Local Planned Parenthood near this college has a new address.
Correction: Planned Parenthood was not selling its Fiesta medals at the San Pedro clinic. They were free to visitors and only available through April 27.
By Maritza Ramirez
The Planned Parenthood clinic near this college has moved from Ashby Place to 920 San Pedro Ave.
The clinic had been on Ashby for 20 years, but the new location is about the same distance from campus.
Mara Posada, director of communications at Planned Parenthood South Texas, said the clinic closed April 21 and moved over that weekend to its new location, which opened for services Thursday.
Moving to a larger and busier street makes the business more visible to students and the public, Posada said in an April 26 interview.
She said it’s also a great location because “we’re right next to the VIA center and those who don’t have vehicles now have easy access to us,” she said, referring to the VIA Metro Center at 1021 San Pedro Ave.
The clinic had been at 120 W. Ashby Place since 1997, Posada said in a May 1 email to The Ranger.
Planned Parenthood had leased the space on Ashby Place. Long Acres Enterprises LLC owns the 2,730 square-foot Ashby building, according to the Bexar County Appraisal District website.
“Anytime you move, there is planning,” Posada said in the April 26 interview.
“We got new equipment and furniture … there were permits to file and (you must) follow all those rules,” she said.
“We still have signs to put up,” Posada said of the new site.
A temporary Planned Parenthood sign is visible out in the front until they can get a new sign.
Posada said the priority was to have the check-in office, waiting room and the exam rooms ready to use for services.
Even though the clinic was moved, “It’s still close to SAC … 0.5 miles from Ashby Place,” she said.
Planned Parenthood South Texas owns the property at 920 San Pedro Ave.
“To have a business like this, part of sustainability is to own instead of lease,” Posada said.
“We purchased the whole building,” she said of the property, which also houses Baby Debut, a women’s health clinic.
The rest of the office spaces were empty and will now be used for Planned Parenthood services, like Pap smears and screenings for urinary tract infections, HIV and STDs such as gonorrhea and syphilis.
“We take our time with our patients, sit down and answer questions,” Posada said.
Posada said it is important for people to get the screenings when they think they might need to be checked.
Two students discussed why it is beneficial to have a Planned Parenthood health clinic near campus.
“Safe sex, safe sex, safe sex,” Nikki Barnes, American Sign Language interpreting sophomore, said.
Barnes said the clinic should be close by campus because it needs to be more accessible to young adults, and it tests for STDs.
“These kids are just wilding out,” she said. “I’d hate for them to get something they can’t get rid of.”
“I used to go to Planned Parenthood to get pap smears and for birth control,” Barnes said.
Shay Hernandez, American Sign Language interpreting sophomore, said juggling college and parenthood can be challenging.
“It is a lot easier to go to school without kids, and (you) can participate more (in activities) without kids,” Hernandez said.
“I have five kids. … I did get pregnant at 19, but it was planned and I was married,” Hernandez said.
“I don’t understand why people make such a big deal about it,” Barnes said, referring to negativity some people feel toward the health clinic.
Hernandez said people forget there are other services other than abortions.
“They don’t even have abortions at every clinic,” Barnes said.
Barnes said people can visit the clinic if they have questions about STDs, and they offer help for low-income clients.
Barnes and Hernandez said contraceptives such as birth control pills, shots and free condoms are available at the health clinic.
All the same services will still be provided at the clinic on San Pedro — health examinations, blood and urine sample testing; client forms for education and signing for office purposes will also still be provided.
Posada said people can walk in and make an appointment or get a Planned Parenthood Fiesta medal.
“We can keep them for an appointment, people can stop by to see the place or pick up a Fiesta medal,” she said.
Purchase of the Fiesta medal includes a small bag with a condom, lubricant, and educational information.
Posada said pamphlets are also available in the front, next to the check-in window.
Services are available 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Monday and Friday, 10 a.m.–7 p.m. Tuesday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday and the second and fourth Saturday of the month.
For more information, call 210-736-2475 or to be directed to a local Planned Parenthood clinic, call 800-230-PLAN.