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Tú hablas dos idiomas, now we do too!

Washington — Today, as we continue to celebrate Latinx Heritage Month, Planned Parenthood  launches Chatea/Textea, an innovative bilingual resource for young Latinx folks’ sexual health questions. Chatea/Textea connects young people, via instant message or text, to trained health educators who can answer their questions, bilingually, and provide critical sexual health information. Chatea/Textea eliminates language and internet barriers — as well, its anonymity removes the awkward apprehension that can come from face-to-face conversations and gives users the opportunity to communicate how and where they feel most comfortable. 

Statement from Alexis McGill Johnson, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America:

“As the country’s largest provider of sex education, Planned Parenthood is deeply committed to providing comprehensive sex education to all. That’s why this Latinx Heritage Month, we are so proud to announce the launch of Chatea/Textea, our new bilingual program aimed at reaching young bilingual Latinx folks with accurate culturally competent sexual health information, in their own language. We know how important it is to meet our people where they are and by making this long standing successful English Chat/Text resource available in Spanish, we are doing just that. We know most young Latinx folks are bilingual, and now we are too. All people deserve access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health information, no matter where they are or what language they speak. Today’s launch of Chatea/Textea helps us get one step closer to making our resources as inclusive and accessible as possible.” 

 This new bilingual and Latinx-focused program was inspired by Chat/Text, Planned Parenthood’s English-only resource. Chat/Text has existed since 2010 with proven success — holding nearly 1.5 million conversations and has made a significant impact on the sexual health behaviors of users. In 10 years, Chat/Text has taught us a lot about our users and their needs.  A 2017 survey revealed that almost 1 in 4 users preferred to chat in Spanish. This presented an opportunity to meet the needs of young Latinx folks who want sex education but might face language barriers to getting accurate sexual and reproductive health information.

According to Pew Research Center, 59% of Latinos are bilingual. Chatea/Textea was intentionally transcreated by and for Latinx folks and Spanish speakers to reflect language and cultural nuances. Most of the educators for Chatea/Textea are Latinx themselves, connecting most users to someone who understands their culture and the myths, taboos, and language without question or judgement. Young Latinx folks often serve as translators or interpreters for their Spanish-dominant parents or family members, especially when it comes to health care access. The relief they feel when their provider also speaks Spanish is palpable — being heard and able to communicate fully is the feeling Chatea/Textea aims to provide.

While Chatea/Textea is not meant to replace an appointment with a health care provider, it does  help ease the burden of language barriers, diminish the anxiety of speaking to a doctor, and empowers those who use it to make the best decisions for their sexual and reproductive health.

Users can chat from the Planned Parenthood website at PlannedParenthood.org/es/herramientas-en-linea or text “AHORA” to 774636 to get answers about pregnancy, birth control, emergency contraception, STIs, and abortion.

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Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 600 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.