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Florida State Profile Fiscal Year 2008

The Department of Health and community-based organizations in Florida received $13,101,054 in federal funds for abstinence-only-until-marriage programs in Fiscal Year 2008.[1]

(Click Here to View a PDF Version of this Profile)

 
Florida Sexuality Education Law and Policy
Previous Florida law required students to complete one-half credit in “Life Management Skills” in order to graduate high school. These courses were required to include instruction in the prevention of HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), family life, the benefits of sexual abstinence, and the consequences of teen pregnancy. Effective for the 2007-08 school year, students entering high school were no longer required to receive health education as a graduation requirement. School districts now have the option to require students to take one-half credit in Physical Education and one-half credit in Personal Fitness, or to complete a one credit course titled, “Health Opportunities through Physical Education” (HOPE), which integrates personal fitness and life management skills. The content of the course includes fitness and health concepts as well as instruction on disease prevention, including HIV/AIDS and other STDs. In addition, state policy still reads that “course requirements for HIV/AIDS and human sexuality education shall not interfere with the local determination of appropriate curriculum which reflects local values and concerns.”
School boards may decide to allow additional instruction regarding HIV/AIDS. Such instruction may include information about “means used to control the spread of acquired immune deficiency syndrome.” All instruction and course material must:
 
·        teach abstinence from sexual activity outside of marriage as the expected standard for all school-age students while teaching the benefits of monogamous heterosexual marriage;
·        emphasize that abstinence from sexual activity is a certain way to avoid out-of-wedlock pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, including acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), and other associated health problems;
·        teach that each student has the power to control personal behavior and encourage students to base actions on reasoning, self-esteem, and respect for others; and
·        provide instruction and material that is appropriate for the grade and age of the student.
 
Florida standards, titled Sunshine State Standards for Health and Physical Fitness, do not mention instruction in HIV/AIDS, STDs, or sexuality education.
As with the previously required course, parents may submit a written request to the school principal to exempt their child from HIV/AIDS instruction within HOPE or any other sexuality education and/or STD/HIV education classes. This is referred to as an “opt-out” policy.
 
See Florida Statute, Title XLVIII, Chapter 1003, Section 42, 43, and 46.
 
 Recent Legislation
Florida Healthy Teens Act Introduced
Senate Bill 220, also known as the Florida Healthy Teens Act, was pre-filed for the 2009 legislative session in December 2008. An identical bill, House Bill 265, was also pre-filed in December. These bills would require that schools providing health instruction on human sexuality, pregnancy and/or STDs, including HIV/AIDS, teach comprehensive, medically accurate, factual, and age-appropriate information. The instruction would emphasize that abstinence is the only certain way to prevent unintended pregnancy and STDs and provide information on the benefits and possible side effects of contraceptives. The bill was sent to the Senate Committee on Education Pre-K through 12, the Committee on Children, Families, and Elder Affairs, the Committee on Health Regulation, and the Education Pre-K through 12 Appropriations Committee.
 
Bill to Amend Human Sexuality Education Policy
Senate Bill 268, pre-filed in December 2008 for the 2009 legislative session, would amend state law to remove the requirement that instruction on human sexuality teach “abstinence from sexual activity outside of marriage as the expected standard for all school-age students while teaching the benefits of monogamous heterosexual marriage.” The bill was sent to the Senate Education Pre-K through 12 and the Health Regulation Committees.
 
Bill Called for Amending the Florida Civil Rights Act
House Bill 639 would have amended the Florida Civil Rights Act to include the unlawful discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. The bill was sent to the House Policy and Budget Council, and died in May 2007.
 
Bill to Require HPV Information and Vaccination for Middle School Students
House Bill 561, introduced in January 2007, would have required public and private middle schools in the state to provide students ages 11 and 12 and their parents or guardians with information about human papillomavirus (HPV), the HPV vaccine, and the link between HPV and cervical cancer. It would have prohibited some students from admission into school without providing evidence of vaccination. The bill was sent to the House Schools and Learning Council, and died in May 2007.
 
Legislation to Require Funding for AIDS Education in Public Schools
Senate Bill 2248, introduced in March 2007 and referred to the Committees on Education Pre-K-12, Health Policy, and Education Pre-K-12 Appropriations, would have required the Department of Education to fund AIDS education activities in public schools. The funding would have been appropriated by the legislature to the department of education. The bill died.
 
Prevention First Act Introduced
In February 2007, House Bill 1191 and Senate Bill 1156 were introduced in the Florida State Legislature to create the Prevention First Act. The Prevention First Act had three main purposes. This first was to require the secretary of health to include information on family planning and referrals to family planning clinics on the department of health’s website in order to assist women and families in preventing unintended pregnancies. The second purpose of the package was to require the department of education to develop a plan to provide comprehensive family life and sexuality education no later than the 2010–2011 school year. Such comprehensive family life and sexuality education would have been required to be medically accurate and age-appropriate, and to promote responsible behaviors, including abstinence. The third purpose of the package was to require healthcare practitioners to prescribe or provide rape survivors with emergency contraception (EC) if it was medically appropriate and they had obtained the consent of the rape survivor. House Bill 1191 was referred to the Committee on Health Quality by the Healthcare Council, while SB 1156 was referred to the Committees on Health Policy, Education Pre-K-12, Education Pre-K-12 Appropriations, and Health and Human Services Appropriations. Both bills died.
      The same legislation had been introduced in 2006.
 
Parental Right to Know Act Introduced
House Bill 663 and Senate Bill 162 would have required the principal of any school that receives abstinence-only-until-marriage funding or provides such programming to students in grades six through 12 to send a notice home to parents of affected students. This notice would inform parents that their child is participating in an abstinence-only-until-marriage program and that the program will not teach about methods for preventing unintended pregnancy and the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS, other than abstinence. It would have also told parents that they have the right to remove their child from such instruction. The bill also provided remedies for parents who believed they did not receive the proper notification. House Bill 663 was introduced in January 2007 and SB 162 was pre-filed in December 2006; in January 2007, the bills were referred to their respective Committees on Pre-K through 12 Education, the Committees on Health Policy, the Judiciary Committees, and the Education Appropriations Committees. Both bills died.
 
 
Florida’s Youth: Statistical Information of Note[2]
·        In 2007, 45% of female high school students and 54% of male high school students in Florida reported ever having had sexual intercourse compared to 46% of female high school students and 50% of male high school students nationwide.
 
·        In 2007, 4% of female high school students and 13% of male high school students in Florida reported having had sexual intercourse before age 13 compared to 4% of female high school students and 10% of male high school students nationwide.
·
·        In 2007, 12% of female high school students and 21% of male high school students in Florida reported having had four or more lifetime sexual partners compared to 12% of female high school students and 18% of male high school students nationwide.
 
·        In 2007, 35% of female high school students and 38% of male high school students in Florida reported being currently sexually active (defined as having had sexual intercourse in the three months prior to the survey) compared to 36% of female high school students and 34% of male high school students nationwide.
 
·        In 2007, among those high school students who reported being currently sexually active, 59% of females and 73% of males in Florida reported having used condoms the last time they had sexual intercourse compared to 55% of females and 69% of males nationwide.
 
·        In 2007, among those high school students who reported being currently sexually active, 20% of females and 11% of males in Florida reported having used birth control pills the last time they had sexual intercourse compared to 19% of females and 13% of males nationwide.
 
·        In 2007, among those high school students who reported being currently sexually active, 18% of females and 26% of males in Florida reported having used alcohol or drugs the last time they had sexual intercourse compared to 18% of females and 28% of males nationwide.
 
·        In 2007, 88% of high school students in Florida reported having been taught about AIDS/HIV in school compared to 90% of high school students nationwide.
 
Broward County, Florida
·        In 2007, 44% of female high school students and 56% of male high school students in Broward County, Florida reported ever having had sexual intercourse compared to 46% of female high school students and 50% of male high school students nationwide.
 
·        In 2007, 4% of female high school students and 14% of male high school students in Broward County, Florida reported having had sexual intercourse before age 13 compared to 4% of female high school students and 10% of male high school students nationwide.
·
·        In 2007, 10% of female high school students and 23% of male high school students in Broward County, Florida reported having had four or more lifetime sexual partners compared to 12% of female high school students and 18% of male high school students nationwide.
 
·        In 2007, 31% of female high school students and 38% of male high school students in Broward County, Florida reported being currently sexually active (defined as having had sexual intercourse in the three months prior to the survey) compared to 36% of female high school students and 34% of male high school students nationwide.
 
·        In 2007, among those high school students who reported being currently sexually active, 65% of females and 77% of males in Broward County, Florida reported having used condoms the last time they had sexual intercourse compared to 55% of females and 69% of males nationwide.
 
·        In 2007, among those high school students who reported being currently sexually active, 12% of females and 6% of males in Broward County, Florida reported having used birth control pills the last time they had sexual intercourse compared to 19% of females and 13% of males nationwide.
 
·        In 2007, among those high school students who reported being currently sexually active, 14% of females and 24% of males in Broward County, Florida reported having used alcohol or drugs the last time they had sexual intercourse compared to 18% of females and 28% of males nationwide.
 
·        In 2007, 89% of high school students in Broward County, Florida reported having been taught about AIDS/HIV in school compared to 88% of high school students nationwide.
 
 
 
Hillsborough County, Florida
·        In 2007, 45% of female high school students and 55% of male high school students in Hillsborough County, Florida reported ever having had sexual intercourse compared to 46% of female high school students and 50% of male high school students nationwide.
 
·        In 2007, 5% of female high school students and 10% of male high school students in Hillsborough County, Florida reported having had sexual intercourse before age 13 compared to 4% of female high school students and 10% of male high school students nationwide.
·
·        In 2007, 12% of female high school students and 19% of male high school students in Hillsborough County, Florida reported having had four or more lifetime sexual partners compared to 12% of female high school students and 18% of male high school students nationwide.
 
·        In 2007, 38% of female high school students and 36% of male high school students in Hillsborough County, Florida reported being currently sexually active (defined as having had sexual intercourse in the three months prior to the survey) compared to 36% of female high school students and 34% of male high school students nationwide.
 
·        In 2007, among those high school students who reported being currently sexually active, 52% of females and 67% of males in Hillsborough County, Florida reported having used condoms the last time they had sexual intercourse compared to 55% of females and 69% of males nationwide.
 
·        In 2007, among those high school students who reported being currently sexually active, 18% of females and 5% of males in Hillsborough County, Florida reported having used birth control pills the last time they had sexual intercourse compared to 19% of females and 13% of males nationwide.
 
·        In 2007, among those high school students who reported being currently sexually active, 17% of females and 26% of males in Hillsborough County, Florida reported having used alcohol or drugs the last time they had sexual intercourse compared to 18% of females and 28% of males nationwide.
 
·        In 2007, 92% of high school students in Hillsborough County, Florida reported having been taught about AIDS/HIV in school compared to 88% of high school students nationwide.
 
Miami-Dade County, Florida
·        In 2007, 44% of female high school students and 58% of male high school students in Miami-Dade County, Florida reported ever having had sexual intercourse compared to 46% of female high school students and 50% of male high school students nationwide.
 
·        In 2007, 3% of female high school students and 17% of male high school students in Miami-Dade County, Florida reported having had sexual intercourse before age 13 compared to 4% of female high school students and 10% of male high school students nationwide.
·
·        In 2007, 8% of female high school students and 25% of male high school students in Miami-Dade County, Florida reported having had four or more lifetime sexual partners compared to 12% of female high school students and 18% of male high school students nationwide.
 
·        In 2007, 35% of female high school students and 40% of male high school students in Miami-Dade County, Florida reported being currently sexually active (defined as having had sexual intercourse in the three months prior to the survey) compared to 36% of female high school students and 34% of male high school students nationwide.
 
·        In 2007, among those high school students who reported being currently sexually active, 61% of females and 80% of males in Miami-Dade County, Florida reported having used condoms the last time they had sexual intercourse compared to 55% of females and 69% of males nationwide.
 
·        In 2007, among those high school students who reported being currently sexually active, 7% of females and 6% of males in Miami-Dade County, Florida reported having used birth control pills the last time they had sexual intercourse compared to 19% of females and 13% of males nationwide.
 
·        In 2007, among those high school students who reported being currently sexually active, 16% of females and 24% of males in Miami-Dade County, Florida reported having used alcohol or drugs the last time they had sexual intercourse compared to 18% of females and 28% of males nationwide.
 
·        In 2007, 86% of high school students in Miami-Dade County, Florida reported having been taught about AIDS/HIV in school compared to 90% of high school students nationwide.
 
Orange County, Florida
·        In 2007, 44% of female high school students and 50% of male high school students in Orange County, Florida reported ever having had sexual intercourse compared to 46% of female high school students and 50% of male high school students nationwide.
 
·        In 2007, 4% of female high school students and 12% of male high school students in Orange County, Florida reported having had sexual intercourse before age 13 compared to 4% of female high school students and 10% of male high school students nationwide.
·
·        In 2007, 10% of female high school students and 17% of male high school students in Orange County, Florida reported having had four or more lifetime sexual partners compared to 12% of female high school students and 18% of male high school students nationwide.
 
·        In 2007, 34% of female high school students and 31% of male high school students in Orange County, Florida reported being currently sexually active (defined as having had sexual intercourse in the three months prior to the survey) compared to 36% of female high school students and 34% of male high school students nationwide.
·        In 2007, among those high school students who reported being currently sexually active, 60% of females and 75% of males in Orange County, Florida reported having used condoms the last time they had sexual intercourse compared to 55% of females and 69% of males nationwide.
 
·        In 2007, among those high school students who reported being currently sexually active, 15% of females and 9% of males in Orange County, Florida reported having used birth control pills the last time they had sexual intercourse compared to 19% of females and 13% of males nationwide.
 
·        In 2007, among those high school students who reported being currently sexually active, 17% of females and 19% of males in Orange County, Florida reported having used alcohol or drugs the last time they had sexual intercourse compared to 18% of females and 28% of males nationwide.
 
·        In 2007, 89% of high school students in Orange County, Florida reported having been taught about AIDS/HIV in school compared to 90% of high school students nationwide.
 
Palm Beach County, Florida
·        In 2007, 45% of female high school students and 51% of male high school students in Palm Beach County, Florida reported ever having had sexual intercourse compared to 46% of female high school students and 50% of male high school students nationwide.
 
·        In 2007, 2% of female high school students and 11% of male high school students in Palm Beach County, Florida reported having had sexual intercourse before age 13 compared to 4% of female high school students and 10% of male high school students nationwide.
·
·        In 2007, 8% of female high school students and 21% of male high school students in Palm Beach County, Florida reported having had four or more lifetime sexual partners compared to 12% of female high school students and 18% of male high school students nationwide.
 
·        In 2007, 36% of female high school students and 35% of male high school students in Palm Beach County, Florida reported being currently sexually active (defined as having had sexual intercourse in the three months prior to the survey) compared to 36% of female high school students and 34% of male high school students nationwide.
 
·        In 2007, among those high school students who reported being currently sexually active, 66% of females and 71% of males in Palm Beach County, Florida reported having used condoms the last time they had sexual intercourse compared to 55% of females and 69% of males nationwide.
 
·        In 2007, among those high school students who reported being currently sexually active, 19% of females and 10% of males in Palm Beach County, Florida reported having used birth control pills the last time they had sexual intercourse compared to 19% of females and 13% of males nationwide.
 
·        In 2007, among those high school students who reported being currently sexually active, 22% of females and 30% of males in Palm Beach County, Florida reported having used alcohol or drugs the last time they had sexual intercourse compared to 18% of females and 28% of males nationwide.
 
·        In 2007, 86% of high school students in Palm Beach County, Florida reported having been taught about AIDS/HIV in school compared to 90% of high school students nationwide.
 
 
Title V Abstinence-Only-Until Marriage Funding
·        Florida received $2,521,581 in federal Title V abstinence-only-until-marriage funding in Fiscal Year 2008.
·        The Title V abstinence-only-until marriage grant requires states to provide three state-raised dollars or the equivalent in services for every four federal dollars received. The state match may be provided in part or in full by local groups.
·        In Florida, the sub-grantees contribute to the match.
·        The Florida Department of Health distributes both federal and state funds to sub-grantees. There are 18 Title V abstinence-only-until-marriage sub-grantees in the state: one private school, one community health system, one county health department, and 14 community-based organizations (including 11 faith-based organizations).    
 
Statewide Media Campaign: “It’s Great to Wait”
The Florida Department of Health uses a portion of the state funds to support statewide community outreach events and Florida’s public media campaign, “It’s Great to Wait,” that includes bilingual television and radio broadcasts targeting teens, specifically Latino teens, and parents. The campaign also has a website for youth and parents. Much of the website’s information focuses on negative consequences of having sex in an effort to convince teens to remain abstinent until marriage. On the website’s homepage, visitors can click on the names of different teens to see their photo and what they have to say about abstinence. One teen says, “Dealing with saying “No” is much easier than dealing with an STD or baby.” Another says, “Hanging out with friends, listening to music or reading a magazine will always beat changing a baby’s diaper.” Another message also promotes marriage by stating, “I just haven’t found the person I’m going to marry yet, so what’s the point?”[3]
 
SIECUS has compiled some examples of the use of federal Title V abstinence-only-until-marriage funding in Florida:
 
Abstinence Between Strong Teens International, Inc., $60,000 (2008) Abstinence Between Strong Teens is a non-profit organization that provides abstinence-only-until-marriage programs to youth in Miami-Dade County, Florida. The organization works to “increase the awareness of the dangers associated when having sex outside of marriage and how choosing a sex-free lifestyle can result in a successful lifestyle!” Founded in 1992, the organization claims to have reached more than 100,000 adolescents over the past 15 years and that it currently has more than 30,000 participants in its abstinence-only-until-marriage programs. [4]  These programs service adolescents in schools, church youth groups, low income housing projects, interest groups, and sororities and fraternities. In Fiscal Year 2006, 87 percent of the organization’s budget came from abstinence-only-until-marriage dollars. [5]
      The organization provides abstinence-only-until-marriage programs in schools; runs an abstinence mentoring program for male adolescents called Boys 2 Men; operates a performing arts abstinence program; conducts a parent empowerment program; and sponsors abstinence clubs in the Dade County Public School System. The purpose of the abstinence clubs is to “offer continuing education towards the prevention of STD’s, unwanted pregnancy and the mental, physical and social dangers of practicing sex before marriage.”[6]
      Abstinence Between Strong Teens uses Choosing the Best curricula. The Choosing the Best series is one of the more popular abstinence-only-until-marriage programs in the country. The series is comprised of a number of curricula for students from sixth grade through high school: Choosing the Best WAY, Choosing the Best PATH, Choosing the Best LIFE, Choosing the Best JOURNEY, and Choosing the Best SOULMATE. The series has been recently revised and the information about STDs is now medically accurate. However, Choosing the Best curricula continue to promote heterosexual marriage, rely on messages of fear and shame, and include biases about gender, sexual orientation, and pregnancy options. For example, Choosing the Best PATH asks students to brainstorm the “emotional consequences” of premarital sex. Suggested answers include “guilt, feeling scared, ruined relationships, broken emotional bonds.”[7] 
      Abstinence Between Strong Teens is affiliated with the Abstinence Clearinghouse. As an affiliate of the Abstinence Clearinghouse, Abstinence Between Strong Teens has access to a network of nearly 70 abstinence-only-until-marriage organizations. Affiliates gain access to resources, including abstinence-only-until-marriage curricula and invitations to the Abstinence Clearinghouse conference self-titled as the “most prestigious abstinence-until-marriage event of the year.” [8] The founder of the Abstinence Clearinghouse is Leslee Unruh, one of the industry’s leaders, who began her career working in a South Dakota crisis pregnancy center and has deep ties to the anti-choice movement. 
 
Alms of Bethel Community Development, Inc., $60,000 (2008)
Alms of Bethel Community Development, Inc. is the non-profit branch of the Bethel of Mt. Sinai Holy Church in Mayo, Florida. The organization aims “to promote the holistic development of children, youth and families by providing support services to meet their physical, nutritional, mental, spiritual, social and educational needs.”[9] The Alms of Bethel abstinence-only-until-marriage program, called “Virtue to Valor,” serves youth involved in the organization’s after-school program. It focuses on providing prevention services to young people ages 12–14 and intervention services to youth ages 15–19 in rural Lafayette County.
      Virtue to Valor uses the ASPIRE: Live your life. Be free. abstinence-only-until-marriage curriculum. ASPIRE is based on one set of values and opinions—that marriage should be everyone’s ultimate goal and that sex outside of marriage is wrong—which it tries to pass off as universally held truths. In an effort to convince students that these opinions are facts, the curriculum provides incomplete and biased information, promotes fear and shame, and undermines young people’s confidence in their own decision-making abilities. For example, students are asked which life decision—college, career, or marriage—will have the most impact on their life. The answer is marriage because “College is for a few years, and you may have a number of careers. But marriage is for life.”[10]
 
Catholic Charities, Diocese of Palm Beach, Inc., $60,000 (2008)
Catholic Charities, Diocese of Palm Beach runs the “AIM for the Best” abstinence-only-until-marriage program for adolescents ages 12–19. The program reaches youth in five counties and primarily targets African-American, Latino, and Haitian adolescents. Catholic Charities provides the program to young people in schools, after-school settings, the juvenile justice system, a Catholic drug and rehabilitation center, and colleges and universities. The organization uses A.C. Green’s Game for middle school students and the Navigator for high school students. In Fiscal Year 2006, 35 percent of the organization’s budget came from Title V abstinence-only-until-marriage dollars.[11] 
      SIECUS reviewed Game Plan and found that in order to convince students to remain abstinent until marriage, the curriculumrelies on messages of fear and shame, inaccurate and misleading information, and biased views of marriage, sexual orientation, and family structure. In addition, Game Plan fails to provide important information on sexual health including how students can seek testing and treatment if they suspect they may have an STD. Finally, the format and underlying biases of the curriculum do not allow for cultural, community, and individual values, and discourage critical thinking and discussions of alternate points of view in the classroom. For example, Game Plan compares sex to fire and says: “In a fireplace, fire is beautiful and gives warmth to a home. Outside of the fireplace, it can cause serious harm. What about sex? In a marriage relationship, sex can be beautiful. Outside of marriage, it can cause serious harm.”[12] 
      SIECUS’ review of Navigator found that it relies on messages of fear and shame, inaccurate and misleading information, and biased views of marriage, sexual orientation, and pregnancy options. Navigator fails to provide important information on sexual health and the format and underlying biases of the curriculum dictate specific values and discourage critical thinking. For example, the authors explain: “Navigator does not promote the use of contraceptives for teens. No contraceptive device is guaranteed to prevent pregnancy. Besides, students who do not exercise self-control to remain abstinent are not likely to exercise self-control in the use of a contraceptive device.”[13]
      Catholic Charities of Palm Beach works collaboratively with two crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs), Care Net Pregnancy Services in Saint Lucie County and Care Net Pregnancy Center of Indian River to provide abstinence-only-until-marriage programs to youth. [14]  (See the CBAE and AFLA section for more information on crisis pregnancy centers.)
 
The W.A.Y (Winning America’s Youth) Ministries of Tallahassee, Inc., $48,000 (2008)
The W.A.Y Ministries of Tallahassee is a faith-based organization that is “dedicated to meeting the total needs of youth and their families through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”[15] The organization is directed by the Reverend Ernie Sims Jr. and his wife Alice Sims, who are also the project director and coordinator of the abstinence-only-until-marriage program. The W.A.Y Ministries of Tallahassee is a small organization that operates one other central program for youth, the Capital City Christian Cruisers (CCCC) Track and Field Club.
The organization’s abstinence-only-until-marriage program, the “AIDS (Abstain from Intoxicants, Drugs and Sex) Program,” targets African-American youth, ages 11–18, living on the Southside of Tallahassee in low-income neighborhoods. The abstinence-only-until-marriage program is delivered in an after-school setting and specifically targets adolescent males. The curricula used in the program are Responsible Social Values (RSVP) and Game Plan.
 
 
Community-Based Abstinence Education (CBAE) and Adolescent Family Life Act (AFLA) Grantees
·        There are 15 CBAE grantees in Florida: one health clinic, two health departments, three crisis pregnancy centers, four community-based organizations, and five faith-based organizations.
·        There is one AFLA grantee in Florida: Switchboard of Miami, which is also a CBAE grantee.
 
SIECUS has compiled some examples of the use of CBAE and AFLA funding in Florida:
 
First Care Family Resources, Inc., $600,000 (CBAE 2008–2013)
First Care Family Resources, Inc. operates six crisis pregnancy centers in Florida, including centers in Belle Glade, Boca Raton, Lantana, and Tequesta, and two centers in West Palm Beach. Crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) typically advertise as providing medical services to women facing unintended pregnancies but use anti-abortion propaganda, misinformation, and fear and shame tactics to dissuade women from exercising their right to choose. In Fiscal Year 2007, 33 percent of the organization’s budget came from CBAE dollars.[16]
      First Care’s crisis pregnancy centers offer all of their services free of charge. They provide pregnancy tests and limited sonograms, post-abortion services, Life Enrichment and Parenting Preparation classes (LEAPP), maternity and infant items, referrals for medical and community services, and educational information on parenting, adoption, abortion, fetal development, pregnancy, and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).[17]
 
Live the Life Ministries, Inc., $599,870 (CBAE 2008–2013)
Live the Life Ministries, Inc. is a Christian organization that promotes programs to strengthen marriages and families based on the premise that “the breakdown of the American family is the central problem of our time.” In its mission statement the organization states its belief that “Jesus Christ offers the only real hope to a nation that has lost its way. As the One who transforms lives, Christ reconnects us to the Source of life itself. He is the oasis that restores wholeness to broken people, quenches the thirst of a generation lost in a moral and cultural desert, and animates a bleak world.”[18] The organization partners with churches, businesses, and community leaders to provide outreach services in Tallahassee, Florida. The organization’s first CBAE grant increased its overall budget by 42 percent.[19]  
      The organization’s abstinence-only-until-marriage program uses the WAIT (Why Am I Tempted?) Training, a popular abstinence-only-until-marriage curriculum, and contracts with local area schools and youth organizations to deliver the program to youth. In advertising its WAIT Training program on the website, the organization asks, “Where do our kids get the self control skills necessary to counter-act a culture that is teaching them shortcuts to failure? We can help!”[20]
SIECUS reviewed WAIT Training and found that it contained little medical or biological information and almost no information about STDs, including HIV/AIDS. Instead, it contains information and statistics about marriage, many of which are outdated and not supported by scientific research. It also contains messages of fear and shame and biased views of gender, sexual orientation, and family type. For example, WAIT Training explains, “men sexually are like microwaves and women sexually are like crockpots….A woman is stimulated more by touch and romantic words. She is far more attracted by a man’s personality while a man is stimulated by sight. A man is usually less discriminating about those to whom he is physically attracted.”[21]
      The organization’s website also provides “culture facts” to promote its abstinence-only-until-marriage program. One statistic provided from a study conducted by Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation states that, “Students who learn and exercise self control with sexual abstinence are 60% less likely to be expelled from school, 50% less likely to drop out of school and twice as likely to graduate from college.” The statistic, however, provides no information on the effectiveness of abstinence programs in delaying premarital sex. Another “culture fact” states that “Girls who experimented with sex or drugs were two to three times more likely to become depressed: those with multiple sex partners were 10 times more likely than their peers to become depressed.”[22]
Founded in 1973, The Heritage Foundation is a research and educational institute— a think tank—whose mission is to “formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense.”[23] The Heritage Foundation frequently produces research that attempts to link premarital sexual activity and out-of-wedlock childbearing to a host of social and emotional problems including suicide and poverty. This research is not subject to peer review.
 
  
Pregnancy Center of Pinellas County, $600,000 (CBAE 2006–2011)
The Pregnancy Center of Pinellas County, formerly the Pinellas Crisis Pregnancy Center, runs three crisis pregnancy centers in the Tampa Bay metro area. Its services include free pregnancy tests and pregnancy information, STD testing, early ultrasounds, pregnancy services, and information on abortion procedures and risks. The organization’s first CBAE grant increased its overall budget by 43 percent.[24]
The center’s website provides biased information on abortion and a definition of abortion that casts moral judgment on women who may be considering the choice. “An abortion ends the life of a little person growing inside of you,” the website states. “This person is your child. You are a mother whether you carry the child to term or abort it…Will ending the life of your child be a decision you can live with for the rest of your life?”[25] Further information provided on abortion states that Florida law makes abortion legal throughout all nine months of a pregnancy; however the website warns women that, “Not everything that is legal though, is moral.”[26]   
      The Pregnancy Center of Pinellas County runs the “More 2 Life” abstinence-only-until-marriage program, which reaches sixth through 12th grade students in public and private schools, church youth groups, and community centers. More 2 Life currently operates in eight public high schools, 16 public middle schools, seven private schools, many with religious affiliations, two church youth groups, and 12 community centers. The abstinence-only-until-marriage program offers two-day classes to middle school students and three-day classes to high school students. The More 2 Life website features two commercials, titled “Sex Changes Things” and “Sex Takes Things Away,” that use humor to provide young people with negative messages about sex. For example, in “Sex Takes Things Away” an actor representing “sex” attacks a male youth and steals his skateboard.[27]
      More 2 Life also partners with Impact which is operated by A Woman’s Place, a crisis pregnancy center in Tampa, Florida. Together the two organizations sponsor the RedLetterRebel campaign which promotes teen abstinence from premarital sex, illegal drugs, alcohol, and tobacco. The RedLetterRebel campaign encourages teens to “rebel” against the social norm of sexual promiscuity by practicing chastity. The campaign sells t-shirts and hoodies featuring the letter “A” or the word “Rebel” in red ink to signify the choice of abstinence. In an effort to appeal to youth, the campaign likens the abstinence “rebellion” to historical rebellions for freedom and democracy that challenged social norms. For example, the RedLetterRebel website features a photograph of a memorial honoring the first child killed during a 1976 student uprising in Soweto, South Africa where students protested the imposition of Afrikaan education in black township schools. The abstinence campaign asserts that “voluntarily choosing to save sex for marriage is a choice of freedom…It provides freedom from physical, mental, emotional and social consequences that can come from sexual activity outside of marriage.”[28]
 
A Woman’s Place Ministries, Inc., $782,992 (CBAE 2005–2008) and $600,000 (CBAE 2008–2013)
A Woman’s Place is a crisis pregnancy center that offers “pregnancy support” and “post-abortion healing services” to women. The organization operates a healthy relationships service program for teens called Impact that promotes abstinence from premarital sex, illegal drugs, alcohol, and tobacco. Impact’s abstinence-only-until-marriage program uses the WAIT (Why am I Tempted?) Training curriculum in 30 high schools.  
      In addition, Impact has partnered with Carlos “Los-1” Ramirez II, a Latino hip-hop artist, to promote its abstinence-only-until-marriage program. Los-1 is the lead instructor for the WAIT Training abstinence-only-until-marriage program and has developed the Los-1 Life Skills Curriculum. The curriculum features hip hop music in an effort to provide a modern approach to teaching students abstinence-only-until-marriage. A description of the curriculum states that “Los uses this music to bring a message of character and self-worth to an age that’s breeding sexual confusion among teens worldwide.”[29] Each lesson features a song that teaches youth the value of abstinence. Students answer questions and engage in group discussions based on the lyrics presented in the song. Questions from the curriculum ask, “Which STD was described in the verse? Where did Little Johnny go wrong? Where did his date go wrong?”[30] Despite the new approach of using hip hop music, the curriculum relies on traditional tactics of providing students with fear and shame-based messages and discouraging condom use. For example, Los-1 Life Skills curriculum features the song “Be Easy:”
 
Little Johnny’s smart so he wraps it up
Saw the commercial on tv and he wised up
Put his life in the hands of a condom
Hit that thing and now he has Syphilis
The rubber didn’t cover everything
One part of his anatomy’s still showing
That’s the part that rubbed up against her
While they made it happen under the covers
She had a disease
Asymptomatic it had to be she thought she was clean
She didn’t feel, look, or act different
So they turned off the lights and went the distance
It wasn’t showing on her body, instead
It was alive glowing inside her flesh
Multiplying at a patient pace
Just like an std not showing it’s [sic] face
This std doesn’t always show up
Anyone could have it for weeks and not know it
The bottom line is syphilis is dangerous
Though curable with antibiotics
It can do damage cause paralysis
Eat away your flesh and bones if you don’t catch it
Am I talking to fast
Read cdc.com for facts[31]
 
The information in these lyrics is inaccurate and misleading. In fact, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that “correct and consistent use of latex condoms can reduce the risk of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) including discharge and genital ulcers disease [like syphilis].”[32]
Impact also runs a Teen Advisors (TA) program that brings together high school students in Hillsborough County who have committed to lead a “healthy lifestyle.” Teens must sign the TA Honor Code in order to participate in the program. Teen Advisors sponsors retreats and social events for its members called huddles which are commonly held as after-school programs. Teen Advisors serves as a support and accountability group for youth who have chosen abstinence.
 
 
 
Federal and State Funding for Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Programs in FY 2008

Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Grantee
Length of Grant
Amount of Grant
Type of Grant (includes Title V, CBAE, AFLA, and other funds)
Florida Department of Health
 
 
 $2,521,581 federal
 
Title V
ABST (Abstinence Between Strong Teens)
 $60,000
Title V sub-grantee
DUAL GRANTEE
2005–2008
 $642,250
 
CBAE
The AFCAAM  Catholic Center
 $60,000
Title V sub-grantee
The African Caribbean American Catholic Center
 $60,000
Title V sub-grantee
Alms of Bethel Community Development, Inc.
 $60,000
Title V sub-grantee
Apostolic Ministries of America, Inc.
 $48,000
Title V sub-grantee
Apostolic Worship Center: Child Development Center
 $60,000
Title V sub-grantee
The Ark/L’arche, Inc.
 $48,000
Title V sub-grantee
Bridging the Gap Outreach, Inc.
 $60,000
Title V sub-grantee
Catholic Charities of Central Florida, Inc.
 $60,000
Title V sub-grantee
DUAL GRANTEE
2008–2013
 $600,000
CBAE
Catholic Charities, Diocese of Palm Beach, Inc.
 $60,000
 
Title V sub-grantee
 
Daytona Beach Community Development Corporation
 $60,000
Title V sub-grantee
Orlando Baptist Church
 $48,000
Title V sub-grantee
Reform Ministries
 $48,000
Title V sub-grantee
River Region Human Services, Inc.
$91,700
Title V sub-grantee
Seminole County Healthy Start Coalition, Inc.
$48,000
Title V sub-grantee
St. Peter’s Academy
$48,000
Title V sub-grantee
Steps for Teens
$48,000
Title V sub-grantee
The W.A.Y. Ministries, Inc.   
$48,000
Title V sub-grantee
A Woman’s Place Ministries, Inc.
2005–2008
$782,992
 
CBAE
 
DUAL GRANTEE
2008–2013
 $600,000
CBAE
Baker County Health Department
2005–2008
$460,755
CBAE
BETA Center, Inc.
2005–2008
$430,938
CBAE
Christian Care Center, Inc.
2006–2011
 $423,166
CBAE
Family & Children Faith Care
2007–2012
 $586,307
CBAE
First Care Family Resources, Inc.
2008–2013
 $600,000
CBAE
Heartland Rural Health Network, Inc.
2008–2013
 $497,830
CBAE
Hendry County Health Department
2005–2008
 $393,067
CBAE
Live the Life Ministries, Inc.
2008–2013
 $599,870
CBAE
Pinellas Crisis Pregnancy Center (United Students for Abstinence)
2006–2011
 $600,000
CBAE
Pregnancy Care Center of Plant City, Inc.
2007–2012
 $599,879
CBAE
Project S.O.S.
2006–2011
 $599,619
CBAE
Switchboard of Miami
2007–2012
 $463,000
CBAE
DUAL GRANTEE
2004–2009
 $300,000
AFLA
TLC Clinic, Inc.
2005–2008
 $800,000
CBAE
Trinity Church, Inc.
2007–2012
 $599,800
CBAE

 
 
Adolescent Health Contact[33]
Shay Chapman
Florida Department of Health
Family Health Services
4025 Esplande Way 105A
Tallahassee, FL 32399
Phone: (850) 245-4466
 
 
Florida Organizations that Support Comprehensive Sexuality Education

ACLU of Florida
4500 Biscayne Boulevard, Suite 340
Miami, FL 33137
Phone: (786) 363-2700
 
Florida Association of Planned Parenthood Affiliates
6623 Gateway Avenue, Unit A
Sarasota, FL 34231
Phone: (941) 923-5500
 
Florida NOW
Phone: (800) 535-2669
 
Florida Women’s Consortium
4335 Elm Avenue
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410
 
National Women’s Political Caucus
of Florida
161 S.E. 13th Street
Pompano Beach, FL 33060
Phone: (954) 946-3265
 
Republican Majority for Choice
P.O. Box 30503
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33420
Phone: (561) 493-8880
www.gopchoice.org
The Healthy Teens Campaign
6623 Gateway Avenue, Unit A
Sarasota, FL 34231
Phone: (941) 923-4555
National Council of Jewish Women
Palm Beach Section
www.ncjwpalmbeach.org

       
Florida Organizations that Oppose Comprehensive Sexuality Education

Family First
609 West De Leon Street
Tampa, FL 33606
Phone: (813) 222-8300
 
Florida Right To Life
378 Center Pointe Circle, Suite 1250
Altamonte Springs, FL 32701
Phone: (407) 834-LIFE
 

     
Newspapers in Florida[34]

El Nuevo Herald
Newsroom
1 Herald Plaza
Miami, FL 33132
Phone: (305) 376-2183
 
The Florida Times-Union
Newsroom
P.O. Box 1949
Jacksonville, FL 32231
Phone: (904) 359-4111
 
Florida Today
Newsroom
P.O. Box 419000
Melbourne, FL 32941
Phone: (321) 242-3620
 
The Ledger
Newsroom
P.O. Box 408
Lakeland, FL 33802
Phone: (863) 802-7209
 
Miami Herald
Newsroom
1 Herald Plaza
Miami, FL 33132
Phone: (305) 376-3557
 
Naples Daily News
Newsroom
1075 Central Avenue
Naples, FL 34102
Phone: (239) 262-3161
 
The News-Journal
Newsroom
901 6th Street
Daytona Beach, FL 32117
Phone: (386) 252-1511
 
News-Press
Newsroom
2442 Dr. Martin Luther King Boulevard
Fort Myers, FL 33901
Phone: (239) 335-0200
 
Orlando Sentinel
Newsroom
P.O. Box 2833
Orlando, FL 32802
Phone: (407) 420-5000
 
The Palm Beach Post
Newsroom
P.O. Box 24700
West Palm Beach, FL 33416
Phone: (561) 820-4400
 
Pensacola News Journal
Newsroom
101 E. Romana Street
Pensacola, FL 32502
Phone: (850) 435-8500
 
St. Petersburg Times
Newsroom
1000 N. Ashley Drive
Tampa, FL 33602
Phone: (727)893-8111
 
Sarasota Herald-Tribune
Newsroom
P.O. Box 1719
Sarasota, FL 34230
Phone: (941) 361-4800
 
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Newsroom
200 E. Las Olas Boulevard
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
Phone: (954) 356-4000
 
Tampa Tribune
Newsroom
200 S. Parker Street
Tampa, FL 33606
Phone: (813) 259-8225
 
 

 


[1] This refers to the federal government’s fiscal year, which begins on October 1 and ends on September 30. The fiscal year is designated by the calendar year in which it ends; for example, Fiscal Year 2008 began on October 1, 2007 and ended on September 30, 2008.
[2] Unless otherwise cited, all statistical information comes from: Danice K. Eaton, et. al., “Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance—United States, 2007,” Surveillance Summaries, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 57.SS-4 (6 June 2008), accessed 4 June 2008, <http://www.cdc.gov/HealthyYouth/yrbs/index.htm>.
[3] “It’s Great to Wait” homepage, It’s Great to Wait, accessed 12 October 2008, <http://www.greattowait.com/index.html>.
[4] “Our History,” Abstinence Between Strong Teens International, Inc., accessed 19 October 2008, <http://www.abstinc.com>.
[5] Abstinence Between Strong Teens International, Inc., IRS 990 Form, 2006, p. 1.
[6] Ibid.
[7] Bruce Cook, Choosing the Best (Marietta, GA: Choosing the Best, Inc., 2001-2007).
[8] “Affiliate Center,” Abstinence Clearinghouse, accessed 23 November 2008, <http://www.abstinence.net/affiliates/benefits.php>.
[9] Ibid.
[10] Scott Phelps, Aspire. Live your life. Be Free. (Arlington, IL: Abstinence & Marriage Resources, 2006). For more information, see SIECUS’ review of Aspire at <http://www.communityactionkit.org/curricula_reviews.html>.
[11] Catholic Charities of The Diocese of Palm Beach, Inc., IRS 990 Form, 2006.
[12] A.C. Green’s Game Plan (Golf, IL: Project Reality, 2007). For more information, see SIECUS’ review of A.C. Green’s Game Plan at <http://www.communityactionkit.org/curricula_reviews.html>.
[13] Scott Phelps and Libby Gray, Navigator: Finding Your Way to A Healthy and Successful Future (Golf, IL: Project Reality, 2003). For more information, see SIECUS’ review of Navigator at <http://www.communityactionkit.org/curricula_reviews.html>.
[14] Catholic Charities, Diocese of Palm Beach, Inc., Application to the Florida Department of Health, 2007, p. 5.
[15] The W.A.Y (Winning America’s Youth) Ministries of Tallahassee, Inc., Application to the Florida Department of Health, 2007, p. 11.
[16] First Care Family Resources, IRS 990 Form, Fiscal Year 2007, p.1.
[17] “Our Services,” First Care Family Resources, accessed 7 December 2008,
[18] “Our Vision,” Live the Life Ministries, Inc., accessed 12 October 2008,
[19] Live the Life Ministries, IRS 990 Form, Fiscal Year 2006, p. 1.
[20] “What is WAIT Training?” Live the Life Ministries, Inc., accessed 12 October 2008, <http://www.livethelife.org/index.php/ltl/Our-Programs/WAIT-Training>.
[21]  Joneen Krauth-Mackenzie, WAIT (Why Am I Tempted) Training, Second Edition (Greenwood Village, CO: WAIT Training, undated).  For more information, see SIECUS’ review of WAIT Training at <http://www.communityactionkit.org/curricula_reviews.html>.
[22] “Culture Facts,” Live the Life Ministries, Inc., accessed 5 April 2009, <http://www.livethelife.org/index.php/ltl/Our-Programs/WAIT-Training/Culture-Facts >.
[23] About the Heritage Foundation, The Heritage Foundation, accessed 19 January 2005, <http://www.heritage.org/about/>.
[24] Pregnancy Center of Pinellas County, IRS 990 Form, Fiscal Year 2006, p. 1.
[25] “Considering Abortion?” Pinellas County Pregnancy Center, accessed 12 October 2008, <http://www.pregctr.net/>.
[26] “What is an Abortion?” Pinellas County Pregnancy Center, accessed 12 October 2008, <http://www.pregctr.net/>.
[27] “Sex Takes Things Away,” YouTube, accessed 12 October 2008, <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5w66F9JxLMc>.
[28] “The Struggle for Freedom and Social Democracy,” RebLetterRebels, accessed 12 October 2008, <http://www.redletterrebels.com/>.
[29] “Los 1-Life Skills,” Impact, accessed 12 October 2008, <http://whatisimpact.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=146&Itemid=93>.
[30] Ibid.
[31] “Detox-Lyrics,” Impact, accessed 12 October 2008, <http://www.whatisimpact.com/los/pdfFiles/Detox-Lyrics.pdf>.
[32] “Fact Sheet for Public Health Personnel: Male Latex Condoms and Sexually Transmitted Diseases,” Centers for Disease Control, Department of Health and Human Services, (January 2003), accessed 12 October 2008, <http://www.cdc.gov/nchstp/od/condoms.pdf>.
[33] SIECUS has identified this person as a state-based contact for information on adolescent health and if applicable, abstinence-only-until-marriage programs. 
[34] This section is a list of major newspapers in your state with contact information for their newsrooms.  This list is by no means exhaustive and does not contain the local level newspapers which are integral to getting your message out to your community. SIECUS strongly urge you to follow stories about the issues that concern you on the national, state, and local level by using an internet news alert service such as Google alerts, becoming an avid reader of your local papers, and establishing relationships with reporters who cover your issues. For more information on how to achieve your media goals visit the SIECUS Community Action Kit.

 

National Coalition to Support Sexuality Education National Coalition to Support Sexuality Education