The Economist: Taking the Bother Out of Birth Control

This is a valuable article in the Economist about a topic that many Americans (including me) often find it a bit awkward to talk about: birth control. Implants and IUDs (intrauterine devices) have moved far beyond the Dalkon shield that hurt their reputation in the 1970s. Standard guidelines say that “providers should mention them first, before the less effective options,” but many doctors and other providers don’t realize this. 

Exploiting the underused technology of implants and IUDs can do a lot to reduce the teen pregnancy rate. From the article: 

In Colorado in 2009 a private foundation started paying both for IUDs and implants in public clinics and for training the staff who provide them. Within two years teenage births fell by 26% and abortions by 34% (both were down in other age groups, too). 

Because many of these teenagers can’t support kids without help from the state, doing this saves a lot more public money than the money put in.