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AMSA-LIST  March 2003

AMSA-LIST March 2003

Subject:

[AMSA] MAP Advocate - March 7, 2003

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Mon, 10 Mar 2003 12:31:09 -0600

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Your AIDS Advocacy Update
Vol. 9 No. 6 - March 7, 2003

*Take Action! Voice Your Opposition to Abstinence-Until Marriage Education
Bills
*Schools - The Next Line of Attack on GLBT Human Rights
*Abstinence-only-until-marriage Bills Start to Make the Rounds in the
Legislature
*A Better Way to Go: Sex Ed for Life "Abstinence-Plus" Bills Introduced
*Bills Introduced to Support HIV/STD Training Sites Statewide
*Reaching Employers, Employees and Families through Workplaces
*Family Council Attacks MAP for Distributing "Pornographic" Materials
*What About that Budget?
*Minors' Access to Health Services Threatened
*We have Archives, Too - Past Issues of the MAP Advocate
                                                                          
 Take Action! Voice Your Opposition to Abstinence-Until-Marriage          
 Education Bills                                                          
                                                                          
 Friendly legislators who are trying to fight back the                    
 abstinence-only-until-marriage push tell us, "Don't call me, tell your   
 people to talk to their friends and send letters to their papers." OK.   
                                                                          
                                                                          
 Then let's do that. One way to talk to your friends is to email your MAP 
 Advocate to two or three or four or five people who you think should     
 know about what's going on at the State Capitol. Another, is to send in  
 that letter to the editor.                                               
                                                                          
                                                                          
 Never done it before? Well, now is the time. Whatever paper you read -   
 Fargo Forum, Pioneer Press, City Pages, The Eastsider, Brainerd Daily    
 Dispatch - they need to hear from you. Click here for some pointers, to  
 find an e-mail address for your local paper, or to read a great example  
 of a submitted letter to the editor that was published.                  
                                                                          
                                                                          
 Read proposed abstinence-only-until-marriage legislation.                
                                                                          
                                                                          
 Get clicking!                                                            
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          
 Schools-The Next Line of Attack on GLBT Human Rights                     
                                                                          
 The Governor and conservative legislators are backing away from the bill 
 to repeal human rights protections based on sexual orientation           
 (HF341/SF545) as fast as they can. The terrific turnout for Outfront's   
 Action Day on March 6 only helped quicken the retreat.                   
                                                                          
                                                                          
 But, what the backers of this bill are telling us and the media now are  
 things like "we support human rights" and "that bill just goes way too   
 far." They are saying, "we're just concerned about pushing the           
 homosexual agenda and teaching homosexuality in the schools." Yup. The   
 line of attack on GLBT rights is shifting to the schools and the target  
 is to impose abstinence-only-until-marriage curriculum mandates on all   
 schools.                                                                 
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          
 Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Bills Start to Make the Rounds in the     
 Legislature                                                              
                                                                          
 The first hearing on an abstinence-only-until-marriage bill (HF580) will 
 be in the House Education Committee on Tuesday, March 11. Rep. Sondra    
 Erickson (R-Princeton) wants to look like a "reasonable compromise."     
 After all, all it does is change the state law requiring school          
 districts to provide HIV/STD education by suggesting that in addition to 
 providing comprehensive, technically accurate information, schools       
 districts "must provide curriculum on and instruction in abstinence      
 until marriage premised on risk avoidance."                              
                                                                          
                                                                          
 Never mind the fact that after over 20 years of federal funding for such 
 efforts, there is no credible, research-based evidence to show this      
 approach to sexual health education works. In a time when our public     
 dollars are precious and few, they are asking us to replace what works   
 with an ideology-based curriculum that does not. SF747 introduced by     
 Sen. Wergin (R-Princeton) does the same thing.                           
                                                                          
                                                                          
 Click here to read the bill, to find out who else is involved with       
 introducing them, and to find out what you can do.                       
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          
 A Better Way to Go; Sex Ed for Life "Abstinence Plus" Bills Introduced   
                                                                          
 Rep. Jim Davnie (DFL-Mpls) introduced HF765 that reinstates              
 comprehensive sexual health education as the standard for HIV/STD        
 prevention curriculum in schools. It requires abstinence-plus or a       
 "comprehensive, technically accurate, and updated curriculum that        
 includes, but is not limited to, helping students to abstain from sexual 
 activity."                                                               
                                                                          
                                                                          
 The bill has bi-partisan support and was introduced with 30 co-authors.  
 The companion bill will be introduced in the Senate by Sen. Mee Moua     
 (DFL-St Paul) on March 13. The Sex Ed for Life Coalition, co-convened by 
 MAP and MOAPPP (Minnesota Organization on Adolescent Pregnancy           
 Prevention and Parenting), is backing the Davnie/Moua bill.              
                                                                          
                                                                          
 A copy of the bill and more is available by clicking here.               
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          
 Bills Introduced to Support HIV/STD Training Sites Statewide             
                                                                          
 MAP will push again this year for continued funding for the statewide    
 network of regional training sites that help school districts implement  
 HIV/STD prevention policies, curriculum and programs.                    
                                                                          
                                                                          
 The request for $350,000 over the next two years (HF715) was introduced  
 in the House by Rep. Mindy Greiling (DFL-Roseville) and will be          
 introduced in the Senate on March 13 by Sen. Steve Kelley (DFL-Hopkins). 
 The regional training sites are located in Brainerd, Grand Rapids, Park  
 Rapids, Winona and Hopkins. They offer training and assistance to        
 surrounding school districts and have become integral partners in        
 providing HIV/STD general awareness and prevention services throughout   
 the state.                                                               
                                                                          
                                                                          
 A copy of the bill and more is available by clicking here.               
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          
 Reaching Employers, Employees and Families through Workplaces            
                                                                          
 Rep. Karen Clark (DFL-Mpls) and Sen. Scott Dibble (DFL-Mpls) introduced  
 bills (HF728 / SF690) to continue funding for HIV workplace education.   
                                                                          
                                                                          
 Started at the end of 2001, the bill will continue funding through the   
 Department of Economic Security (DES) at the level of $75,000 for two    
 more years. DES contracted with Minnesota AIDS Project to provide the    
 service.                                                                 
                                                                          
                                                                          
 MAP also secured assistance from the Centers for Disease Control and     
 Prevention and will be launching the new Wise @ Work service in April.   
 The service aims to reduce workplace discrimination and disruptions in   
 productive, and to reach families with general information about HIV     
 prevention and care.                                                     
                                                                          
                                                                          
 Contact Doug Flateau, MAP workplace services representative for more     
 information at [log in to unmask], 612-341-2060 or             
 800-248-2437.                                                            
                                                                          
                                                                          
 A copy of the bill and more is available by clicking here.               
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          
  Family Council Attacks MAP for Distributing "Pornographic" Materials    
                                                                          
  The Minnesota Family Council has made it a legislative priority to get  
  state funding for the Minnesota AIDS Project eliminated. This past      
  week, the group circulated a flyer to legislators charging MAP with     
  distributing a pornographic brochure that did not provide accurate      
  information about condoms or STDs.                                      
                                                                          
                                                                          
  The brochure is one of over three-dozen produced by ETR Associates -    
  one of the nation's most respected providers of health promotion        
  materials, and distributed by request to MAP's clients and through the  
  MAP AIDSLine. The brochure in question is called "5 Smart Steps to      
  Condoms." It is distributed to sexually active adults and specifically  
  addresses strategies for incorporating condom use into sexual patterns. 
  It doesn't address everything about HIV, STDs, abstinence, safer sex or 
  condom use that is part of the Family Council's basis for complaint. We 
  have other brochures to do that. This brochure addresses one thing and  
  only for certain people-those who are sexually active adults.           
                                                                          
                                                                          
  All materials distributed through services funded by the Minnesota      
  Department of Health, and the MAP AIDSLine is one of those services,    
  must be submitted to the state to be reviewed for accuracy and          
  appropriateness for the intended audience. This brochure went through   
  that process.                                                           
                                                                          
                                                                          
  Cutting to the chase, the Family Council's attack is yet another        
  example of misrepresenting the facts in an effort to replace what works 
  - scientific and research-based public health, with ideology-based      
  public health that has never been proven to work.                       
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          
  What About that Budget?                                                 
                                                                          
  Deborah Locke from the Pioneer Press has a take on the budget battle    
  that's worth looking at. Her opinion piece is called "Pawlenty Budget   
  Cuts Would Inflict Real Pain." Check it out.                            
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          
  Minors' Access to Health Services Threatened                            
                                                                          
  Rep. Tim Wilken [R-Eagan] and Sen. Sean Nienow [R-Princeton] are        
  sponsors of the bill to eliminate minors access to confidential health  
  services.                                                               
                                                                          
                                                                          
  HF352 and SF570 would essentially require frightened teens who might    
  want screening for HIV or STDs or have questions about pregnancy or     
  substance abuse to show up with a permission slip from their parents    
  before they can receive health care services. The bill prohibits        
  schools from providing any such services - i.e., no condoms available   
  through school-based health services - and repeals the state's minors'  
  consent law.                                                            
                                                                          
                                                                          
  It also prohibits minors who are mothers from consenting to health      
  services for themselves or their child without asking their parents -   
  unless they are married. According to the American Medical Association  
  (AMA), confidential health services for adolescents have become         
  increasingly important as the severity and prevalence of adolescent     
  health problems have increased over the past two decades.               
                                                                          
                                                                          
  The good news is, according to AMA's Council on Scientific Affairs,     
  most adolescents (55 percent) discuss their use of reproductive health  
  services with their parents, and a greater number of adolescents        
  involve their parents in the event of an unplanned pregnancy. The bad   
  news: AMA reported 25 percent of teens would not seek medical care if   
  it meant their parents finding out they are sexually active.            
                                                                          
                                                                          
  Click here to learn more and to read these bills.                       
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          
  We Have Archives, Too - Past Issues of the MAP Advocate                 
                                                                          
  Check the MAP Advocate archives for information about what happened     
  during the first two months of the 2003 legislative session. Click here 
  to get there!                                                           
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          
  MAP Advocate is published by the Minnesota AIDS Project every two weeks 
  while the Minnesota Legislature is in session, and monthly during the   
  rest of the year. It is available through the MAP Web site and through  
  e-mail list service. If you wish to order the MAP Advocate, visit our   
  Join the Action Network page, or contact MAP Public Policy by phone or  
  e-mail.                                                                 
                                                                          
                                                                          
  If you have a comment or wish to unsubscribe to the MAP Advocate e-mail 
  list service, please contact MAP Public Policy by phone or e-mail.      
                                                                          
                                                                          
  MAP Public Policy                                                       
  Minnesota AIDS Project                                                  
  1400 Park Avenue                                                        
  Minneapolis, MN 55404                                                   
  612-341-2060                                                            
  800-373-2437                                                            
  [log in to unmask]                                      
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          
                                                                          








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