WOMEN

Colorado Lawmakers Wear IUD Earrings To Support Bill That Will Fund Low-Cost Contraceptives

03/17/2015 06:09 pm ET | Updated Mar 17, 2015
Craig F. Walker via Getty Images

IUDs look good in glitter.

Colorado politicians are wearing IUD-shaped earrings and pins to show support for a bill that would fund the Colorado Family Planning Initiative, the Denver Post reports. The initiative, which provides IUDs and other reversible contraceptives to women, is currently funded by a private grant that ends on June 30.

"It's fun to see if people notice them or not," state Rep. KC Becker told the Denver Post. "Usually it's the women who can identify what that is. They are most familiar with what it looks like."

Advocates hope the statement will raise awareness for the bill, as well as educate lawmakers and the people of Colorado about IUDs. This comes Just months after conservative Colorado politician Bob Beauprez called IUDs an "abortifacient." In reality, IUDs do not end pregnancies -- they prevent them.

The IUD jewelry is created by Virginia Smith, an Etsy jeweler and gynecologist. Smith started making the earrings when one of her colleagues asked her to create IUD-shaped jewelry. "I made a mold and used several materials at first that didn't work as well," Smith told the Denver Post. "Then, in a craft store, I found this resin... put glitter and colors in them, and there you have it."

iuds
Some of Smith's IUD-shaped earrings from her Etsy page.

Smith's largest order came when advocates for the bill found her on Etsy and bought 15 pairs of earrings. Now, Smith has sold almost 200 pairs of the IUD earrings.

There's evidence that access to IUDs creates real change. The Colorado Family Planning Initiative has reportedly provided 30,000 long-term contraceptive devices to Colorado women over the past six years. Colorado experienced a 40 percent drop in teen birth rates during that period.

The topic of safe and low-cost contraceptives is a necessary one, and IUD jewelry brings a certain lightheartedness to such an important conversation. "It helps kind of get the conversation going, as well as alleviate fears people have when they hear the term IUD," Dr. Larry Wolk, Colorado's chief medical officer, told the Denver Post.

Head over to the Denver Post to read more about House Bill 1194.

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