Statetap: Future of Colorado teen contraceptive program uncertain

Colorado saw a significant drop in teen pregnancies over the last few years, thanks in part to the Colorado Family Planning Initiative – a state program funded by a hefty private donation that provides low income women access to different forms of birth control. State officials say they’ll need $5 million to keep the program going and, although everyone agrees that the recent decline in unwanted pregnancy and abortion is generally commendable, the new Republican-controlled state Senate may be reluctant to put state funding toward contraceptives. Republican state Sen. Kevin Lundberg, who will chair the Health and Human Services Committee this session, told the Durango Herald that he does support access to condoms and birth control pills, but sees IUDs as a kind of “abortifacient,” meaning they cause abortions. “I have no moral problem with contraceptives. The problem is when you kill the child,” he said. On the other hand, Dr. Larry Wolk, Colorado’s chief medical officer and director of the agency that oversees the program, said Lundberg’s assessment is “not medically correct.” IUDs are actually a pre-fertilization barrier, he explained. “It’s not a political issue. It really is an issue of health and what’s in the best interest for these women,” Wolk said. Expect to see this come up next session.

statetap For years, workers at Cañon City’s Cotter Mill have claimed that they’ve gotten sick – like cancer sick – from huge amounts of uranium mined in the 1950s that was refined for use as fuel in reactors and weaponry. The mine was eventually deemed a federal Superfund cleanup site. This coming Wednesday, more than 60 years later, the federal government will weigh options for how to properly compensate these workers at a federal Department of Labor town hall meeting. “The goal of the meeting is to make current and former nuclear weapons workers living in Colorado aware of the program and to assist them in finding information to determine eligibility for available compensation and medical benefits,” the Labor Department said in a news release. Via the Gazette.

In Colorado, like in the rest of the country, there’s a shortage of forensic nurses who can properly treat victims of sexual assault. Via the Aurora Sentinel.

First-term Denver mayor Michael Hancock may not face any serious challenge come May, but the city council elections are shaping up to be some of the most competitive in recent memory. The reports that there are 42 potential candidates vying for 6 of the 13 seats on the council. Analysts say that Hancock isn’t necessarily untouchable, but there’s no clear alternative at this point. The council is very up-for-grabs and new faces could significantly affect the direction of city policy.

A Lakewood couple just plain doesn’t want to change their clocks twice a year anymore. Totally fed up with it. The clocks, honey? Not the clocks again?! So, because this is Colorado, the direct-democracy petrie dish, they’ve proposed a ballot initiative that would keep Colorado on Mountain Daylight Time. The exact wording hasn’t been worked out yet and the signature gathering process is at least a year away. They would have to collect more than 86,105 signatures, but Sean Johnson and his wife Teri are confident they could find enough people who feel the way they do. Hawaii and most of Arizona opt out of daylight savings. In 2011, state Sen. Greg Brophy introduced a bill that would have added Colorado to that short list but his bill failed to pass. Via the Denver Post.

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