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Teen birth rate drops

State officials credit the Colorado Family Planning Initiative with catalyzing a 40 percent drop in the teen birth rate from 2009 through 2013.

In a news release last week, the state said the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment program, privately funded, provided more than 30,000 intrauterine devices (IUDs) or implants at low or no cost to low-income women at 68 family-planning clinics in Colorado since 2009. The percentage of young women receiving IUDs and implants quadrupled in participating clinics, the state says.

Colorado saw pregnancies of teens 15 to 19 decline from 37 per 1,000 females to 22 per 1,000 from 2009 to 2013. The state had the 29th-lowest teenage birth rate in the nation before the initiative, and was 19th-lowest in 2012.

The program was credited with reducing infant caseload for a low-income nutrition program, as well as with saving millions in public health-care costs. The state also cited the program in reporting a 35 percent drop in teen abortions from 2009 to 2012 in counties served by the initiative.

CDPHE spokesman Mark Salley says El Paso County Public Health was the only site in Colorado Springs that paticipated.

Planned Parenthood didn't participate, because only clinics that receive Title X federal funding for reproductive health were included, says Marie Logsden, a vice president with Planned Parenthood's four-state Rocky Mountain region that includes Colorado.

"We weren't part of Title X, so we weren't part of the program," she says. Logsden also notes via email that the clinic in Colorado Springs provided nearly 8,000 family planning visits for women last year, including placement of 340 IUDs and 150 implants for women who chose them.

"We're psyched about the results" of the state program, Logsden says, "but otherwise, not our gig." — PZ

Gay marriage: Legal soon?

The battle toward marriage equality in Colorado may be a quick one.

Six same-sex Colorado couples have sued in federal court, challenging the constitutionality of Colorado's ban on same-sex marriages. Gov. John Hickenlooper and Attorney General John Suthers have said they do not wish to defend the law because the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals already struck down a similar law in Utah. But because the Utah law has been stayed while the U.S. Supreme Court considers reviewing it, Suthers and Hickenlooper want Colorado's law to stay in place pending a final decision.

In a press release, Solicitor General Dan Domenico explained, "[T]he legal debate about this question will be suspended in Colorado as we await finality from the 10th Circuit or U.S. Supreme Court. This solution recognizes the reality of the legal landscape Colorado finds itself in at this moment. If the 10th Circuit Court's decision becomes the governing law, it will mean that Colorado's marriage laws cannot stand. Until the Court's decision becomes final, however, existing state laws remain in effect. We hope all parties to these cases, and all the state's citizens, will support this effort."

But not everyone is. Boulder County is issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, including state Sen. Jessie Ulibarri, D-Westminster, and his longtime partner, Louis Trujillo. And on July 3, the Colorado Assembly Democrats issued a press release noting that five LGBT state legislators were calling for the Colorado ban to be lifted immediately. — JAS

Free summer school meals

Certain schools in Colorado Springs School District 11 provide free breakfast and lunch to children between ages 1 and 18 during the summer.

With its summer-school session over, D-11's 7:30-to-7:55 a.m. free breakfast programs are moving to 8 to 8:30 a.m. This schedule change will be in effect through Aug. 1. The schools affected are Carver Elementary, Jackson Elementary, Swigert Aerospace Academy and Wilson Elementary.

The free breakfast programs at Mitchell High and Hunt Elementary schools are over for this year, but both still provide free lunches, from 12:15 to 12:45 p.m. and from 11 to 11:30 a.m., respectively.

Henry Elementary School and the Westside Community Center will be providing free breakfast a little later in the morning, from 8:30 to 9 a.m. and from 8:45 a.m. to 9:15 a.m., respectively.

For a complete schedule, call D-11 at 520-2924. — GS

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