Reproductive rights are under attack across America and these teens are taking action. The young leaders of RHAP, are leading the way to ensure all young people in Tucson have access to the reproductive health care they need.
RHAP has served over 4000 young people since they opened in 2017, and with your help, their message can reach even more young people.
My parents didn’t really care about like what sex education I was getting.
I feel like a lot of teens in Tucson can relate to that,
especially teens who are Latinos.
There’s a big taboo on sex ed, specifically in
the Latino community.
The health classes, they kind of shamed people for having sex as they only teach abstinence
It’s been proven ineffective, it’s just that
Tucson and Arizona are behind.
My name’s Emily Morel and I’m 17.
I’m an intern at El Rio RHAP which stands for Reproductive Health Access Project,
and so I teach sex ed to teens.
-My name is Miranda Escobar.
I actually got started in RHAP in June 2017,
which was when RHAP first started.
So I was one of the first members.
I was super excited to become a part of something
that is focused on helping young people in the community.
Here at El Rio RHAP we use the peer to peer model to teach comprehensive sex ed.
So we believe that since we’re teens, that we can understand teens
better than like adult teachers do.
-The peer to peer comprehensive sex ed component is a huge part of RHAP,
which is where we as youth leaders come in.
– When teens check into our walk-in clinic, they see us.
We follow through with a presentation.
-So none of the methods discussed so far protect from STI’s.
That’s why using a condom every time is really important.
-We talk about sex ed, different kinds of birth control,
STI testing, pregnancy testing.
If they want to be seen by a provider, they can get any service they want.
And we also talk about consent and what are healthy relationships,
because we feel like that’s a big important factor to comprehensive sex ed.
– So here are some red flags of nonconsent.
So they pressure you or guilt you into doing things
that you may not want to do.
They make you feel like you owe them.
They react negatively if you say no.
– In our clinics, mostly girls come,
and we want everyone to come
because we feel like everyone needs this information that we’re teaching.
My brother, Daniel, he’s 15.
He’s younger than me.
One day I was like, you should come to the clinic.
– Because I’m a shy person, I feel like talking to a
large crowd of people
is like not my go to thing.
The best part of being with RHAP and being an intern,
is getting that courage to do things that I wouldn’t have done.
– I first found out about RHAP through my friends.
They saw an Instagram post, and they told me about it.
After I got involved as a patient,
I was like, wow, like these are teens doing this.
Like, teens are gonna be real with you.
They’re not gonna sugar coat anything.
So I was like I really had to get involved with this.
So right now I’m volunteering.
So we know that as of today, RHAP has served over 4000 young people
in the Tucson community.
– There’s not really another program like us
that’s so beneficial to our community and it shows.
– Because of this group I’m always going to want to be involved in
education around these sensitive topics,
and making sure that people’s lives aren’t being put in danger because of misinformation.
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