Long-term contraceptives for teens?

Stuff reports:

The call from New Zealand researchers for all teen girls to be fitted with long-term contraceptive devices is not as radical as many think. In fact, a similar free birth control scheme has been a huge success in the US state of Colorado.

The state saw its teen pregnancy birthrate plunge by 40 per cent from 2009 to 2013, abortion rates also saw a 42 per cent drop.

Colorado health officials started the experiment six years ago. The scheme offered free intrauterine devices (IUDs) to teenagers and women in financial hardship. The implants can prevent pregnancy for up to 10 years.

I think it is a very worthy idea. It means that the chance of accidental pregnancy is close to zero, and you simply remove the implant when you want to start having children.

We should offer it to everyone when they turn 16. For now I guess that means girls only, as there is not a simple implant that works on guys, but one day there may be one for guys also.

“If we want to reduce poverty, one of the simplest, fastest and cheapest things we could do would be to make sure that as few people as possible become parents before they actually want to,” Brookings Institution economist Isabel Sawhill told the New York Times

She has argued that single parenthood is a principal driver of inequality.

Yep, I’d say that could do more for income inequality than almost any other measure.

It must be a choice of course, but it can become a normalised choice – by routinely offering it for free at age 16.

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