Planned Parenthood Pushes Sexual Health Chat App For Teens

Mary Margaret Olohan | Marketing and Publicity Associate, Regnery Publishing

Planned Parenthood just announced plans to release “Roo,” a new sexual health app, on Thursday in collaboration with their ongoing partner Work & Co.

Adage.com reveals that “Planned Parenthood worked with digital shop Work & Co on the strategy, branding, design and development of the chatbot — which began testing last year but officially launches Thursday.” (RELATED: Women’s Groups Stay Silent About Planned Parenthood Discrimination Allegations)

The app, named “Roo” in order to “to seem gender-neutral and friendly to the intended audience,” is supposed to be a venue for young people to ask questions about sexual health that they might not feel comfortable asking their parents. Designed specifically for 13 to 17-year olds, Roo is equipped to evolve over time to better answer questions from consumers.

Adage reveals that users of Roo can find information on pretty much any sexual topic; puberty, STD’s, pregnancy, masturbation, and even crushes. Roo will also connect users with other resources in the event that they cannot find what they are looking for – and among those resources are “live educators via Planned Parenthood’s Chat/Text program.”

Roo is accessible on mobile phones – meaning that young people now have the ability to ask any questions regarding sexuality and sexual health that they wish at any time or place. Not only will they receive uncensored answers to these questions, but they will also be given advice from Planned Parenthood operatives.

“Helping teens access trusted information — especially since so many young people aren’t getting the sexual health education they need — makes this a rare sort of digital product,” said Work & Co co-founder Gene Liebel.

Work& Co, the digital product agency that collaborated with Planned Parenthood on this project, also helped Planned Parenthood with another initiative over the summer: in June of 2018, Work & Co and Planned Parenthood launched the Trump Tracker at TrackingTrump.org. Claiming it was an attempt to keep the Trump administration accountable, Planned Parenthood created this tool as a way to monitor and follow each action the Trump administration took in relation to sexual health and birth control.

In a statement released in June, Adage said that “TrackingTrump.org is a timeline detailing rollbacks of birth control coverage or comprehensive sex ed and the appointments of staffers opposed to LGBT rights. Each entry leads to more information, either about the appointee and their track record on health issues or the policy being affected, like the global gag rule, which prevents U.S. aid to international NGOs that mention family planning practices.”

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