MOAPPP May 2003 E-Monthly


MOAPPP E-Monthly Index

National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, May 7, 2003

The primary activity for the National Day is for teens to Take a fun, interactive, confidential, online quiz at www.teenpregnancy.org. Many of you are already planning your activities for this exciting event and we thank you for getting involved.

New Campaign Urges Teens and Adults to Talk Straight About Teen Pregnancy

The Minnesota Department of Health’s MN ENABL (Minnesota Education Now and Babies Later) program has launched a new education campaign to raise awareness about what teens and adults can do to prevent teen pregnancy. One of the goals of the campaign is to urge parents to talk straight with their children about the consequences and risks associated with sexual activity.

“We know that if children are taught early how to make healthy decisions and handle peer pressure, they’re more likely to avoid risky behavior when they’re older,” said Minnesota Commissioner of Health Dianne Mandernach. “We need to encourage teens and adults to talk straight with one another so we can prevent young people from making bad choices that can lead to a lifetime of challenges.”

Starting this week, teens will be getting the “Say Not Yet to Sex” message through a new series of ads airing on radio stations and in movie theaters. The ads feature teens using creative ways to say “not yet.” Through television and radio ads, the “Talk Straight, and I Will Listen” campaign encourages parents and other trusted adults to communicate with teens about this often-difficult topic.

Commissioner Mandernach applauded the grantees and other partners for coming together to prevent teen pregnancy. She specifically acknowledged several partners-including Hennepin County, the Saint Paul-Ramsey County Department of Public Health, and the Minnesota Organization on Adolescent Pregnancy, Prevention and Parenting (MOAPPP)-for joining forces with MN ENABL to pay for the “Talk Straight, and I Will Listen” ad campaign for adults.

“The additional funding provided through this partnership has allowed us to significantly increase our media reach, not just in the Twin Cities but throughout the state,” Mandernach said. “Working in unison, we will send a consistent message to Minnesota parents about the importance of talking straight with their children.”

www.SayNotYet.com. This Web site provides resources for teens and adults. Teens can go to the Web site for tips on how to say “not yet” to sex. Parents and other concerned adults can go to the Web site for tips, advice and resources for communicating with teens. Handout cards with the most important tips will be available in English, Spanish, Somali and Hmong.

Teens and adults are invited to go to www.SayNotYet.com on May 7 to test their knowledge about teen pregnancy.

House and Senate Concurrent Resolutions Introduced in Support of the National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy

To show support for the National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, Senators Joe Lieberman (D-CT) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Representatives Mike Castle (R-DE) and Nita Lowey (D-NY), have introduced Senate Concurrent Resolution 18 and House Concurrent Resolution 91. Both resolutions highlight teen pregnancy as a critical issue facing American teens, children, and taxpayers. Both resolutions call on the nation to work to prevent teen pregnancy by encouraging teens to view adolescence as a time for education and growing-up and by focusing on the consequences of early sexual activity. The Senate resolution also calls on the President to issue a proclamation designating May 7, 2003 as National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. For more information, please go to: www.teenpregnancy.org.

Legislative Update

The House and Senate have finished work on major budget bills. The Omnibus bills approved by the House and Senate will now go to conference committees to work out the differences. And there are major differences. This is another opportunity to participate in the process, with calls to conference committee members. Here are some of the major issues MOAPPP and Sex Ed for Life are tracking.

House Acts to Limit Minors Consent; Senate Says No
Under a provision introduced by Mary Ellen Otremba (DFL- Long Prairie), the Minnesota House approved an amendment to the health and human services bill that eliminated minors’ access to confidential health care. Providers would still be able to provide treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy, and alcohol and drug abuse on the consent of a patient who is a minor, but cannot extend confidentiality to the treatment. A minor’s parent would have access to the medical records. Sen. Sean Nienow [R – Cambridge] introduced a similar amendment in the Senate. It was defeated with the leadership of Sen. Becky Lourey [DFL – Kerrick] and Sen. Sheila Kiscaden [I – Rochester].

House Approves Abstinence-only Curriculum Mandate; Senate Says No
The Minnesota House approved the E-12 education finance bill which included an abstinence-until-marriage curriculum mandate for all school districts. In addition to offering a comprehensive sexual health curriculum to teach about HIV and STD prevention, schools will also have to offer courses or teach health ed sections based on an abstinence-until-marriage curriculum. The bill contains no additional funding for schools to implement this costly new mandate. Throughout the process Sex Ed for Life-MN advocates of comprehensive sexual health education raised their voices to protest the cost of this mandate, along with the fact that this curriculum has never been shown to be effective in delaying sexual activity or reducing HIV, STIs or unplanned pregnancies. The Senate bill includes Sex Ed for Life-backed language that supports comprehensive sexual health education. This is sure to be an issue in conference committee and advocates will once again be needed to contact legislators and encourage them to do the right thing for young people in Minnesota.

Reproductive Health Funds Available

The Anna Lalor Burdick Program will award a small number of grants to fund reproductive education projects that include attention to contraception and pregnancy termination. The project must focus on young women, including young mothers and preteens. Funding interests include grassroots efforts, collaborative efforts, outreach, and innovative initiatives. The grants will range from $10,000 to $50,000 for one year only. Concept paper deadline: May 15, 2003. For more info, visit www.lalorfound.org/tlfalbpguide.html or call Pamela Desrosiers at GMA at (617) 426-7172 ext. 314 or e-mail her at .

A Special Look at “What Works”

Child Trends, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization, recently released a report that offers information on “what works” (and what doesn’t work) to improve the lives of our nation’s youth. The publication covers seven topic areas, from preventing teen pregnancy to encouraging civic engagement. Each topic area includes a research review and a table that graphically depicts the programs and approaches that are most (and least) likely to succeed in positive adolescent development. For more information, visit www.childtrends.org.

Website of the Month

ReCAPP provides practical tools and information to effectively reduce sexual risk-taking behaviors. Teachers and Health Educators will find up-to-date, evaluated programming materials to help with their work with teens. www.etr.org/recapp/about.htm.


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