El Rio Reproductive Health Access Project

FREE for Ages 14-20


Odyssey Larsen, Beat Investigator

With the rise of sex in the media and the lack of sex education in most public school systems, it’s a wonder that the number of teen pregnancies hasn’t sky rocketed. In America 3 in 10 teenage girls will get pregnant before the age of 20.  That equates to 750,000 girls pregnant per year. Without proper sexual and reproduction education, those numbers are bound to rise. But right here in Tucson a company called El Rio Health is reaching out to help teens in our town. El Rio is simply a medical and health clinic. It just happens to be massive and have multiple locations in Tucson. Often times El Rio works with low income households to help them get the proper health care that they need. With the Reproductive Health Access Project(El Rio’s RHAP) they are doing that same thing, but they went a step further this time. RHAP is for teens by teens. Being a teen is hard enough, but having to talk to anyone about your reproductive track is just kind of weird so why not it be with your peers, someone you can relate to.

RHAP does have professional doctors and people who have been medically trained so don’t let that worry you.  The mission at El Rio is simple: “Young people helping young people take control of their reproductive health.”  This program started on one simple thought, “Teens will have sex if they want to so, let’s help every teen get access to free safe and confidential health care.” Anyone ages 14-20 can go into anyone of the El Rio locations and receive free STD testing, free condoms, any form of birth control, emergency contraceptives, and pregnancy testing, or even just an informational meeting so you can learn about both reproductive STD’s and everything else you could possibly need to know about sex. This program is also entirely confidential so you can go in alone at any time and they won’t tell your parents if you request it.

In every one of their locations, there is an on location pharmacy. So if you get a confidential prescription through El Rio, you can pick it up that day in the same location, so there is no hassle of having to go to a Walgreen or CVS. If you cannot get to and from any of the clinics or appointments at El Rio, they will provide transportation to and from any one of their clinics free of charge to you. With the efforts of everyone who works with El Rio on your side providing access to free and safe health care make sure you do your part and use this amazing opportunity and practice safe sex. To contact or learn more about any of these programs you can follow them on Instagram and Twitter at elriorhap or go online to elrio.org/services/teens.