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We asked you what you thought the biggest, most inspiring win of the year was for women’s health and rights. And the people have spoken!

The Winner:

Reducing Teen Pregnancy

Rates with Free &

Low-Cost Contraception

The Colorado program that reduced teen pregnancy rates by an extraordinary 40 percent won our Women’s Health Feat of the Year. Between 2009 and 2013, the Colorado Family Planning Initiative gave teens free and low-cost reversible contraceptives (like IUDs and implants). This year the investments in family planning proved to dramatically reduce unplanned pregnancies for the women and girls in the program. 

Studies show that the out-of-pocket costs related to birth control are a major barrier to access.  Birth control can cost up to $600 a year out-of-pocket, with many of the most effective methods (like IUDs and implants) costing upwards of $1,000.

According to a national survey, more than a third of female voters have struggled to afford birth control at some point in their lives, and as a result, have used birth control inconsistently. Further, 55 percent of women 18-34 report having struggled with the cost of birth control at some point in their lives. That’s why the Colorado program for teens — and Obamacare’s no-copay birth control benefit for all women and all FDA-approved contraception methods — make so much sense.

The Nominees

Relive all of the glorious moments vying for women’s health! The nominees for Women’s Health Feat of 2014 were:

When the new Congress is sworn in, there will be 100 women in Congress for the first time ever.

More than 250,000 Planned Parenthood supporters signed the Join the Dissent petition just after the deeply unpopular Supreme Court ruling that gives bosses at corporations like Hobby Lobby the legal right to deny their employees access to affordable birth control.

An unprecedented voter turnout effort for women’s health in the midterm elections: Staff and supporters of Planned Parenthood advocacy and political organizations knocked on more than 2 million doors and made more than 2 million phone calls.

Voters firmly rejected so-called “personhood” ballot initiatives in Colorado and North Dakota — the same thing Mississippi voters did in 2011 by a margin of 16 points. These measures would have protected the rights of fertilized eggs — leading to a ban on abortion and potentially restricting access to common forms of birth control. North Dakota voters were so opposed to the measure that they additionally defeated its key sponsor in the state legislature.


Tags: Colorado, IUD, LARC, Best of 2014, Unintended Pregnancy, teen pregnancy

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