As the impacts of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to remove the constitutional right to an abortion are felt across the nation, members of the Metro Denver Partnership for Health (MDPH) stand committed as local public health agencies to support access to high-quality sexual and reproductive health for all.
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“Although we are grateful for Colorado’s legislative guarantees, the Supreme Court’s decision threatens the health and well-being of pregnant individuals, their children, and families across the nation, especially those who already face significant barriers to health care and other inequities,” said Judy C. Shlay, MD, MSPH, Associate Director of the Public Health Institute at Denver Health. “Restricted access to abortion is associated with risks to maternal health for those with limited access to safe abortions as well as adverse birth outcomes and increased risk of infant mortality.”
Access to comprehensive reproductive health services improves economic outcomes for women. Colorado’s recently passed Reproductive Health Equity Act protects access to contraception, abortion, and reproductive health care for Coloradans. MDPH’s public health agencies and partners offer comprehensive sexual health and family planning services at low or no cost for anyone who needs them, regardless of their county of residence. Services are confidential and teen and LGBTQ+ friendly.
“Evidence-based sexual and reproductive health services support healthy families and communities,” said John M. Douglas, Jr., MD, Executive Director of Tri-County Health Department. “Colorado has seen firsthand the success and positive results of expanded access to effective contraception.”
In Colorado, expanded access to long-acting reversible contraception from 2009 to 2015 led to a 50 percent reduction in teen births and abortions, avoided nearly $70 million in public assistance costs, and supported thousands of young women to make their own choices on when or whether to start a family. Colorado’s teen birth rate in 2020 (12.5 births per 1,000 females ages 15-19) is below the U.S. average of 15.4 births per 1,000.
Click on the websites below for more information about sexual and reproductive health services in the metro Denver area.
MDPH is led by six public health partners serving the Denver metro area: Boulder County Public Health, Broomfield Department of Public Health and Environment, Denver Department of Public Health & Environment, Jefferson County Public Health, the Public Health Institute at Denver Health, and Tri-County Health Department, serving Adams and Arapahoe counties. MDPH’s work impacts nearly three million Coloradans — about 50% of the state’s population — who live in this region. MDPH is supported and staffed by the Colorado Health Institute (CHI). More information can be found on CHI’s website at https://colo.health/MDPH.
This press release was provided by the Colorado Health Institute.