Organizations pledge $2 million in funding to successful family planning initiative

Mark Salley, Communications Director | 303-692-2013 |
Program furthers reductions in both teen pregnancy rates and abortion rates
More than a dozen organizations have come together to pledge nearly $2 million in temporary funding to help the Colorado Family Planning Initiative continue providing family planning services and access to the most effective contraceptives to women throughout Colorado.
For decades, Title X clinics have provided women and their families with access to affordable, publicly funded family planning services. Private dollars over the last six years helped clinics remove cost barriers to the most effective forms of contraception. Many small Title X family planning clinics are struggling to provide women with long-acting reversible contraceptives since private funding for the initiative ran out in June. While still providing a wide range of family planning services, many clinics have had to put women on waiting lists or charge them more for IUDs and implants.
With new funding from Colorado funders and foundations, the initiative will be able to continue training health care providers, educating women on contraceptive choices and subsidizing as many as 6,000 IUDs or implants.  
“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.”
Nearly 50 percent of all pregnancies in Colorado are unintended. Research shows that unintended pregnancies are associated with birth defects, low birth weight and maternal depression. Children born to mothers who did not intend to have children are more likely to experience child abuse, poor health and educational challenges. Teen mothers are less likely to graduate from high school or earn as much as women who plan their pregnancies.
The nationally recognized Colorado Family Planning Initiative provided more than 36,000 low- or no-cost IUDs or implants to low-income women at 69 Title X family planning clinics across Colorado over the past seven years. Between 2009 and 2014, the rates for both teen births and abortions dropped 48 percent. During the first three years, an estimated $79 million in Medicaid costs were averted.
These contributions represent temporary funding for this initiative. The state health department will continue to pursue a sustainable funding stream through legislative action. Dr. Wolk said, “These family planning services have been paid for publicly in the past and ought to in the future given that this is a population health priority.”
Organizations pledging to contribute to this initiative include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • The Ben and Lucy Ana Walton Fund of the Walton Family Foundation
  • Buell Foundation
  • Caring for Colorado Foundation
  • Chambers Family Fund
  • The Colorado Health Foundation
  • The Colorado Trust
  • Community First Foundation
  • The Community Foundation Serving Boulder County
  • Global Health Foundation
  • Kaiser Permanente Colorado
  • The Women’s Foundation of Colorado
Pledges from additional funders and foundations are expected in the coming months.