Princeton University Library Catalog

Solid Findings from the Rockies: An Evaluation of the Colorado Family Planning Initiative

Schoen, Hannah [Browse]
Senior thesis
McLanahan, Sara [Browse]
Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs [Browse]
Class year:
119 pages
Summary note:
In 2009, the state of Colorado launched the Colorado Family Planning Initiative (CFPI), which was the United States’ first large-scale policy intervention aimed at increasing the accessibility of long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs). LARCs, which include IUDs and implants, are associated with much lower rates of contraceptive failure than other methods because once inserted, they do not require any action on the part of the user to be effective. In its effort to make LARCs more accessible, Colorado used a $23 million donation from the Susan Thompson Buffet Foundation to provide LARCs for free to low-income women and to train medical providers on the insertion of LARCs. What were the results of this program? This thesis offers a comprehensive evaluation of the CFPI, assessing its impacts on LARC use, teen and unmarried births, and women’s socioeconomic well-being. By comparing Colorado to other states, including those that border it, I find that the CFPI increased LARC use, decreased teen and unmarried births, and increased high school graduation rates. Because the program had such positive consequences for Colorado women, I argue that the state government ought to financially support the program, and other states should create similar programs. Given the political controversy around birth control, it will likely be difficult to establish such programs. However, as the findings of this thesis indicate, doing so would provide better lives for women across the country.