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South Australia Gives Same-Sex Couples Access To IVF and Unpaid Surrogacy

By: Star Observer, Matthew Wade

A bill allowing equal access to assisted reproductive treatment and unpaid surrogacy for same-sex couples has been passed in the South Australian parliament.

The passage of the bill removes the last legal discrimination against LGBTI people from the statute books of the state.

Previously, only South Australia and the Northern Territory required those accessing assisted reproductive technology to be ‘medically infertile’, a requirement other states didn’t impose.

Lee Carnie from the Human Rights Law Centre said the fact the bill passed was a huge step forward for equality for LGBTI people in South Australia.

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Women who undergo IVF treatment within 21 days of clocks going forward are TWICE as likely to miscarry

By: Daily Mirror, Abigail O’Leary

Putting the clocks forward in spring doubles the number of miscarriages in women who have undergone IVF treatment, according to new research.

Scientists found the chances of miscarrying were twice as high if the clocks changed within 21 days of an embryo being implanted.

The loss of an extra hour of sleep was found to cause additional stress and anxiety to women in the very early stages of pregnancy .

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An embryologist works on a petri dish.

You Won’t Believe What Baby-Making Science Could Soon Deliver

By: NBC News, Joseph Bennington-Castro

In 1978, Louise Brown helped usher in a reproductive revolution when she became the first “test tube baby,” or child born from in vitro fertilization (IVF). This technique provided a means to sidestep various infertility causes, such as ovulation disorders and fallopian tube issues in women, and decreased sperm count and motility in men.

Now, the world is on the brink of another revolution thanks to an emerging technology called in vitro gametogenesis, or IVG, which would allow doctors to develop eggs and sperm from a surprising source: skin cells. These reproductive cells could then be used to create fertilized embryos to be implanted into a woman’s uterus (or, someday, an artificial womb).

The potential impact of IVG on reproduction — and society at large — is staggering. Infertility may become a thing of the past. Same-sex couples could have children that are biologically related to both parents. And the world may eventually see children born with a single genetic parent or more than two genetic parents.

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The Benefits of Infertility Coverage for You and Your Employer

By: Huffington Post, Dr. David Adamson

How family friendly is your workplace? It depends on your perspective. If you and your partner are among the 1 in 8 American couples facing infertility, you’d give your employer a high score if they offered a benefit package that covers treatment for infertility services. After all, it’s the employer that decides your benefits, not an insurance company.

According to the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (IFEBP), 24% of employers surveyed now offer some level of fertility services as part of their health care benefits. If you work for a large American company – with more than 500 employees – you’re more likely to have some type of infertility benefit than if you’re employed by a small or mid-size company.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 17% of women aged 25-44, and 9.4% of men the same age, sought treatment for their infertility. Infertility is defined as a medical disease and has evidence-based treatments including ovarian stimulation, other medications, surgery, artificial insemination (IUI) and Advanced Reproductive Technology (ART) such as in-vitro fertilization (IVF).

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New bill would require insurance companies to offer coverage for fertility treatments

By: FOX 59, Anae Howard

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — One in eight women struggle with infertility. There’s help available like in vitro fertilization, but not all families can afford the pricey services. A state representative has introduced a new bill to change that, and a local woman’s public fertility fight helped inspire the measure.

Representative Robin Shackleford introduced House Bill 1059 which would require insurance companies to offer coverage for fertility treatments at the very minimum.

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Assemblyman pushes bill for LGBT foster youth protection

By: Reno Gazette-Journal, Seth A. Richardson

A Las Vegas assemblyman is trying to give children in government care the right to choose their gender.

The bill marks a diversion from much of the national debate over transgender rights, especially in states like North Carolina and Texas where conservative lawmakers have sought to require transgender people to use the assigned bathrooms of their biological sex.

Under Assembly Bill 99 from Assistant Assembly Majority Leader Nelson Araujo, D-Las Vegas, children in state foster care facilities would be able to identify as the gender of their preference. It would also mandate ongoing training on working with LGBT youth. The Division of Children and Family Services would also be required to set up a placement process to find foster families compatible with LGBT youth and in juvenile detention facilities based on their preferred sex. A way for foster children to file grievances would also be set up by DCFS.

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Texas Organizations Launch ‘I Pee With LGBT’ Campaign

By: Advertising Age, Lindsay Stein

The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas and nonprofit Legacy Community Health have released a digital video to highlight the discriminatory nature of the Texas “Bathroom Bill” (Senate Bill 6), which aims to prohibit transgender people from using the restroom they choose.

The 60-second spot, entitled “Taking a Seat, Making a Stand,” was created by GSD&M and five-time Academy Award-nominated director Richard Linklater. Through targeted digital Facebook buys, the humorous video will try to encourage Texans to reach out to their state legislators to oppose S.B. 6. The campaign behind this effort is called “I Pee With LGBT” and the hashtags include #IPEEWITHLGBT and #StopBS6.

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Jacksonville Approves LGBT Protections

By: On Top Magazine, Carlos Santoscoy

Jacksonville on Tuesday became the latest Florida municipality to approve an ordinance that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

According to The Florida Times-Union, the ordinance went into effect on Valentine’s Day after Mayor Lenny Curry allowed it to become law without his signature.

The legislation was first proposed nearly five years ago.

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The online world of surrogacy

By: Open Democracy, Zsuzsa Berend

What do we know about the women using their own bodies to help intended parents realise their dreams?

As a method of ‘treating’ infertility, surrogacy is on the rise, and while it’s relatively easy to imagine where the demand comes from, we know little about the women who choose to meet it. Who are these women? How do they frame this fairly new practice, and the risks and rewards that come with it?

I began to investigate these questions well over a decade ago, after I discovered online forums on which surrogate mothers post their stories and discuss myriads of issues. The largest such platform is www.surromomsonline.com (SMO), an information and support website on which many surrogates spend a lot of their time. I immersed myself in this online world with the goal of recording how they questioned ideas and practices, and how they formulated, discussed, and defined their views. Based on the empirical evidence SMO threads offered, I set out to make sense of surrogacy. The wide-ranging SMO discussions enabled me to get a sense of the collective dynamics of discussions – of surrogates as an interacting group, rather than as individual women. It also shed light on how views and learning curves change over time.

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A gender-neutral sign is posted outside a bathrooms at Oval Park Grill on May 11, 2016 in Durham, North Carolina

N. Carolina governor offers ‘compromise’ repealing LGBT law

By: Associated Press, Gary D. Robertson

North Carolina Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper proposed Tuesday what he called a compromise to repeal the state’s so-called bathroom bill, saying a new measure is designed to allay fears by some over public bathroom safety.

But a powerful leader in the Republican-controlled General Assembly dismissed it, signaling that any agreement between the governor and GOP lawmakers is still distant. Even a close Cooper ally in the gay rights movement said he didn’t support the governor’s idea, calling the proposal a distraction from a repeal of what’s known as House Bill 2.

The law approved last March by GOP lawmakers and then-Gov. Pat McCrory triggered backlash from businesses and LGBT advocates who say it’s discriminatory because it requires transgender people to use restrooms in public buildings that correspond to the sex on their birth certificates. It also excludes sexual orientation and gender identity from local and statewide antidiscrimination protections. A federal trial to decide HB2 is scheduled to begin later this summer.

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