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To: Interested parties
From: Elizabeth Clark, Planned Parenthood Federation of America
Date: November 12, 2015
Subject: ICYMI: Schools Can’t Stop Kids From Sexting. More Technology Can.

An article in The New York Times this week talks about the need for texting services like Planned Parenthood’s as a way to reach young people with accurate sex education information.

In an op-ed from Jonathan Zimmerman, he writes, “How should we address the issue of sexting? What if we tried to meet the kids where they are? The most promising sex education initiatives right now are text-messaging services, which allow teenagers to submit questions anonymously and receive informed answers. In North Carolina and Texas, these services are operated by public health departments; others are run by organizations like Planned Parenthood. And they’re catching on quickly among teenagers, especially among those whom researchers believe are at the greatest risk.

“Instead of relying on David’s meager public-school slingshot, let’s look to the media Goliath’s most powerful club. It’s called a smartphone, and it got us to this crisis. It’s also our best hope for moving to a better place.”

Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s innovative Chat/Text program allows young people to correspond with trained staff with urgent questions about their sexual and reproductive health, including birth control, emergency contraception, pregnancy testing, or STDs using text messaging or instant messaging. It's available at www.plannedparenthood.org/chat or by texting 774636.

A study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research in 2013 showed that, in its first year, the program was able to reach 32,589 young people with critical information about sex and health in moments of intense worry when they were in need of fast, confidential help. Nearly half a million people have used Planned Parenthood’s Chat/Text program since its launch in 2010.

As the nation’s leading provider of reproductive health care and sex education, Planned Parenthood works every day to get young people the information they need to make healthy decisions.  Each year, Planned Parenthood provides comprehensive sex education and outreach to 1.5 million people and 2.7 million patients come to Planned Parenthood health centers.

To read the full op-ed from Jonathan Zimmerman, check it out here: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/10/opinion/schools-cant-stop-kids-from-sexting-more-technology-can.html?smprod=nytcore-iphone&smid=nytcore-iphone-share

If you have any questions, please contact the Planned Parenthood Federation of America media line at [email protected]


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 approximately 700 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.


Planned Parenthood Federation of America


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November 12, 2015