The inspiration for a birth control clinic in the Waco area came in 1936 when Helen Day invited a group of women to meet with Agnes Nelms of Houston, President of the Texas League of Planned Parenthood. Months of education and enthusiastic preparation followed.
The first organized meeting of Waco community leaders interested in making birth control available in this area was held on February 1, 1939 at the Waco Public Library. The group agreed to open a clinic with each member donating $1 per month and volunteering time at the clinic. About 30 women participated in the endeavor during the next few months. In its first year, the Maternal Health Center provided 191 women with birth control: diaphragms.
Over the years, Planned Parenthood in Waco adapted to the growing reproductive health needs of its patients, eventually offering a wide range of medical services, including life-saving cancer screenings, prevention, testing and treatment of sexually transmitted infections, breast health screenings, birth control, abortion services, and health counseling.
In addition to the array of medical services provided, Planned Parenthood in Waco also focused on educating community members about reproductive health issues. The Audre Rapoport Library, located in the Waco health center, proved an excellent resource that offers books, videos, and curricula for all ages. In 1989, Planned Parenthood in Waco started Nobody’s Fool, an annual sex education program for teens that aimed to encourage abstinence, promote parent-child communication, and give medically accurate and age-appropriate facts about sexuality issues.
Planned Parenthood in Waco served the local community for more than 70 years and will continue to meet the needs of the Waco area by providing countless women and men with healthier, happier lives, while celebrating a proud legacy. We look forward to a bright future in serving the community with the same confidence and leadership exemplified by our founders.