Dr. Larry Wolk, executive director and chief medical officer for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, brought the award with him to the hearing, just before the Senate State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee killed the bill on a 3-2 party-line vote.The 40 percent drop in teen pregnancies was accompanied by a 35 percent reduction in teen abortions. Overall, the program, known as the Colorado Family Planning Initiative, saved the state an estimated $42.5 million. Originally, it had been funded through an anonymous grant. The legislation would have allocated $5 million toward expanding the initiative.
“We have the will to make this program successful,” Wolk said. “The will of the governor, the will of a number of legislators, the will of evidence-based organizations ... who say long-acting reversible contraceptives are safe and the preferred method of birth control for these young women.”
The successful effort to defund the program was fueled by runaway religious objections to the distribution of IUDs. Such birth control devices usually prevent an egg from being fertilized, but in very rare instances, eggs get fertilized anyway and the IUD keeps that egg from attaching to the uterine wall. To the religious fundamentalists who apparently control the Republican Party in Colorado, that amounts to an abortion.
Never mind the fact that program reduced the abortion rate by 35 percent over a five-year period. The fundies are concerned about preventing that one in a million chance that an IUD prevents a fertilized egg from attaching to the uterine wall, which by the way, occurs naturally anyway—no IUD necessary.
Is anyone else sick of idiocy being the driving force behind our nation's reproductive health policies?