In the shadow of trendy new communication technologies (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), it's easy to overlook the homely text message. Sure, tweeting has downed a slew of once-prominent politicians, but it seems that sexting (sending lewd photos via cell phone), is more a problem of the average joe. But can a sext, like a tweet, also be used for good?
According to Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, the answer is "Yes." The organization just launched a new text messaging program aimed at answering the questions of inquisitive youth.
The program, titled "In Case You're Curious," specifically targets teens in the Denver Metro area. To ask a question, teens can text "ICYC" to 66746, followed by a question. Planned Parenthood Community Education staff aim to personally answer questions within a 24-hour window.
"The program offers teens and youth in the Denver Metro area a new resource for asking sexual health questions and more importantly, getting medically accurate, age-appropriate answers to those questions," said Alison Macklin, director of community education at PPRM.
Program leaders caution potential users that ICYC cannot diagnose conditions or give medical advice; there is no substitute for seeing a doctor. Officials also told Fox31 they will not answer questions about positions or how to have sex.
Parenthood USA, a Denver-based group dedicated to pro-life advocacy, has not endorsed the program. "It's just another extension of [Planned Parenthood's] abortion-marketing plan," said Keith Mason, president of Personhood USA to the Denver Post. "Just like restaurants use texts to give out coupons, this is their way of driving young people to Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion chain in America."
While we weren't able to determine if this program is the first of its kind nationally, it's at least one of the first. Monica McCafferty, a spokesperson for PPRM, told HuffPost ICYC "is unique in that our educators are answering the questions as opposed to an animated system or going through call centers that other programs use."