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Sad-looking teenage girls in background, holding up pregnancy test in foreground.
Colorado's teen birth rate dropped 40 percent in five years—years during which a donor-funded initiative provided 30,000 free or low-cost contraceptive devices to low-income women:
The decline in births among girls 15 to 19 years old served by the program accounted for three-quarters of the overall decline in the Colorado teen birth rate, the state said in a news release.

That rate has fallen from 37 births per 1,000 girls in 2009 to 22 in 2013, officials said.

The teen abortion rate dropped 35 percent from 2009 to 2012 in those counties where the initiative is in place, Hickenlooper said.

If it doesn't make sense to you that providing teens with reliable contraception would both lower the teen birth rate and the teen abortion rate ... well, you're probably working for Focus on the Family or some other extremist anti-contraception group. A Focus on the Family spokeswoman questioned these results (results that actually happened), because "Availability of contraception leads to increased sexual activity, which leads to unintended pregnancies and abortions." This is, of course, totally untrue: Studies have shown that contraception is responsible for declining teen pregnancy rates, while abstinence-only education does not increase abstinence.

Colorado is saving money thanks to the drop in teen pregnancy: Medicaid costs are lowered by $5.68 for every dollar spent on the contraception program. Because pregnancy, childbirth, and pediatric care are more expensive than IUDs. But heaven forbid companies like Hobby Lobby should have to provide health insurance that covers the cheaper option of their employees having fewer children and fewer abortions if they so choose. That would be in violation of the owners' religious and anti-Obama beliefs, and those beliefs certainly trump workers getting comprehensive medical care.

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 07:41 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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