A group of IBS Researchers, led by Amanda Stevenson with co-investigators Jane Menken, Stephanie Mollborn, Sara Yeatman, and Katie Genadek, were recently awarded funding on a large research proposal from the Society of Family Planning Research Fund (SFPRF). The project, entitled Assessing life course impacts of expanded access to LARCs in Colorado, asks the question "Does access to high quality family planning positively affect the life course of women and their families?". Stevenson's group plans to address this question, an area of research that is cruicial to policy arguments worldwide yet has rarely been studied with adequate data on the life course outcomes of the women family planning programs are intended to assist.
The study will assess the medium-term multi-dimensional life course consequences of improved access to contraception, focusing initially on exposure to the Colorado Family Planning Initiative (CFPI) during adolescence and the transition to adulthood (ages 15-24). Beginning in November 2009, CFPI provided provider training and free or dramatically reduced-cost LARC devices to all Title X clinics in Colorado (but not surrounding states), presenting a unique opportunity to assess the impacts of expanded access to these highly-effective methods. The project will take advantage of recent Federal decisions permitting the US Bureau of the Census to link many years of individual administrative records across a variety of sources and provide restricted access to these records for approved research. The data developed in partnership with the Census Bureau will provide a unique opportunity to assess how and to what extent women’s life courses were affected by expanded access to LARC during a critical period of life.