Tuesday, April 11, 2017
What Really Works to Reduce Teen Pregnancy (and Abortion)
Colorado is leading the way in providing long-acting reversible contraceptives - LARCs - to teenagers. These include intrauterine devices (IUDs) and implanted contraceptives, such as Norplant. The state covers the high upfront cost.
The results have been dramatic - a 40% reduction in teen pregnancy, and a 35% reduction in abortions.
The Colorado plan builds on earlier experiments in St. Louis and statewide trials in Iowa. Colorado added a "no wrong door" approach, to try to reach teens anywhere and everywhere they might be open to talking about birth and birth control. In addition to the LARCs, this approach included comprehensive sex education.
I believe LARCs have the possibility of breaking down the polarization about sex and abortion. Reducing teen pregnancy and reducing the demand for abortion is a cause we can all get behind.