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Notes from the field.

North Carolina: In April 2015, legislators introduced HB 847, a bill that would severely restrict young people's access to health care. The bill would require a parent to provide notarized permission for someone under age 18 to receive health care or fill a prescription; the bill specifically places these restrictions on birth control, HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases testing and treatment, and mental health services. Despite 83% of North Carolina parents, including 76% of Republican and 79% of Independent, favoring North Carolina's existing Minor's Right to Consent law, HB 847 passed the House on April 29th and has been referred to the Committee on Judiciary in the Senate.

California: The Fresno County Superior Court has ruled that the Clovis Unified School District's abstinence-only-until-marriage (AOUM) program violated state law. The early May 2015 ruling found that AOUM instruction being provided in the district was unlawful on the grounds of medical inaccuracy and bias. The suit was brought by a coalition of community members and organizations, including local parents, the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Northern California, the American Academy of Pediatrics California District IX, and the Gay-Straight Alliance Network. In the ruling, Judge Black stated that "access to medically and socially appropriate sexual education is an important public right."

Research: Research shows that LGBT individuals avoid seeking medical care for fear of discrimination, among other reasons. Now a study is suggesting that when LGBT patients do go to the doctor, the physician they see isn't often trained to meet their needs. According to researchers at UCLA, a startlingly low number of academic medical practices identify "LGST competent" physicians, much less make an effort to connect them with LGBT patients. "LGBT competent" physicians have received special training in how to respectfully interact with an LGBT patient, take a proper medical and sexual history, perform "comprehensive" physical exams, be particularly supportive with psychosocial or behavioral issues, and develop appropriate recommendations.

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Publication:SIECUS Developments
Geographic Code:1U5NC
Date:Jun 22, 2015
Words:319
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