Planned Parenthood opened up a new clinic less than a block away from campus, making it the nonprofit’s fourth location in Austin.
Planned Parenthood is a health care provider that delivers vital reproductive health care, sex education and sexual health information, according to its website. The new location is located on Medical Arts Street, and the other Austin clinics are located on East Ben White Boulevard, Research Boulevard and East Seventh Street.
“We hope the new location is accessible for patients coming from that part of Austin,” said Sarah Wheat, Planned Parenthood chief external affairs officer. “I think what’s really important (for our locations) are the resources (the clinic) provide, and (it’s) why so many people trust us for their health care.”
The new clinic, which officially opened its doors in December, is open during business hours Monday through Friday and every other Saturday. The next closest location to the University is around five miles away on East Seventh Street, but it is temporarily closed for renovations.
Wheat said the clinic tries to destigmatize testing and treatments regarding sexual health.
“I think it is very important to us that all patients are comfortable here,” Wheat said. “At any time of day, people can go online and make an appointment.”
Community members can learn about options concerning their sexual health, including abortions, all forms of birth control, emergency contraceptives and sexually transmitted diseases, according to the Planned Parenthood website.
“(We also provide) STD treatment and testing,” Wheat said. “(STD’s) are very common and many are asymptomatic, so it’s very important that under age 25 patients are seeking STD testing and treatments.”
Yulissa Colunga, a social work graduate student, said she sometimes doesn’t have time to go to the doctor because she doesn’t have a car.
“It’s convenient to have the (Student Services Building) here, and I think it would be convenient for Planned Parenthood to be closer to campus as well,” Colunga said. “That way, students don’t have to go all the way to North Austin or South Austin.”
All methods of birth control can start at $0, according to its website. Planned Parenthood also aims to help people find health coverage, insurance or other funding if they don’t have any.
Planned Parenthood offers funding if a person has no health insurance, Colunga said.
“I am a low-income student and have used Planned Parenthood before,” Colunga said. “I was able to get a free IUD instead of paying $1,000 for it.”
Studio art sophomore Anna Cottrell said she did not hear anything about the new location opening.
“I think we need more resources for that kind of stuff in general, so I think it’s great (there is a new clinic),” Cottrell said.
Wheat said she strongly encourages patients to get help at the clinic, whatever it is they may need.
“We have a lot of support on the college campus,” Wheat said. “We’re a really trusted part of this community, so we are just excited.”