our country we need to support initiatives like this one. We can start by supporting Planned Parenthood, which for 97 years has focused on providing education and contraception to women to prevent abortions. Their work prevents 216,000 abortions on average every year. The constant cuts across the country aren’t helping our teens. Cuts to Planned Parenthood in Texas resulted in fewer birth control prescriptions being filled and higher pregnancy rates.
Despite their undeniable success, these programs have to face the fear that they won’t be able to continue their work. Even with $2 million the new Texas program is only expected to last three years. And in Colorado, the fear is that the teen pregnancy and abortion rates will jump back up once the free IUDs aren’t available.
It doesn’t matter if you’re pro-life or pro-choice, contraception and education have proven time and time again to work. It’s a cause we should all be willing to support.