21st August 2012, St. John’s Antigua- Unemployed young women between the ages of 16 and 24 can obtain contraceptives free of cost. The Planned Parenthood service has been ongoing for about a year now but response has been minimal, Executive Director Lindale Weaver-Greenaway said yesterday.
“We’ve been on the radio with the information and have had like one or two persons who have taken us up on it,” she said. “I don’t know if persons have not been hearing about it but I was expecting a greater response.”
Weaver-Greenaway noted that the service came about some time last September when members of the organisation were considering ways to help out at the community level.
“Teen pregnancy has always been a major issue here and in order for us to give back to the community and try to stem the occurrence, we decided on providing free contraceptives to girls 16 to 24 who are not working, until they are able to afford them,” she said.
“We don’t want them to think that they’re not good just because they’re free. Planned Parenthood is giving back something to the community for young persons who are not working. We actually have to buy the contraceptives.”
Planned Parenthood is a non-governmental organisation that offers family planning services and others pertaining to sexual reproductive health, including pap smears, pregnancy tests, contraceptive injections, blood pressure tests and blood sugar tests.
It also does community outreach, plus lecturing students, police, nurses, community groups via invitation about sexual reproductive health.
Last year, the local chapter of the organisation marked its 40th anniversary and added two new services to its offerings: DNA paternity testing and chlamydia testing.
Planned Parenthood is located on Bishopgate Street, next door to the old St John’s Pentecostal Church. It’s funded by the International Planned Parenthood Federation.