Assessing life course impacts of expanded access to LARCs in Colorado
Awarded 2017
Large Research Grants
Amanda Stevenson, PhD
University of Colorado

Does access to high quality family planning positively affect the life course of women and their families? We plan to address this question – one which is crucial to policy arguments worldwide, but which has rarely been studied with adequate data on the life course outcomes of the women family planning programs are intended to assist. We propose a project to 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 proposed 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 we develop 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. This analysis will not be possible without the crucial and time-intensive first step of linking multiple administrative databases to create an innovative dataset. We undertake this initial data merging and validation phase to lay the groundwork for a broader project assessing the multidimensional life course impacts of CFPI.