As we all know, the current state of reproductive rights in our country is far from ideal. (That is, of course, if you’re into having some sort of control over when you bring a human life into this world.) But last week we hit a new low: An all-male committee of Republicans voted to end Colorado’s pregnancy prevention program, which is the most successful of its kind in the nation. So successful, in fact, that the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association recognized it last Tuesday in Washington D.C. at a prestigious award ceremony.
By providing free IUDs (intra-uterine devices), Colorado’s program decreased its teen pregnancy rate by a whopping 40 percent between 2007 and 2012, and lowered the teen abortion rate by 35 percent. IUDS are one of the most effective forms of birth control, with a near-zero failure rate, and since 2009, about 30,000 women received the contraceptives through the program.
Currently, the program is backed by an anonymous grant, and general fund support was requested for its expansion. The denied legislation would have provided it with $5 million dollars worth of funding.
Lawmakers claim that IUDs induce abortion because in rare cases, eggs can become fertilized, but then be prevented from entering the uterus because the IUD thickens the uterus lining. If this sounds confusing, don’t worry: It’s not you, it’s the fact that what constitutes “abortion” these days is getting foggier and foggier.
But this might help to simplify: State health officials estimate that the program would prevent about 4,300 abortions per year. That’s right, state health officials. Call us crazy, but we’ll take their word over uterus-less male politicians.
Image via Camel City