Northern Territory must respect women’s judgment on abortion, advocates say

The Guardian, 19 January 2017
Author: Helen Davidson
“The Northern Territory must give more respect to women as competent decision-makers and stop using criminal law to restrict access to abortion, the Human Rights Law Centre has urged. Outside of limited allowable circumstances, abortion is a criminal offence under the NT criminal code, and the territory is currently the only Australian jurisdiction where women must be in a hospital for any abortion. The availability of medical terminations – using the drug known as RU486 – lags far behind the rest of the country.”
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Doctors Want To Learn More About Treating Transgender Patients, Survey Shows

Huffington Post, 12 January 2017
Author: Anna Almendrala
“One in three transgender patients reports experiencing serious discrimination or bias when seeking medical care, even when that care is unrelated to their transgender status. While some of these negative interactions in health care may stem from discriminatory attitudes on the part of medical care professionals, a survey reveals that doctors feel they lack the training they need to feel confident when treating transgender patients.”
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Federal judge halts transgender health protections

The Hill, 31 December 2017
Author: Mallory Shelbourne
“A federal judge in Texas on Saturday halted enforcement of federal rules aimed at preventing doctors from discriminating against transgender individuals. U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor granted the temporary injunction, saying the rules “likely violate” the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, according to The Associated Press.”
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Insurers ignoring calls to address discrimination: mental health groups

SMH, 2 January 2017
Author: Georgia Wilkins
“Mental health groups have accused the life insurance industry of ignoring calls to address discrimination, saying its treatment of people with mental health conditions is unethical and potentially unlawful.”
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European first: Malta bans gay conversion therapy

SBS, 7 December 2016
Author: Ben Winsor
“The Mediterranean Island of Malta has become the first country in Europe to ban ‘gay conversion therapy’, a practice that aims to ‘cure’ homosexuality. Legislation banning the practice was passed unanimously by a parliamentary committee in November, and has now been formally approved. The law imposes penalties of up to 10,000 euros and a year in jail for professionals found offering conversion services, local media reports.”
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Plan to reduce Indigenous suicides finally acknowledges lack of evidence and need for hope

The Conversation, 14 November 2016
Author: Anthony Dillon
“Last week the government released the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Evaluation Project report, which gave recommendations to reduce the high rate of suicide among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. There are many factors contributing to Indigenous suicide, occurring in a wide variety of contexts. No document can answer every question on Indigenous suicide. The report does recognise that no two Indigenous suicides are identical.”
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Federal Panel Calls For Stricter Enforcement Of Mental Health Care Parity Law

NPR, 31 October 2016
Author: Jenny Gold
“Acknowledging that “there is more work to be done” to ensure that patients with mental illness and addiction don’t face discrimination in their health care, a presidential task force made a series of recommendations Friday including $9.3 million in funding to improve enforcement of the federal parity law.”
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Will the closure of India’s sterilisation camps end botched operations?

The Guardian, 26 October 2016
Author: Vidhi Doshi
“After a four-year legal battle with the government, this September the court ordered the government to shut down sterilisation camps across India within three years. The supreme court’s verdict is a historic victory for women’s rights activists who have campaigned against sterilisation camps for decades. The ruling could mean that, for the first time, India moves away from family planning policies that focus on women rather than men and provide a wider range of contraception, particularly in rural clinics.”
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H.I.V. Arrived in the U.S. Long Before ‘Patient Zero’

NYT, 26 October 2016
Author: Donald G. McNeil Jr.
“In the tortuous mythology of the AIDS epidemic, one legend never seems to die: Patient Zero, aka Gaétan Dugas, a globe-trotting, sexually insatiable French Canadian flight attendant who supposedly picked up H.I.V. in Haiti or Africa and spread it to dozens, even hundreds, of other men before his death in 1984. But after a new genetic analysis of stored blood samples, bolstered by some intriguing historical detective work, scientists on Wednesday declared him innocent.”
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