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Planned Parenthood Expanding Reach

Jenna Tosh of Planned Parenthood of Central Florida

Some sexual assault victims in Central Florida will now be able to get low-cost treatment closer to home.

That’s because of an agreement between the local Planned Parenthood and Victim Service Center announced this week. Planned Parenthood’s new Kissimmee clinic is now part of a referral agreement with Victim Service Center, which runs the local 24-hour rape crisis hotline.

Victims of rape and sexual assault will get access to free initial and follow-up screenings for STDs like HIV, as well as reduced-cost emergency contraception.

Jenna Tosh, the president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Greater Orlando, said you can’t talk about sexual assault without talking about reproductive safety.

“Clearly we have a very large college population in Central Florida, so it’s a conversation that really needs to be had openly,” Tosh said.

The issue is in the national spotlight after a Rolling Stone article about campus sexual assault came under fire last week. Last year, more than 1,200 people called the rape crisis hotline in Orange and Osceola counties.

Planned Parenthood of Greater Orlando sees more than 20,000 patient visits per year.

The Kissimmee clinic was briefly barred from performing abortions and other procedures by a judge earlier this year, but the injunction was since lifted.

-- Health News Florida reporter Abe Aboraya is part of WMFE in Orlando. Contact him at (407) 273-2300 x 183, on Twitter @AbeAboraya, or email at Health News Florida receives support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.