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April 2014 Grants Newsletter

Planned Parenthood Looks to Queens

As the isolated neighborhoods of the Rockaways struggle with the aftermath of superstorm Sandy, a new problem has come to light—a spike in teen pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases.

Queens is a haven for immigrants, but the culture clash between parents rooted in another country and teenagers who see themselves as American leads to problems for young women. The Rockaway neighborhoods lack a confidential health provider to handle the 10 percent jump in chlamydia and gonorrhea cases and 100 percent increase in teen pregnancies since Sandy hit in October 2012.

It’s not just a problem in the Rockaways. In Queens overall, about 63 percent of pregnancies are unintended, compared to the national average of 51 percent. Only eight Queens clinics offer City Department of Health designated “teen-friendly” free or low-cost reproductive health care, compared to 21 in Manhattan. With a $125,000 grant, The Trust is helping Planned Parenthood of New York City build a full-service clinic in Queens—a first for the borough.

In the meantime, Planned Parenthood will continue to offer reproductive health training and support to three Queens partners—the Flushing branch of the Queens Library, South Asian Youth Action!, and Sunnyside Community Services. Trained staff can talk about birth control, sexual activity, relationships, and sexually transmitted diseases, as well as refer women to other clinics for treatment.

Planned Parenthood also will expand its education program to Queens Community House, another organization funded by The Trust, and to its more than 20 community centers that assist low-income residents of all ages.

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