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      Planned Parenthood celebrates Brownsville opening, raising cancer awareness

      With increasing health care cuts, access to preventative health care is becoming more and more difficult. Representatives from Planned Parenthood and the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health said they are glad the facility in Brownsville will be able to continue to offer much needed family and reproductive care in our valley.

      Friday afternoon, many in the Brownsville community came out to celebrate the opening of Planned Parenthood TMs new clinic location off Alton Gloor Blvd., but most importantly it was an opportunity to educate the public on the importance of preventative reproductive health.

      "When I'm out there in the community providing this type of education and when I talk about the importance of early detection.. when I talk about prevention and the signs and symptoms, a lot of women identity themselves with that and it TMs very frustrating we don TMt have a lot of places to send them," said activist and community health worker Paola Saldana.

      South Texas Planned Parenthood Director of Communications Mara Posada said it TMs tough, but they've been fortunate to be able to provide services despite cuts in state funding.

      "Unfortunately a lot of health center have closed not so much planned parenthood, but family planning clinics in general and health clinics in general so to be able to provide services in a new location is something we're proud of," said Posada.

      She told Action 4 one concern is the growing number of cases of cervical cancer in the Rio Grande Valley, which is higher than most in the state.

      "This is a cancer that is very much detectable though pap test. Unfortunately, a lot of women here in the valley don TMt get screened."

      The reason they don't screened according to Saldana is because often times, many have no symptoms and don't get medically evaluated until it's too late.

      "When you're able to detect it at an early stage, you can stop it and get the preventative care that women need| so that it doesn TMt progress to cervical cancer," emphasized Posada.

      Last year, the Brownsville clinic offered affordable services to 2,000 patients in Brownsville and 18,000 people across the valley. Posada hopes that number continues to grow.

      Their main goal is to raise awareness for reproductive health. Their clinics offer a wide range of services ranging from STD testing and pap smears to different forms of contraceptives.

      Edinburg Center 302 South 18th / Veterans Blvd.Edinburg, TX 78539p: 956.383.5084

      San Juan Community Center 509 E. Earling RoadSan Juan, TX 78589p: 956.686.6671

      Mary Dansby English Center916 East Hackberry, Suite BMcAllen, TX 78501p: 956.686.6671

      Rev. Bruce Galloway Center 1201 ConwayMission, TX 78572p: 956.585.4575

      Weslaco Center901 S JamesWeslaco, TX 78596p: 956.968.5039

      Harlingen Clinic 712 N Sunshine StripHarlingen, TX 78550p: 956.423.8584

      Brownsville Clinic870 E. Alton Gloor Blvd.Brownsville, TX 78526p: 956.546.4571