The largest real-life experiment in Colorado aimed at reducing teenage pregnancy yields surprising results as it recorded 40 percent decline in teenage pregnancies from 2009 to 2013, according to the news, while abortion cases plummeted by 42 percent.
More than six years ago, health officials in Colorado began an experiment where intrauterine devices or IUD were freely given to teenagers and to women who are financially hard up.
The IUDs are a type of contraceptives, taking different shapes and materials that are inserted into the uterus. There are two types of IUD — one does not require replacement for 10 years and the other requires annual replacement.
According to U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Colorado ranked 29th of 51 states (including District of Columbia) in the final 2011 teen births rates among females between 15 and 19 years old. In 2008, Colorado finished at 23rd among 51 states in having the largest number of pregnancies between 15 and 19 years old.
The experiment disclosed that among the 25-year old unmarried women who did not finish high school, a decrease in births was observed. The same result was seen in Colorado’s poorest areas like Walsenburg.
In 2009, the experiment revealed that half of the figure on first births in the poorest areas occurred before women reached 21, news said. In 2014, half of the figure on first births happened when women turned 24.
According to National Conference of State Legislatures, cases of teen pregnancy in the United States remain the highest compared with other countries. An estimated one girl in every four is expected to give birth before reaching 20, and one in every five teen mothers will deliver the second child on their teen years.
New York Times reports quoting economist Isabel Sawhill who said, “If we want to reduce poverty, one of the simplest, fastest and cheapest things we could do would be to make sure that as few people as possible become parents before they actually want to.”
Greta Klinger, public health department’s family planning supervisor also told New York Times that the demographer went to her office bringing a chart and blurted out: “Greta, look at this, we’ve never seen this before. The numbers were plummeting.”