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Illinois tries to reduce unplanned pregnancies by pushing long-acting birth control

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Dr. Melissa Gilliam, chief of family planning and contraceptive research at University of Chicago Medicine, poses for a photo in her office Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014, in Chicago. Gilliam supports Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn’s administration's plan to double down on long-acting birth control methods, hoping to save taxpayer money on unplanned pregnancies. Illinois Medicaid program officials plan to increase payments for vasectomies, intrauterine devices and doctor’s office sterilizations. Gilliam, who has studied the complicated lives of teenage mothers, would like to see more emphasis on offering long-acting birth control to women immediately after childbirth. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green) (The Associated Press)

Gov. Pat Quinn's administration wants to double down on long-acting birth control methods for the poor, hoping to save taxpayer money on unplanned pregnancies.

Officials with the Illinois Medicaid program plan to increase payments to doctors and clinics for methods such as intrauterine devices.

Dr. Melissa Gilliam is a family planning researcher at University of Chicago Medicine. She's been working with state officials to change policies on contraception. Her goal is to prevent unwanted pregnancies among teenagers.

But the Illinois Catholic Health Association is worried about a requirement in the plan for their hospitals to report annually to the state how they'll refer women elsewhere for birth control services.

The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services seeks comments by Sept. 15 on its family planning action plan.