Target: Governor John Hickenlooper
Goal: Applaud Colorado officials for offering free birth control and reducing teen birthrates and abortion rates statewide
Recently, the United States has witnessed a series of depressing events with regard to women’s rights and women’s health. With the Supreme Court ruling 5-4 that the religious beliefs of the executives of private companies can determine the health care benefits provided to women, bipartisan issues of whether and when the government should be involved in providing health care have caused flare-ups often based on opinions rather than facts.
The fact of the matter is this: providing birth control to women is a matter of public health. And the facts clearly show that providing birth control access to women, especially women who come from low socioeconomic backgrounds, benefits everyone.
Over the last five years, a program known as the Colorado Family Planning Initiative was put in place to provide birth control to low-income women across the state of Colorado. Vox.com reports that over this time period, the rate of teen abortions fell by 35%, and the teen birthrate fell by 40%. These numbers are certainly influenced by a variety of factors, including an overall drop in the rate of teen pregnancies in the United States. However, the timing of the family planning initiative and the decrease in unplanned pregnancies suggests the program is working.
Not only has the program resulted in a better life for many Colorado women, but it has also resulted in saving a lot of money. State officials report that programs like Women Infants, and Children (WIC), which provide education and support to low-income families, have seen nearly a quarter fewer cases, and the state suggests a savings of over $40 million in expenditures associated with teenage births.
Join in praising Governor John Hickenlooper for the success of this initiative and ask that other lawmakers take heed of this success story when considering their own position on laws regarding women’s health.
Dear Governor Hickenlooper,
Recently we have seen backward progress when it comes to the fate of women’s health in the United States. With the Supreme Court allowing employers to choose whether they will allow their insurance providers to cover certain forms of birth control, we have regressed to a state where religion is not free, but rather controlling of women.
I thank you very much for your efforts in Colorado to ensure that women’s health care needs are being met. I applaud you for the success of the Colorado Family Planning Initiative in the state of Colorado. When young women from low-income backgrounds can receive education about sex and measures to prevent unplanned pregnancies, they have a better chance of a healthy and fulfilling life. I urge you to continue to uphold such stellar policies in the state of Colorado and truly hope that they may serve as a model for other legislators in the United States.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Bryancalabro via Wikimedia Commons