- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 30, 2019

Democratic presidential hopeful John Hickenlooper on Wednesday announced a plan intended to expand access to long-acting reversible contraception, or LARC, saying he wants to build on an initiative he supported as governor of Colorado.

“The notion that the people that are so opposed to abortion don’t recognize that in many ways by eliminating women’s access to reproductive health they’re actually going to increase the number of abortions — it’s unconscionable,” Mr. Hickenlooper said on MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show.”

In a Medium post, Mr. Hickenlooper said that expanding access in his state to the contraceptives, which include intrauterine devices, reduced teen pregnancy and abortion rates and saved the state $70 million over five years in “averted public assistance costs.”

His plan would increase Title X family planning funding by $700 million and help subsidize the contraceptives for women who can’t afford it.

Mr. Hickenlooper would also push to appropriate money so that more doctors and health care staff are trained to offer the long-acting contraceptives as part of their practices.

“I think it’s a fundamental, inalienable right that women should have control of their own bodies,” he said.

Mr. Hickenlooper’s plan comes in the wake of newly enacted laws in states such as Alabama, Georgia, and Missouri that impose broad new restrictions on abortion.

Some of his 2020 rivals have emphasized protecting abortion rights in the wake of the new laws, though there’s been comparatively less attention on access to contraception or birth control.

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