The numbers and rates of unplanned teen pregnancies and teen abortions have dropped over the past several years. Colorado’s numbers and rates have fallen at a quicker pace than other States. In 2008, Colorado was ranked as having the 29th lowest teen birth rate. By 2012, Colorado was 19th.
Part of Colorado’s success has been provision of free birth control, without necessity of parental consent, to teenagers. The Colorado Family Planning Initiative “has provided more than 30,000 intrauterine devices (IUDs) or implants at low or no cost to low-income women at 68 family planning clinics across Colorado since 2009. The decline in births among young women served by these agencies accounted for three-quarters of the overall decline in the Colorado teen birth rate.” That is a summary from the official website portal of Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper. At the same time, the “teen abortion rate dropped 35 percent from 2009 to 2012 in those counties served by the initiative.” Id.
The Court’s opinion, written by Justice Alito, in the recent Hobby Lobby decision was both poorly reasoned and potentially disastrous. I will address that decision at a later time. The decision was driven by the notion religious beliefs of a few must be protected no matter the consequences to others. The later memorandum order issued in regard to Wheaton College—in which a fundamentalist college objected to filling out forms and argued, through its attorneys, that if it did not participate in the ACA, someone else will—went further backward.
I never have met anyone who is “for” abortion. People seek to protect a woman’s right to make decisions that affect her health and future. Abortion is a measure taken, in regard to unwanted pregnancies, when other measures failed or, more likely, were not used.
The statistics from Colorado would seem to indicate that those who oppose a woman’s right to choose should encourage free availability of contraception. Abortion rates decline when contraception is available. If someone wishes to embrace a Calvinistic notion that sex is not fun, only should occur with the goal of procreation, and then only when “one man and one woman” are married should step into the WABAC machine to the 1800s. Colorado’s program indicates a direction for policies in the 21st Century.