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Michigan State Profile Fiscal Year 2008

The Department of Community Health and community-based organizations in Michigan received $3,939,843 in federal funds for abstinence-only-until-marriage programs in Fiscal Year 2008.

 

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

 
Michigan Sexuality Education Law and Policy
Michigan does not require schools to teach sexuality education; however, the state does require schools to provide sexually transmitted disease (STD) and HIV/AIDS education. STD/HIV education must include “the teaching of abstinence from sex as a responsible method for restriction and prevention of these diseases and as a positive lifestyle for unmarried young people.”
Schools may also offer sexuality education classes, which cover family planning, human sexuality, and family life education. As with STD/HIV education, abstinence must be included as “a responsible method of preventing unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease and as a positive lifestyle for unmarried young people.” Sexuality education classes must be offered as an elective and may not be required for graduation.
All sexuality education and HIV/AIDS classes must be taught by teachers qualified to teach health education. All teachers of STD/HIV education who are not licensed healthcare professionals must be trained in HIV/AIDS education by the Department of Education.
School boards must establish an advisory board to review all materials and curricula. This advisory board must include parents, students, educators, clergy, and health professionals. Each school district must also appoint a sexuality education program supervisor; this person must be approved by the state.
The law further states that all instruction in reproductive health “shall be supervised by a registered physician, a registered nurse, or other person certified by the state board as qualified.” Reproductive health is defined as “the state of an individual’s well-being which involves the reproductive system and its physiological, psychological, and endocrinological functions.” Abortion “shall not be considered a method of family planning, nor shall abortion be taught as a method of reproductive health.” Further, no school official or school board member may dispense any family planning drug or device in school, nor may they make abortion referrals. Districts found in violation of this may face corrective actions, such as being forced to forfeit aid. All curricula must be approved by the local school board and if any changes are made, the local school board must hold at least two public hearings on the revisions.
Most Michigan public schools also follow guidelines from the Michigan Model for Health, formerly the Michigan Model for Comprehensive School Health Education, which promotes nationally recognized and research-based curricula, including new curricula in HIV/AIDS prevention. In addition, the Michigan Board of Education has adopted the Policy to Promote Health and Prevent Disease and Pregnancy which states that sexuality education programs must be age-appropriate, developmentally and culturally appropriate, medically accurate, and based on effective programming.
Parents must receive notification of any sexuality education class and be allowed to review its content. Parents or guardians may remove their children from any part of the STD/HIV instruction if it conflicts with their religious beliefs. This is referred to as an “opt-out” policy.
 
See Michigan School Code Sections 380.1169, 380.1170, 380.1506, 380.1507, 388.1766, 388.1766a, Michigan Model for Health, and Michigan Public Law 165 and 166.
 
 
Recent Legislation
SIECUS is not aware of any proposed legislation regarding sexuality education in Michigan.
 
 
Michigan’s Youth: Statistical Information of Note[2]
Ø      In 2005, 41% of female high school students and 44% of male high school students in Michigan reported ever having had sexual intercourse compared to 46% of female high school students and 50% of male high school students nationwide.[3]
 
Ø      In 2007, 3% of female high school students and 7% of male high school students in Michigan reported having had sexual intercourse before age 13 compared to 4% of female high school students and 10% of male high school students nationwide.
Ø
Ø      In 2007, 11% of female high school students and 13% of male high school students in Michigan 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.
 
Ø      In 2007, 31% of female high school students and 29% of male high school students in Michigan 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.
 
Ø      In 2007, among those high school students who reported being currently sexually active, 58% of females and 73% of males in Michigan reported having used condoms the last time they had sexual intercourse compared to 55% of females and 69% of males nationwide.
 
Ø      In 2007, among those high school students who reported being currently sexually active, 25% of females and 13% of males in Michigan reported having used birth control pills the last time they had sexual intercourse compared to 19% of females and 13% of males nationwide.
 
Ø      In 2007, among those high school students who reported being currently sexually active, 21% of females and 25% of males in Michigan reported having used alcohol or drugs the last time they had sexual intercourse compared to 18% of females and 28% of males nationwide.
 
Ø      In 2007, 90% of high school students in Michigan reported having been taught about AIDS/HIV in school compared to 90% of high school students nationwide.
 
 
 
Detroit, Michigan
Ø      In 2007, 51% of female high school students and 69% of male high school students in Detroit, Michigan reported ever having had sexual intercourse compared to 46% of female high school students and 50% of male high school students nationwide.
 
Ø      In 2007, 4% of female high school students and 24% of male high school students in Detroit, Michigan reported having had sexual intercourse before age 13 compared to 4% of female high school students and 10% of male high school students nationwide.
Ø
Ø      In 2007, 12% of female high school students and 34% of male high school students in Detroit, Michigan 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.
 
Ø      In 2007, 35% of female high school students and 44% of male high school students in Detroit, Michigan 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.
 
Ø      In 2007, among those high school students who reported being currently sexually active, 62% of females and 77% of males in Detroit, Michigan reported having used condoms the last time they had sexual intercourse compared to 55% of females and 69% of males nationwide.
 
Ø      In 2007, among those high school students who reported being currently sexually active, 12% of females and 4% of males in Detroit, Michigan reported having used birth control pills the last time they had sexual intercourse compared to 19% of females and 13% of males nationwide.
 
Ø      In 2007, among those high school students who reported being currently sexually active, 12% of females and 14% of males in Detroit, Michigan reported having used alcohol or drugs the last time they had sexual intercourse compared to 18% of females and 28% of males nationwide.
 
Ø      In 2007, 84% of high school students in Detroit, Michigan reported having been taught about AIDS/HIV in school compared to 90% of high school students nationwide.
 
 
Title V Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Funding
·        The Michigan Department of Community Health received $1,417,131 in federal Title V abstinence-only-until-marriage programs 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 Michigan, the state provides $160,000 of the state’s pregnancy-prevention dollars as part of the match. The remainder of the match is provided by sub-grantees through in-kind services.
·        There are eight sub-grantees in Michigan: one crisis pregnancy center (faith-based), two health departments, and five community-based organizations (including three faith-based). 
 
 
SIECUS has compiled some examples of the use of federal Title V abstinence-only-until-marriage funding in Michigan:
Lakeshore Pregnancy Center, $10,000 (2008)
Lakeshore Pregnancy Center is a crisis pregnancy center. It is self-described as a “Christ-centered ministry, responding to those in our community experiencing an unplanned pregnancy, emphasizing the eternal value of all human life and teaching Biblical sexuality.”[4] Crisis pregnancy centers typically advertise as providing medical services and then use anti-abortion propaganda, misinformation, and fear and shame tactics to dissuade women facing unintended pregnancy from exercising their right to choose.
Its website includes inaccurate and biased information about abortion. For example, it lists emergency contraception (EC) as a form of abortion. [5] Though EC is often confused with RU- 486 or mifepristone (an abortifacient), it is not the same thing and cannot end a pregnancy. The FDA explains that EC works by delaying or inhibiting ovulation or inhibiting implantation. If an egg has already implanted in a woman’s uterus, EC will not terminate the pregnancy nor will it harm the developing fetus. [6]  
The organization is part of Care Net’s network of crisis pregnancy centers.[7] Care Net is an Illinois-based CBAE grantee. Lakeshore Pregnancy Center uses its own abstinence-only-until-marriage curriculum.   
 
Wedgwood Christian Services, $49,952 (2008) and $403,061 (CBAE 2005–2008)
The Wedgwood Christian Center, which is both a Title V abstinence-only-until-marriage sub-grantee and a CBAE grantee, describes itself as “a distinctively Christian, professionally excellent community of caring, dedicated to helping young people live productive and fulfilling lives. For more than 45 years, we’ve been extending God’s love through prevention, educational, counseling and residential services.”[8] Wedgewood partners with several organizations in Michigan, including Lakeshore Pregnancy Center.[9] The organization uses the abstinence-only-until-marriage program Relationships Under Construction, which was written by the Educational Guidance Institute in Virginia, a CBAE grantee.[10] 
 
 
Community-Based Abstinence Education (CBAE) and Adolescent Family Life Act (AFLA) Grantees
·        There are four CBAE grantees in Michigan: Bethany Christian Services, St. Joseph Health System, Wedgewood Christian Services (also a Title V abstinence-only-until-marriage sub-grantee), and YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit.
·        There is one AFLA grantee in Michigan: Ingham County Health Department.   
 
SIECUS has compiled some examples of the use of CBAE and AFLA funding Michigan:
Bethany Christian Services, $600,000 (CBAE 2006–2011)
Bethany Christian Services is headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and describes itself as “a not-for-profit, pro-life, Christian adoption and family service agency.”[11]
The organization’s abstinence-only-until-marriage program is called “Plan A (for Abstinence)” and targets pregnant and parenting teens.[12] The goal is to reduce repeat pregnancies in teens living in Iowa, Michigan, and Wisconsin. 
Plan A (for Abstinence) uses two curricula, A.C. Green’s Game Plan and Navigator, and targets pregnant and parenting teens in foster care, maternity homes, and alternative schools. Both curricula are produced by Project Reality, one of the oldest leaders in the abstinence-only-until-marriage industry.[13]     
SIECUS reviewed Game Plan and found that in order to convince high school students to remain abstinent until marriage, the curriculum relies 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.”[14]  
In our review of Navigator, SIECUS 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.”[15]  
Bethany Christian Service suggests that facilitators make adaptations to the curricula: “The course needs to be more discussion orientated and student focused. Facilitators needs to meet members where they are at and build at trusting relationship (Navigator especially is too wordy).” It goes on to suggest: “Emphasize throughout the entire program that your decisions affect your child as well as yourself (this is not included in either curriculum).”[16]
The Pregnancy Resource Center, a crisis pregnancy center, helps to implement Bethany Christian Services’ abstinence-only-until-marriage program. [17] The organization states: “In all we do, the staff and volunteers of the Pregnancy Resource Center (PRC) seek to share the life-changing message of Jesus Christ.” [18] On the crisis pregnancy center’s website, the Executive Director promotes the “Parents for Truth” campaign. [19] This effort was designed by the National Abstinence Education Association (NAEA), the lobbying arm of the abstinence-only-until-marriage industry. Its mission reads, “The NAEA exists to serve, support and represent individuals and organizations in the practice of abstinence education.” [20] Since its inception the NAEA has undertaken a number of media campaigns, such as “Parents for Truth,” that use fear and misinformation in an attempt to discredit comprehensive sexuality education.
     
 
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)
Michigan Department of Community Health
 
$1,417,131 federal
$160,000 state
Title V
Alpena-Montmorency-Alcona Educational Service District
$10,000
Title V sub-grantee
Catholic Charities of West Michigan
$49,232
Title V sub-grantee
District Health Department #10 of Cadillac
$49,854
Title V sub-grantee
Gladwin (ROCK)
$50,000
Title V sub-grantee
Jackson County
$49,000
Title V sub-grantee
Lakeshore Pregnancy Center
$10,000
Title V sub-grantee
St. John Community Health Investment Corp.
$125,714
Title V sub-grantee
Wedgwood Christian Services
$49,952
Title V sub-grantee
DUAL GRANTEE
2005–2008
$403,061
CBAE
Bethany Christian Services
2006–2011
$600,000
CBAE
St. Joseph Health System
2005–2008
www.choosingtowait.com
$642,825
CBAE
YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit
2007–2012
$600,000
CBAE
Ingham County Health Department
2004–2009
$276,826
AFLA

 
 
Adolescent Health Contact[21]
Taggert Doll
Adolescent and School Health Education Coordinator
Michigan Department of Community Health
109 W. Michigan Avenue, 4th Floor
Lansing, MI 48913
Phone: (517) 335-8908
 
 
Michigan Organizations that Support Comprehensive Sexuality Education

AIDS Partnership Michigan
2751 East Jefferson, Suite 301
Detroit, MI 48207
Phone: (800) 515-3434
 
Michigan National Organization for Women
P.O. Box 860
East Lansing, MI 48826
Phone: (517) 485-9687
www.michnow.org

Michigan Religious Coalition for
Reproductive Choice
P.O. Box 739
East Lansing, MI 48826
 
Planned Parenthood Affiliates of Michigan
P.O. Box 19104
Lansing, MI 48901
Phone: (517) 482-1080
 
Triangle Foundation
19641 West Seven Mile Road
Detroit, MI 48219
Phone: (313) 537-3323
 
 American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan
2966 Woodward Avenue
Detroit, MI 48201
Phone: (248) 535-7112

     
 
Michigan Organizations that Oppose Comprehensive Sexuality Education

Michigan Family Forum
P.O. Box 15216
Lansing, MI 48901
Phone: (517) 374-1171
Right to Life of Michigan
2340 Porter Street SW
P.O. Box 901
Grand Rapids, MI 49519
Phone: (616) 532-2300
 

       
Newspapers in Michigan[22]

The Ann Arbor News
Newsroom
340 E. Huron Street
P.O. Box 1147
Ann Arbor, MI 48106
Phone: (734) 994-6989
 
Detroit News
Newsroom
615 W. Lafayette Boulevard
Detroit, MI 48226
Phone: (313) 222-2300
 
Flint Journal
Newsroom
200 E. First Street
Flint, MI 48502-1925
810-766-6100
 
Grand Rapids Press
Newsroom
155 Michigan Street N.W.
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Phone: (616) 222-5400
 
Kalamazoo Gazette
Newsroom
401 S. Burdick Street
Kalamazoo, MI 49007
Phone: (269) 345-3511
 
Lansing State Journal
Newsroom
120 E. Lenawee
Lansing MI 48919
Phone: (517) 377-1020
 
The Macomb Daily
Newsroom
100 Macomb Daily Drive
Mount Clemens, MI 48043
Phone: (586) 469-4510
 
Muskegon Chronicle
Newsroom
P.O. Box 59
Muskegon, MI 49443-0059
Phone: (231) 722-0320
 
The Oakland Press
Newsroom
48 W. Huron
Pontiac, MI 48342
Phone: (248) 332-8181
The Saginaw News
Newsroom
203 S. Washington Avenue
Saginaw, MI 48607
Phone: (989) 752-7171
 

       


[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] Danice K. Eaton, et al., “Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance—United States, 2005,” Surveillance Summaries, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, vol. 55, no. SS-5 (9 June 2006): 1-108, accessed 26 January 2007, <http://www.cdc.gov/HealthyYouth/yrbs/index.htm>. Note: Michigan did not measure this question during the 2007 YRBS. 
[4] “Mission Statement,” Lakeshore Pregnancy Center, accessed 15 October 2008, <http://www.lpcenters.com/Portals/32/docs/>.
[5] “Abortion,” Lakeshore Pregnancy Center, accessed 22 May 2008, < http://www.lpcenters.com/>.
[6] Food and Drug Administration, “Prescription Drug Products; Certain Combined Oral Contraceptives for Use as Postcoital Emergency Contraception,” Federal Register 62.37 (1997): 8609-8612; Rachel K. Jones, et. al. “Contraceptive Use Among U.S. Women Having Abortions in 2000-2001,” Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health 34.6 (Nov./Dec. 2002): 294-303.
[7] “About Us,” Lakeshore Pregnancy Center, accessed 15 October 2008, <http://www.lpcenters.com/AboutUs/tabid/903/Default.aspx>.
[8] “Wedgewood Christian Services,” Wedgwood Christian Services, accessed 4 October 2008, <http://www.wedgwood.org/>.
[9] “Positive Youth Development,” Wedgwood Christian Services, accessed 4 October 2008, <http://www.wedgwood.org/syouth.html>.
[10] Michigan Department of Community Health, Michigan Abstinence Program (MAP) communication to Catherine Morrison, September 2008.
[11] “About Us: Bethany’s history,” Bethany Christian Services, (2008), accessed 20 September 2008, <http://www.bethany.org/A55798/>.
[12] Bethany Christian Services, CBAE Application, Fiscal Year 2006, p. 3.
[13] Ibid; “About Us,” Project Reality, accessed 17 October 2008, <http://www.projectreality.org/about/index.php?id=10>.
[14] 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>.
[15] 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>.
[16] Ibid.
[17]Bethany Christian Services, Application to the ACF, 2006, Pregnancy Resource Center Letter of Support, p. 67.
[18] “PRC for Life,” Pregnancy Resource Center, accessed 17 October 2008, <http://prcforlife.org/index.php?>.
[19] “Comprehensive Sex Ed Exposed,” Pregnancy Resource Center, accessed 17 October 2008, <http://www.prcforlife.blogspot.com/>.
[20] “About Us,” National Abstinence Education Association, accessed 10 October 2008, <http://www.abstinenceassociation.org/about_us/index.html>.
[21] SIECUS has identified this person as a state-based contact for information on adolescent health and if applicable, abstinence-only-until-marriage programs. 
[22] 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.
National Coalition to Support Sexuality Education National Coalition to Support Sexuality Education