2009, Colorado The Ministry of Public Health launched an initiative to help family planning clinics expand access to low-cost or free contraceptives and reproductive health care.By 2016, the state’s birth rate Down 54% Abortion rate among women aged 15 to 19 Down 63% In the same age group.
“We are shocked by the reduction in abortion and unintended pregnancy rates, but we are happy that it has had this effect,” said Angela Ferrer Lemille, the interim project manager of the Colorado Family Planning Project, who oversaw the plan. “Everyone in the field and the state health department is satisfied with the work we have done.”
Now, a study was published in May Scientific progress It shows that the Colorado Family Planning Initiative (CFPI) has another benefit: more young women graduate from high school. Researchers at the University of Colorado at Boulder and Denver conducted the study in collaboration with researchers from the U.S. Census Bureau.
status of use American Community Survey As well as other census data from 2009 to 2017, the author compared the graduation rate before and after the adoption of the family planning program in Colorado with the graduation rate of 17 other states without such policies. Researchers estimate that the plan has reduced the proportion of women aged 20-22 in Colorado without a high school diploma by 14%. They estimate that this resulted in another 3,800 women born between 1994 and 1996 graduating from high school in their early twenties.
“As someone who studies this subject, I was surprised. I didn’t expect to see such a big impact,” said Amanda Stevenson, the lead research author and assistant professor of sociology at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
For decades, the links between family planning and education or other achievements have been mostly anecdotal.Some of the reasons behind family planning include Federal Title X Program-Provide reproductive health services for low-income and uninsured residents, including birth control-Birth control can provide other potential socioeconomic benefits, such as people’s ability to complete their studies. Emily Johnston, a senior researcher at the Urban Research Institute that conducts economic and social policy research, said that the new research is “solving a long-standing interest in this field: what impact will it have on people’s lives besides fertility? ?”
“So far, the evidence on the impact of contraception on women’s education and opportunities comes from the 1960s and 1970s, but a lot has changed since then,” Martha Bailey, professor of economics at the University of California, Los Angeles, wrote in an email. line. “This paper shows that access to contraceptives can still help women take advantage of opportunities and improve their prospects in the labor market.”
In order to gain insight into whether access to birth control measures—rather than access to abortion or adoption services, school quality, fertility, or maternity school programs—is the key to boosting graduation rates, the authors compared the changes observed in Colorado to other variables. The changes in each state are compared. (The comparative states are Arizona, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island.) The overall high school graduation rate and state policies, such as expanding Medicaid coverage. “Anything is possible, but we have not found any statewide policy changes that affect these factors,” Stevenson said.
Another factor that may affect pregnancy and high school graduation rates is whether adolescents’ sexual behavior becomes less active. However, Johnston said that Colorado is unlikely to be unique. “You must have reason to believe that sexual activity in different states is changing in different ways,” she said.