A bill was introduced in Kansas on Thursday that would provide long-term birth control to uninsured women.
It's being called the LARC bill, which stands for Long Acting Reversible Contraceptive, which is an implant or intrauterine device, or IUD. The bill was modeled after a private program in Colorado that is seeing major success.
"In their state over the last five-plus years, they have reduced teen pregnancy by over 40 percent and abortion rates by 40 percent. Win-win," said Kansas State Rep. Barbara Bollier. She introduced the bill in Topeka after hearing about the results in Colorado.
This is the first bill Bollier has ever put her name on in over six years with the legislature. "I have been waiting to find something that's proactive. I knew it existed, but I needed something that had statistics to back it up," Bollier said.
The Guttmacher Institute looked at the program after its launch in 2009. It also found a decrease in fertility for women who utilized LARCs.
People like Etta Garcia, who has had an IUD for three years, support bringing the bill to Kansas. "For women that don't have insurance, I think it would be really important for them to have more access," Garcia said. "For me personally, it's way easier than remembering to take a pill every day at the same time and refilling the prescription on time."
Another concern is price. Bollier says because LARCs last anywhere from three to 10 years, the up-front cost can be tough for low-income and uninsured women to pay, especially in Kansas, which lost some of its Title X funding in 2015.
Title X Prices (from Planned Parenthood)
Non-Title X Prices (from Planned Parenthood)
A hearing on the bill is now being planned; from there it will head to a committee for review.
Dia Wall can be reached at email@example.com.