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Maine State Profile Fiscal Year 2008

A community-based organization in Maine received $165,000 in federal funds for abstinence-only-until-marriage programs in Fiscal Year 2008.[1]

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

 
Maine Sexuality Education Law and Policy
Maine’s sexuality education law is one of the most comprehensive in the country; it mandates that the state “undertake initiatives to implement effective, comprehensive family life education services.” The state must provide:
 
·        training for teachers, parents, and community members;
·        forums among youth and community members in communities with a high need for sexuality education;
·        staff to provide trainings, develop curricula, and evaluate the program;
·        funding for issue management and policy development training for school boards, superintendents, principals, and administrators; and
·        funding for programs that have shown outstanding work around sexuality education.
 
“Comprehensive family life education” must be taught in kindergarten through 12th grade. The information provided must be medically accurate and age-appropriate, and must respect community values and encourage parent-child communication. Programs must teach about abstinence, healthy relationships, contraception, and conflict resolution. No specific curriculum is mandated.             
Parents or guardians may remove their children from sexuality education and/or STD/HIV education classes. This is referred to as an “opt-out” policy.
 
See Maine Revised Statutes, Title 22, Chapter 406, Sections 1902, 1910, and 1911.
 
 
Recent Legislation
Legislation Requires Standards for Family Life Skills
House Bill 745, introduced in March 2007, would have required the existing system of learning standards to include the subject area of “family life skills.” Students would have been required to study and demonstrate proficiency in subject areas including healthcare choices and family dynamics. The bill was sent to the Senate Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs, but failed to pass.
 
 
Maine’s Youth: Statistical Information of Note[2]
·        In 2007, 45% of female high school students and 46% of male high school students in Maine 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 6% of male high school students in Maine 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 12% of male high school students in Maine 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 31% of male high school students in Maine 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, 51% of females and 69% of males in Maine 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, 41% of females and 30% of males in Maine 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 25% of males in Maine 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, 87% of high school students in Maine reported having been taught about AIDS/HIV in school compared to 90% of high school students nationwide.
 
 
Title V Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Funding
·        Maine was eligible for $161,398 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.
·        Maine, however, chose not to apply for these funds due to the extraordinary restrictions placed upon how the money must be spent. Therefore, the state does not match funds nor does it have organizations supported by this type of federal money.
 
On September 20, 2005, Maine officials announced their decision to reject Title V abstinence-only-until-marriage funding. With this action, Maine became one of the first states to reject this ideologically biased funding.
Dr. Dora Anne Mills, the state’s public health director, explained that tighter federal control of the funding and its growing inconsistency with state law made it difficult for Maine to continue its more inclusive media campaign. (The state had already decided that due to Maine law, which mandates a comprehensive approach to sexuality education, abstinence-only-until-marriage funding could not be used in schools.) Dr. Mills also worried that this funding would not allow the state to help sexually active young people or lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth.[3]
Earlier that same month, the Maine Department of Education sent a letter to all school superintendents stating that abstinence-only-until-marriage programs do not fulfill the requirements of Maine law.[4] At the time, Dr. Mills referred to abstinence-only-until-marriage funding as “ideological money” and said, “Studies show over and over again when youth are given full information, including abstinence, they make the healthiest choices possible.”[5]
 
 
Community-Based Abstinence Education (CBAE) and Adolescent Family Life Act (AFLA) Grantees
· There are no CBAE grantees in Maine. 
· There is one AFLA grantee in Maine: People’s Regional Opportunity Program.
 
 
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)
People’s Regional Opportunity Program
2003–2008
$165,000
AFLA
 
 
Adolescent Health Contact[6]
Nancy Birkhimer
Teen and Young Adult Health Program
Bureau of Health, Department of Human Services
11 State House Station, Key Bank Plaza, 5th Floor
Augusta, ME 04333
Phone: (207) 287-5361
 
 
 
Maine Organizations that Support Comprehensive Sexuality Education

Family Planning Association of Maine
P.O. Box 587
Augusta, ME 04332
Phone: (207) 662-7524
 
Maine Civil Liberties Union
401 Cumberland Avenue, Suite 105
Portland, ME 04101
Phone: (207) 774-5444
Planned Parenthood of Northern New
England
51 US Route 1, Suite C
Scarborough, ME
Phone: (800) 854-9762
 
 

 
Maine Organizations that Oppose Comprehensive Sexuality Education

Christian Civic League of Maine
70 Sewall Street
Augusta, ME 04330
Phone: (207) 622-7634
 
 

       
Newspapers in Maine[7]

Bangor Daily News
Newsroom
P.O. Box 1329
Bangor, ME 04402
Phone: (207) 990-8000
 
Kennebec Journal
Newsroom
274 Western Avenue
Augusta, ME 04330
Phone: (207) 623-3811
 
Journal Tribune
Newsroom
457 Alfred Road
Biddeford, ME 04005
Phone: (207) 282-1535
 
Morning Sentinel
Newsroom
31 Front Street
Waterville, ME 04901
Phone: (207) 621-5645
 
The Portland Phoenix
Newsroom
16 York Street
Portland, ME 04101
Phone: (207) 773-8900
 
Portland Press Herald
Newsroom
P.O. Box 1460
Portland, ME 04104
Phone: (207) 791-6650
pressherald.mainetoday.com
 
Sun Journal
Newsroom
104 Park Street
Lewiston, ME 04240
Phone: (207) 784-5411
 
The Times Record
Newsroom
3 Business Parkway
Brunswick, ME 04011
Phone: (207) 729-3311
 

 


[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 2007 began on October 1, 2006 and ended on September 30, 2007. 
[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]Paul Carrier, “Abstinence Message Too Weak, Official Says,” Portland Press Herald, 3 October 2005, accessed 12 October 2005, <http://pressherald.mainetoday.com/news/state/051003abstinence.shtml>.
[4]Mark Peters, “Maine Schools Shun $500,000 Sex-Ed Course,” Portland Press Herald, 6 September 2005, accessed on Lexis Nexis, 10 April 2006.
[5] Ibid.
[6] SIECUS has identified this person as a state-based contact for information on adolescent health and if applicable, abstinence-only-until-marriage programs. 
[7] 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 urges 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.
 
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