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Colorado's IUD Program Secures Another Year Of Funding

Liz Romer, a nurse practioner and director of the family planning program for Children's Hospital Colorado is looking over a list of patient appointments with Rebecca Cohen M.D.
Bente Birkeland
/
RMCR
Liz Romer, a nurse practioner and director of the family planning program for Children's Hospital Colorado is looking over a list of patient appointments with Rebecca Cohen M.D.

A program to provide long acting reversible contraceptives to low-income women has been funded for another year. About a dozen health and community foundations have stepped up to provide the funds, something the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment had been working overtime to try and secure.

"We are grateful for the generosity of so many visionary organizations," said Dr. Larry Wolk, executive director and chief medical officer of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. "With their help, we will continue to empower Colorado women to achieve their goals by choosing if and when they want to start a family."

An anonymous grant from a private foundation had originally funded the intrauterine device program, but that well has since run out. During the 2015 annual legislative session there was a bipartisan effort to get the state to foot the bill.

"We've made the case for public funding because there is a public return on investment," said Wolk. "We're approaching a 50 percent reduction for both the unintended teen pregnancy rate and the abortions rate."

While the proposal passed the Democratic controlled House, it failed in the Republican Senate. Several members of the Republican Party worried it would promote promiscuity and should be privately funded. Wolk said he wants to come back to the legislature in 2016 and try to get $5 million to fund the program and even expand it to more clinics that serve lower income young women.

"It's not fair that we have to keep going to the private or foundation community for a program that is saving the state money."

Copyright 2015 KUNC

Bente Birkeland
Bente Birkeland has been reporting on state legislative issues for KUNC and Rocky Mountain Community Radio since 2006. Originally, from Minnesota, Bente likes to hike and ski in her spare time. She keeps track of state politics throughout the year but is especially busy during the annual legislative session from January through early May.
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