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  • Writer's pictureHollis Robbins

Prevention, prevention

Updated: Dec 3, 2021

For about six years during the 1990s I was a Health Care Reform Consultant to Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains (@PPRockyMountain), which covers Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico, and Southern Nevada. During the first, optimistic years of Bill Clinton's first term, the question was: does Planned Parenthood have to exist if full reproductive services were covered more widely. What would be the future of Planned Parenthood if everyone get get reproductive services through their health insurance/health care?

I had always been in favor of women's autonomy but with mixed feelings about abortion for myself. I had had my first child in 1992 and the experience of pregnancy, seeing ultrasound images and a beating heart at 8 weeks, challenged me to think more fundamentally about life and the sanctity of life. I had had challenges to access to birth control myself at different eras of my life and had driven friends to clinics for abortions. Nobody wants to do this. Nobody.

And so I dove into the question as a consultant. Would health care reform broaden access to contraception and make abortions increasingly rare? I read Oregon's plan at the time which listed contraception in a list of top 50 or top 100 (I can't find it on the web) free services. I served on the Colorado Health Care Containment and Guaranteed Access Commission as a representative of Planned Parenthood to advocate for contraception as a cost-saving policy as Colorado was planning its own state health care plan, ColoradoCare. I read Guttmacher Institute reports and statistics on how to reduce incidence of abortion as a policy goal through legislation and access provisions.

It has been many years since I revisited the data, though I find my baseline knowledge still drives my thinking about the priority of contraception access and family planning information. Anecdotal data suggests that many parents enter parenthood having little idea what they're doing in raising children. My time on the Colorado Parental Involvement Task Force was spent diving into this data. The horrors of rape aside, family planning and education matter for bringing wanted children into the world and for limiting unwanted pregnancies. Leadership in a continued focus on contraception access and family planning matter. More of this as Supreme Court watching subsides.


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