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Colo. Family Planning Program Linked to Lower Teen Birth Rate

July 9, 2014 — Women participating in a Colorado family planning program accounted for about three-fourths of a 40% drop in the state's teen birth rate between 2009 and 2012, according to state figures, Vox reports.

The Colorado Family Planning Initiative offers intrauterine devices or implants to low-income women at little or no cost. The program is available at 68 clinics across the state.

Although teen birth rates have declined nationwide, the drop in Colorado has been particularly sharp, according to Vox. From 2008 to 2012, Colorado moved from the 29th lowest teen birth rate in the country to the 19th lowest.

State estimates also show that abortion rates among teens in areas served by the family planning program declined by 35% between 2009 and 2012, while the caseload for Colorado's Women, Infants, and Children program declined by 23% between 2008 and 2012.

Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) praised the program in a statement, saying it "has saved Colorado millions of dollars" and "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" (Lopez, Vox, 7/7).